Natural ways to control diabetes
Natural Ways to Control Diabetes
The article is for 'Diabetic' persons, 'Pre-Diabetics', and for all other persons who would like to be aware about the natural ways to lower the blood sugar levels.
Type I diabetics take Insulin injections to keep their sugar levels under control. Type 2 diabetics are continuously struggling on medical treatment to keep the blood sugar levels under control.
In this article, I am not going into the intricacies of what is diabetes, its causes, treatment and consequences etc.
It is fairly assumed that confirmed diabetics are quite well aware about such information.
Focus in this article is given on the natural ways that can help in lowering the blood sugar levels.
We all know it that 'well controlled diabetes' is not risky whereas the 'uncontrolled diabetes' can lead to very serious health repercussions.
Pre-Diabetes stage can be reversed but an established 'Diabetes' cannot be reversed and has to be closely monitored throughout the life for better health care.
A word of advice : Please continue with your existing medication. The suggested therapies are additional ways to bring down the blood sugar levels. It is important that you regularly monitor your blood sugar levels when taking these natural products. Keeping a good 'Glucometer' at home may be more convenient and economical. Lethargy to go to a lab for blood sugar test may sometime delay in getting the blood sugar level tested and the tests may possibly be less frequent than needed.
If it is observed at any stage that the sugar levels are going down below the limit, you may reduce the intake of suggested natural products.
The mentioned products are absolutely natural sources only. These are quite safe and do not have any side effects. However, you may carry out your regular medical consultations as before.
You may consume the mentioned products as per the availability in the part of the world you are living in. In some places, some of these products may not be available but their supplements may be available. The supplements can also be taken.
Syzygium Cumini (Jamun)
1. Fenugreek: Fenugreek seeds are helpful in lowering the blood sugar levels. The way to consume is to soak about 1 tablespoon full of fenugreek seeds in a cup of water. Let it remain soaked overnight. Next morning drink this water empty stomach. The soaked seeds should also be eaten.
You can take it for couple of months and feel the difference in blood sugar levels.
The fenugreek leaves should also be consumed by cooking them as vegetable just as any other leafy vegetables.
2. Syzygium cumini ( also known as Jamun in Hindi) is a fruit which has very good impact in lowering the blood sugar levels. However, this is only a seasonal fruit.
In India it is mainly available for 3-4 months during monsoon season.
As per the seasonal availability in your area, make it a point to eat at least 10-15 jamuns every day till the season lasts.
The seeds of Jamun are also very useful. The seeds can be washed, dried and then grinded. A teaspoon full of this powder can be taken with water once in a day.
3. Bitter Gourd : ( known as 'Karela' in Hindi) : The best effect of bitter gourd for lowering the blood sugar levels is by consuming its juice.
You can take the juice of 1 or 2 pieces of bitter gourd every day.
Method: Peel the skin of the bitter gourd. In the separated skin add about 1-2 spoons of water and crush the same well. Filter the water in a fine cloth or sieve. The dark green water so obtained should be consumed immediately. If desired, a pinch of salt may be added in it. It is better to consume it empty stomach in the morning. However, it is not necessary. It always has instant effect of lowering the sugar level.
The remaining part of the bitter gourd can be used for cooking the vegetable or can be cut into small pieces and boiled in half cup of water. After boiling for a few minutes this water should be separated from the pieces. Consume this water.
Alternatively, the entire bitter gourd may be crushed in a 'Mixie'. Sieve the water. This water may be consumed by adding a pinch of salt in it.
Bitter gourd can also be used as a cooked vegetable. If eaten regularly, it has very good effect on control of blood sugar levels.
4. Gymnema : (Hindi name 'Gurmar')
Gurmar is a shrub. Its leaves have a good effect on reducing the blood sugar.
Ways to consume : i) chew a few leaves of the plant.
ii) The leaves of the plant may be dried. A handful of dried leaves can be boiled in water. To avoid the bitterness you may crush a 'Cardamom' and add into the boiling water. Consume this hot water.
Instead of using the dried leaves, you may grind the dried leaves to get the near powder form. A tea spoonful of this powder can be added in boiling water just as we make tea. Consume this Gymnema tea.
iii) Gymnema is also available in the form of 'Tablets' and 'Capsules' as supplement. You can take this supplement if the plant is not available in your area.
5. Guduchi : Guduchi is a plant having medicinal properties. It helps in very slow absorption of glucose in blood thus helps in maintaining better control of blood sugar levels.
Method: i) Take small pieces of stems of the plant. Wash them thoroughly and soak in fresh water for 6 to 8 hrs (or let it remain overnight) . Next morning slowly mash the stems for some time. Slightly tilt the utensil to drain out the water. At the bottom, thick starchy liquid will remain. This starchy liquid known as 'Sattva of Guduchi' has to be consumed.
ii) The 'Sattva of Guduchi' is also available in the market in the Capsule form. Guduchi supplement in the form of capsules can also be taken.
6. Fig Leaves : ( 'Anjeer' in Hindi) : Fig leaves have good impact in lowering the blood sugar levels. It can be taken in two ways.
i) A few fresh leaves can be washed and kept directly in the mouth and slowly chewed.
ii) The leaves can be boiled in water just like tea and then this hot water can be consumed.
7. Mango Leaves : Mango fruit is not good for diabetic persons but mango leaves are. These leaves have anti diabetes properties. The extract of few fresh mango leaves should be taken at least one hour before food for good results.
8. Cinnamon ( 'Dalchini' in Hindi) : Cinnamon is a condiment which is quite regularly used in most of the kitchens. It has properties to act like insulin in reducing the blood sugar levels.
There are two ways to consume it. You can grind the Cinnamon and take 1/2 teaspoon of the powder with water. Alternatively, a small piece of Cinnamon can be directly kept in mouth and slowly chewed for long time.
9. Aloe Vera : Aloe Vera is a wonder plant and is full of medicinal properties. Apart from various properties it is also helpful in maintaining the glucose level.
You can cut the stem of the plant and extract the juice out of it. This juice has to be consumed. It is bitter in taste..
The other way is to consume 'Aloe Vera' gel which is available in market everywhere.
It is helpful in healing wounds also. Besides this, the plant is full of medicinal properties.
10. Vitamin C : Consuming 600mg of Vitamin C every day is helpful in normalizing the blood sugar levels. You can consume food rich in Vitamin C and / or also take Vitamin C tablets to fulfill the requirement of intake.
11. Garlic : Garlic is used almost by everyone on day to day basis. Garlic is more known for its property of reducing the cholesterol levels. However, it also has the property of having anti-diabetic effect.
Many diabetic persons also tend to have raised levels of cholesterol which is risky. Garlic helps in reducing the cholesterol.
One to two pieces of raw garlic can be consumed empty stomach with water.
Alternatively, you can take the garlic capsules available in the market.
Indian Gooseberry (Amla)
12. Indian Gooseberry ( 'Amla' in Hindi) : It is a fruit which is very rich in vitamin C.
Regular consumption improves the eyesight.
The fruit also has the property of reducing sugar levels.
This can be consumed raw or in juice form. The juice can be extracted like any other fruit juice. Before taking out the juice you must cut the 'Amla' and take the hard seed out.
It can be also consumed by cooking as vegetable.
It can even be dried and consumed for a long time particularly in off season.
13. Basil- is known as medicinal plant. Taking a few fresh leaves has a good effect in reduction in the blood glucose level. The plant also has properties such as anti-stress, anti-asthmatic, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, gastric anti-ulcer, anti-oxidant, anti-viral, anti-tumor.
Simplest way to consume is take a few fresh leaves, wash and put it in mouth. It tastes good and has good effect on health including reduction of blood sugar level.
While making tea, just add a few basil leaves (broken into small pieces) in the boiling water. Tea also tastes good and one gets the medicinal benefits of basil plant.
14. Ladyfinger (Okra)- ( 'Bhindi' in Hindi) : Lady finger vegetable is rich in soluble fiber. The fiber helps in slow absorption of glucose. Thus helps in maintaining sugar levels.
Normal way to consume lady finger is as you have been doing so far i.e. to cook and eat.
Another way is to take one lady finger, slit it in the middle and soak in a cup of water. Let it remain overnight in the water and then consume it next morning empty stomach. Doing it on regular basis for 3-4 weeks helps in reducing the blood sugar levels.
15. Beans- Beans are rich in fiber and help to slow the digestion process. This helps in checking the rapid rise of blood sugar after the meals. Beans give a feeling of fullness comparatively early. Thus our intake of food is slightly less and correspondingly the rise of blood sugar is also less.
16. Soy- Soy is a blessing for diabetic persons. Soy helps not only in reducing blood sugar levels but also keeps the body well nourished. It is rich in much needed protein for our body and is low in calories. Soy is also very good for those who are considering weight reduction.
Other natural and Non Medicinal Care for Diabetes
Fiber : Increase the 'Fiber' intake in your diet. Eat wheat bran, oat bran, lot of salad and fibrous vegetable & fruits. You should eat fruits instead of taking fruit juices so that fiber content is retained. Vegetables such as carrots, radish, cucumber, artichoke, beans and other leafy vegetables contain lot of fiber.
Water : Drink lot of water. Water cleanses the body from inside. Drinking lot of water is a boon for good health.
Weight : Reduce weight if you are overweight or obese.
Calories: More the intake of calories, higher is the blood sugar level. This is because the body is not able to utilize extra energy properly.
Therefore, it is important for diabetic persons to make simultaneous efforts in many directions viz., i) try to increase the production of insulin in 'Pancreas' by taking medication, ii) try to slow down the absorption of food by consuming more of fiber so that release of energy is slower and thus the rapid rise of blood sugar is kept under control iii) reduce the intake of calories so that comparatively less of sugar is produced in body.
You may prefer to consult a dietician and get your daily meals chart prepared which should have slightly lower calorie value than your present average daily intake. Calories should not be drastically cut which will makes you feel weak.
Eating habits : East less but at regular intervals.
Most of us have habit of taking 3 major meals i.e. breakfast, lunch and dinner. When there is long gap in between the meals, the blood sugar levels tend to go down resulting in 'Hypo glycaemia' in the body. That is the blood sugar level goes down below the limit. Then the person eats heavy meals which results in production of more sugar in the body and the sugar level again goes very high. This kind of heavy fluctuations in the sugar levels in the body are dangerous.
Therefore, it is important that a diabetic person should eat less and at regular intervals i.e. may be 5 to 6 times a day so that neither the sugar level goes very low nor very high. The levels of fluctuations are also low.
Exercise : Exercise is very good for Diabetic persons. Firstly, if you have a 'sedentary' life style, it helps you to come out of it. Secondly, it helps in burning the calories in the body thus helps in bringing down the blood sugar levels and also the cholesterol levels.
If it is not possible for you to do exercises either in a Gym or at home, you can simply walk for at least half an hour a day. It should be a brisk walk. Those doing only walking should aim at doing about 15 to 18kms per week may be in 5 or 6 days and have the gap of about 1 or 2 days.
Cycling, swimming, playing, jogging etc are all good exercises.
Yoga is good for diabetes but initially it should be done under supervision.
The walk or exercise should not put you to the level of exhaustion. Start less and gradually increase as the stamina builds up.
Food / drinks recommended : East high fiber diet. East steamed, boiled, baked food. Take Tofu, cottage cheese. Drink more of water, butter milk, skimmed milk. Tea / coffee without sugar.
Cooking oils to be used : Olive oil, Canola oil, Sunflower oil, peanut oil, soyabean oil
Fruits to eat : Papaya, Guava, citrus fruit, berries, green apple
Vegetables to eat : Broccoli, cauliflower, okra, beans, celery, lettuce, leafy vegetables, bottle gourd, brussel sprout, cabbage, carrot, radish and so on
Food / drinks to avoid : Avoid sugar, honey, sweets, ice creams, cakes, pastries, donuts, muffins, aerated soft drinks (or even diet soft drinks), energy drinks, fruit juices, junk food,
Avoid deep fried food, Avoid refined flour, white bread
Avoid Saturated fats such as butter, ghee, hydrogenated oil, coconut oil etc.
Avoid alcoholic drinks, smoking, non vegetarian diet
Fruits to avoid: Mango, grapes, banana, melon, any other fruits that are sweet in nature.
Vegetables to avoid : Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Yam, Colocasia (Taro/Eddo) roots.