Ever wondered if a large number of people all over the world would suffer from a disease developed not because of any bacteria or virus; but from an unhealthy lifestyle? If not, then hear this! More than 37% of the adult population aged 60 and above suffer from diabetes, globally. This is due to the changing lifestyle, lethargic everyday schedule and increased mental & physical exertion. So, if you are one of the diabetics – don’t worry, this special piece of article would summarize everything you need to know about the diabetes along with the best natural ways to keep it at bay.
Before everything, Let’s understand What exactly is Diabetes?
Simply speaking, the elevated sugar in the blood is called diabetes. There are 2 primary reasons behind this – One is when the body stops producing insulin and second is when our body doesn’t respond to the insulin produced by itself. Insulin, if properly produced, is broken down by the body and used as energy, which is then transported to the cells. If not taken care of properly, diabetes could lead to a condition of sugar build up in the blood stream, which increases the risk of heart stroke and blockage too.
Diabetes has been categorized in Type I diabetes and Type II diabetes. Let’s quickly get around them in brief –
Type I diabetes
It usually occurs in the teen-age, probably below 20 years of age and that is why it is also called ‘Juvenile diabetes‘. In this type of diabetes, the body becomes unable to produce insulin; partially or completely. Type I diabetes is an autoimmune disease due to which our immune system attacks the pancreas (insulin producing gland of the body), thereby making the pancreas unable to produce insulin. That is why people having Type I diabetes have to depend on artificial insulin shots almost all their life. Thus, it can be easily inferred that Type I diabetes cannot be prevented, it can only be controlled with healthy lifestyle choices.
Type II diabetes
This type of diabetes affects the body’s ability towards insulin and is more prevalent in people above the age of 40. As against Type I, pancreas continues to produce insulin but the body becomes unable to respond to it properly. Type II diabetes (also called diabetes mellitus) results from being overweight, having a poor diet, high blood pressure, emotional stress, lack of sleep, hormonal imbalance etc. Type II diabetes has a strong relation with your lifestyle. What you eat and how you eat determines your susceptibility to this condition. So, in a way, the Type II diabetes can be reversed if we stick with some core lifestyle modifications.
Although there are various modern treatment options available now-a-days to keep your blood sugar level in control, but natural home remedies can work wonders in achieving this task. With correct knowledge about the easily available natural medicines/herbs in the kitchen and using food as medicine is a wonderful way to complement your diabetes treatment.
Here are our top 10 effective home remedies (easily found on your kitchen’s shelf) to maintain your blood sugar levels and lead a healthy life with diabetes –
1)APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
Apple cider vinegar is believed to be responsible for many of its health benefits in diabetics because of its primary compound being the acetic acid. A study on people with diabetes reported that consuming just 2 tablespoons of ACV before bed reduces fasting blood sugar by 4% the following morning. It works effectively in improving insulin sensitivity, which can prevent blood sugar spikes after eating.
- ACV should not be consumed directly. Add just 2 tablespoons in warm water and drink it regularly in the morning empty stomach.
- You may also dress your salads or toss ACV on non-starchy vegetables.
- Always buy ACV with “the mother” as it contains some beneficial enzymes & probiotics.
Aloe Vera, a succulent plant commonly found in warm countries, has been used as a traditional medicine for more than 2,000 years from now. A powerful Anti-inflammatory, Aloe-Vera can be used to treat a variety of health issues with ease, including high blood pressure, sunburns, constipation etc. A review published in June 2016 in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine suggests that the oral Aloe Vera supplements can lower the fasting blood sugar by 46.6 mg/dL and A1C blood levels by 1.05%.
- Aloe Vera juice is an amazing choice for diabetics if combined with a well balanced healthy diet. Opt for fresh and organic Aloe Vera juice which is usually bitter in taste. You can also add small honey if bitterness is more.
- 1 tablespoon of fresh Aloe Vera juice twice a day maintains the blood insulin flow and helps avoid blockage in blood vessels. This practice in log run protects the heart.
Cinnamon contains bioactive compounds which help fight and prevent the diabetes in an effective way. The best property of Cinnamon is that it helps lower down the blood sugar by imitating the effects the insulin and increasing the transportation of glucose into body cells. A recent 2016 study of 25 people in the Journal of Intercultural Ethnopharmacology concluded the effective benefits of cinnamon with poorly controlled diabetes. Participants who were made to consume 1g of cinnamon daily for 12 weeks, showed 17% reduction in fasting blood sugar levels.
- Mix 1/2 or 1 tablespoon of grounded cinnamon with warm water and it once in the morning daily.
- Boil raw cinnamon sticks in 2 glasses of water. Cool it for 30 minutes and consume daily. Apart from diabetes, this also regularizes your healthy bowel movement and stimulate the appetite.
Fenugreek is an aromatic plant that can be easily seen in almost every Indian kitchen. Apart from culinary specialties, the fenugreek seeds have a number of health benefits as well. Fenugreek seeds are high in soluble fiber, which helps lowering down the blood sugar by slowing down digestion and absorption of carbohydrates.
A recent study shows that adding 100 grams of defatted fenugreek seed powder to the daily diet reduces the fasting blood glucose levels, improve glucose tolerance and lowering down bad cholesterol.
- Soak 2 tablespoons of fenugreek seeds in a bowl of water overnight and drink it with the soaked seeds the next morning on an empty stomach. This alone will help bring down your glucose level at par.
Bitter Gourd/melon, also known as Karela (in India), is a unique vegetable-fruit that can be used both as food or medicine. The fruit contains 3 active substances with anti-diabetic properties, of which Polypeptide-p is a bio-chemical that mimics the insulin produced by the human pancreas and thus, helps reduce the sugar level in the body. Charanti and Vicine also shows the considerable blood glucose-lowering effect.
A recent January 2011 study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology shows that a 2,000 mg daily dose of bitter melon significantly reduced blood glucose levels with type II diabetics.
- Consume bitter melon at least once a week in a curry. If you want quick results, try having a glass of juice on an empty stomach once in three days.
ALSO READ : How To Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
Phyllanthus Emblica or Amla, richest source of Vitamin C, is one of the best herbal remedy for chronic conditions like diabetes. Fresh amla juice contains nearly 20 times more vitamin C than orange juice. It is also packed with phenolic compounds with strong antioxidant properties, helps improving cellular longevity. Amla houses chromium, responsible for the regulation of carbohydrate levels that makes the body highly responsive to insulin.
- Apart from consuming raw, you may dry them to make powder and then drink empty stomach with hot water every morning.
- Popular forms are Amla pickle, Amla chutney and Murabba.
Drumsticks or Moringa Oleifera leaves, apart from being used in Indian curry, offer essential medical benefits to help control blood sugar levels. These have also been declared a Superfood. Being rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, the moringa leaves increase insulin secretion in the body and slows the breakdown of food; thus lowering blood pressure.
- Crush some drumsticks to extract their juice and consume about 1/4th cup of this juice empty stomach, early morning to keep the sugar levels under control.
8)FLAX SEEDS (ALSI)
Flax seeds or flaxseed oil have major health-promoting compounds with the potential to lower down blood sugar levels and thus delay the development of type 2 diabetes. Since they are rich in high fiber content, Omega-3 fatty acids, and unique plant compounds, they help improve blood sugar level, insulin sensitivity and maintains healthy heart.
- Consume 1 tablespoon of flaxseed powder every morning on an empty stomach with a glass of warm water.
- Flax seeds can be eaten whole, ground, in capsules or as oil, as well as added to sweet and savory dishes alike.
9)HOLY BASIL (TULSI) LEAVES
Holy basil (tulsi) is the most common plant found in almost every Indian house. Apart from using tulsi in daily tea, it shows significantly greater improvements in glucose levels in those taking tulsi with their usual medications. The leaves of holy basil are packed with antioxidants that produce Methyl Eugenol, Caryophyllene, and Eugenol. These compounds collectively help the pancreatic beta cells (which store and release insulin) to function properly and thus increase insulin sensitivity.
- Consume 3-4 tulsi leaves whole or about 1-2 tablespoon juice on an empty stomach to lower the blood sugar levels.
10)FIBER & BARLEY
A recent study from Sweden University shows that barley can rapidly improve people’s health by reducing blood sugar levels and thus the risk for diabetes. Whole-grain barley is a great source of fiber, including the soluble fiber beta-glucan, which helps reduce people’s appetite, improve blood sugar, insulin, inflammation and risk for cardiovascular disease.
- Most Americans consume around 6-8 grams/day of barley as compared to the recommended 30 grams/day. The best possible way to reach your goal is to eat your veggies!
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