Ashok Kumar Tiwari

Pharmacognosy Magazine 2014 10(38):207-213

Vegetables have been part of human food since prehistoric times and are considered nutritionally necessary and good for health. Vegetables are rich natural resource of biological antioxidants and possess capabilities of maintaining glucose homeostasis. When taken before starch-rich diet, juice also of vegetables such as ridge gourd, bottle gourd, ash gourd, chayote and juice of leaves of vegetables such as radish, Indian Dill, ajwain, tropical green amaranth, and bladder dock are reported to arrest significantly the rise in postprandial blood glucose level. Juice of vegetables such as ash gourd, squash gourd, and tropical green amaranth leaves are observed to tone-down sweet-beverages such as sucrose, fructose, and glucose-induced postprandial glycemic excursion. On the other hand, juice of egg-plant and juice of leaves of Ceylon spinach, Joyweed, and palak are reported to augment starch-induced postprandial glycemic excursion; and juice of leaves of Ceylon spinach, Joyweed, and radish supplement to the glucose-induced postprandial glycemia. Vegetables possess multifaceted antihyperglycemic activities such as inhibition of pancreatic α-amylase and intestinal α-glucosidase, inhibition of protein-tyrosine phosphatase 1β in liver and skeletal muscles, and insulin mimetic and secretagogue activities. Furthermore, they are also reported to influence polyol pathway in favor of reducing development of oxidative stress, and consequently the development of diabetic complications. In the wake of emergence of modern maladaptive diet-induced hyperglycemic epidemic therefore, vegetables may offer cost-effective dietary regimen to control diet-induced glycemic over load and future development of diabetes mellitus. However, for vegetables have been reported to do both, mitigate as well as supplement to the diet-induced postprandial glycemic load, care is required in selection of vegetables when considered as medicament.