Foods to control Diabetes Naturally: A Must Read!
Life time dependency on insulin and other drugs to manage blood sugar can at times be pain staking, and rather depressing. But rarely do people know that there are certain fruits and vegetables that actually help in keeping the blood sugar under control (Food for Diabetes).
In this brief article, I would like to shed some light on the natural food based remedies for diabetes control.
a) Bitter gourd: The not so good looking vegetable! (Magic Food for Diabetes)
Bitter gourd (known as Karela in India), scientific name: Momordica charantia, is known as a wonder vegetable for Diabetic patients. Its juice is particularly known to lower and control blood sugar in hyperglycemic people (those with high blood sugar levels). Diabetics rather call it God's Magic!.
Bitter Gourd: The Magical Vegetable for Diabetes Control
(Source of this image is mentioned in the image: Let us Respect IP)
Following are the best / ideal ways to consume Bitter Gourd in Diabetes condition:
a) Consume the fresh juice (avoid canned/ preserved juices). Early morning consumption, empty stomach, helps a lot.
b) Boil the raw bitter gourd and consume it with little salt and / or black pepper for flavor.
c) Bitter gourd seeds may also be consumed with water like a tablet. This has been known to reduce blood sugar levels as well.
Mode of Action of Bitter Gourd in Controlling Diabetes: How Bitter Gourd Controls Diabetes?
Charantin is a chemical compound which is found in abundance in Bitter Gourd (hence the scientific name). Charantin is known to favorably influence glucose metabolism across the body of the consumer (unlike the targeted medicinal drugs which are often tissue/organ specific). This helps in controlling diabetes.
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Karela has anti-cancer effects too!! Both seeds and fruit of Bitter gourd prevent proliferation of cancer cells and in fact has been known to control leukemia and other blood irregularities. Blood pressure problem is also controlled by this not so good looking vegetable!
So, everything that looks ugly, is not necessarily bad!!
2. Raw Garlic: a spice that helps (a great food for diabetes)
Yes, you read it right! Garlic buds have this power to control diabetes. Now, you must have been wondering as to why it didn't control your diabetes till date (just in case you have been a regular consumer of the garlic)??
Well, the answer is: 'It is indeed controlling your diabetes, you are just unaware of the fact'. Garlic is blessed with some beneficial sulfur containing phytochemicals that can do wonders to your body by keeping you aloof of all the ailments.
Following are the best / ideal ways to consume Garlic in Diabetes condition:
1.Chop the buds very well, finely mince them whenever you wish to use garlic in regular preparations. This is crucial for the release of the phytochemicals.
2. Early morning, empty stomach, consumption of just 2 garlic buds (gulped like tablets with water) can be very beneficial. The same may be done before sleep as well.
3. The best way is to finely mince 2 garlic puds into a paste and then consume them raw with some water, early in the morning (empty stomach). This is the most beneficial mode of consumption. But, many people find it too pungent to consume, hence the above mentioned methods may also be followed.
Image is self-captured: OriginalMode of Action of Garlic in Controlling Diabetes: How Garlic Controls Diabetes?
As mentioned earlier, it is the naturally bestowed sulfur-containing phytochemicals that make Garlic such a useful spice. The most important and potent of all the phytochemicals in garlic are : Allicin, ajoene and alliin, which detoxify a person's body and modulate the circulatory, digestive as well as the immune system. This leads to well regulated blood pressure, controlled blood sugar and a stress-free body.
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Garlic, also called Lehsun in Hindi or Allium sativum scientifically, is one of the richest source of Selenium (a trace nutrient for our body). Our body needs selenoproteins to fight DNA damage (which is crucial for keeping various types of malformations and Cancers at bay!), to keep the thyroid gland working well and also to keep the immune system up and running. Given the fact that Garlic has it in enough quantity that's needed by our body, exploit it to the maximum!!
Exposure to Garlic might bring you tears, but it makes your body happy!
3. Bottle Gourd: the magical bottle! (a magical food for diabetes)
Bottle Gourd has myriad of shapes (mostly variants of a bottle, hence the name), and so are its benefits. Indians popularly know it as "Lauki" or another variant "Ghia". Scientifically it is known as Lagenaria siceraria. If one checks into the nutritional content of this vegetable, he/she would find that it is 92% water!!, very low in carbohydrates (hardly 1%) and zero in fat! The nutritional contents therefore must have told you how good it could be for someone who is trying to wave-off the extra calories and sugar from his/her body.
Following are the best / ideal ways to consume Bottle Gourd in Diabetes condition:
1. Juice preparations early in the morning or in the evening.
2. Boil it, and make a curry preparation with a pinch of epsom salt. You may substitute your lunch with a boiled-dried form of bottle gourd to keep extra calories at bay.
Self-captured photograph: Original
Mode of Action of Bottle Gourd in Controlling Diabetes: How Bottle Gourd Controls Diabetes?
It's the nutritional content of bottle gourd that actually makes it such a useful food to control diabetes. It is zero in fats, very very scarce in carbohydrates, rich in water and minerals (especially sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium). It is also very rich in fibers. The fibrous content of Bottle gourd further help in absorbing extra sugars in digestive tract and wade them off the absorption process.
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Because of its nutritional treasure, Bottle Gourd not only helps in fighting diabetes, but it is a potent natural remedy for fighting fatigue, blood pressure problem, stress, obesity, baldness, dental problems, constipation and much more!
Warning: Research has indicated the presence of a toxin (Tetracyclic Triterpenoid Cucurbitacins) that imparts a bitter taste to some Bottle gourds. So, taste it well before you consume it whole, as this tocxin can cause vomiting, nausea, GI bleeding and in some cases even death. Bitter bottle gourds should be discarded.
Advisory: Don't blindly prepare the juice of this boon of nature. Taste it before making the juice. And avoid mixing its juice with any other fruit/vegetable juice (which could mask it's bitter taste if it is there).
Consume it, but with awareness!
4. Cinnamon: the magical spice! (great food to control diabetes)
Cinnamon, popularly known as 'daal-chini' in India, and Cinnamomum verum scientifically is another magical spice. It is in fact a major ingredient of most ayurvedic drugs used for controlling diabetes.
Being a spice, it is often added in vegie preparations, but the sad fact is that most of the urban population is unaware of it's existence as a spice, let alone its benefits.
So, in this case, I would like to shed some light on Cinnamon first of all:
Cinnamon is available or can be used in three forms:
a) Solid sticks b) Dried powder c) Dry flowers (indicative image from wikipedia is displayed below):
It tastes bit sweet, but that doesn't mean it would cause diabetes! It rather helps in fighting diabetes and a lot of other diseases!
Following are the best / ideal ways to consume Cinnamon in Diabetes condition:
1. Don't use it in huge amounts, it's spice, a condiment and should be used in pinches only.
2. If preparing some vegetable, just add 2-3 cm long bark of cinnamon to it, or if you use powder form, then sprinkle a pinch of it in your vegetable/ toast/ sandwich/ curd.
3. Excess quantities would not only overpower all other spices, but might also lead to nausea.
Mode of Action of Cinnamon in Controlling Diabetes: How Cinnamon Controls Diabetes?
Whereas Cinnamon's phytochemical ingredients responsible for managing diabetes have eluded the scientific community till date, but studies (recent being in 2013), have indicated a lowering of blood cholestrol as well as resistance to insulin in subjects who consistently consume about 1 gram (which is around 1/6th of table-spoon) of cinnamon powder. In addition, Ayurvedic, Chinese and Egyptian ancestors have consistently reported the utility of cinnamon in fighting diabetes and heart related ailments.
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There are two types of Cinnamon namely Ceylon and Cassia. Many people claim that it's the Ceylon type that actually helps in fighting diabetes.
Caution: Some people might be allergic to Cinnamon, and those who have Liver problems, should avoid its use.
It's sweet, but it fights diabetes (almost certainly!)
5. Ginger: The bitter one that keeps the sweet away! (a very common yet effective food for diabetes)
Ginger is popularly known as Adrak in India, and scientifically it is called as Zingiber officinale. It is infact a household vegetable that is used in a variety of ways: as a vegetable, as a spice, as a condiment, as a juice flavoring agent and more. Health benefits of Ginger in managing cold and cough are long known in Ayurveda (the Natural Medicine System of India). But very few people are aware of the fact that Ginger can prove very useful for managing Diabetes as well.
Following are the best / ideal ways to consume Ginger in Diabetes condition:
1. The best way to add ginger to your diet is by including it in every food you prepare. Add just half spoon of grated fresh raw ginger into your daily vegetable preparations; and it will do its magic!
2. Another ideal way is to add it to your daily juice preparations. Please note that you are not supposed to take Ginger Juice!! It would be too pungent as well as irritating for mucous linings. All you need to do is just add 3-5cm thick bud of ginger into your juicer, alongwith other fruits. The extracted juice will be more than sufficient.
3. Those who are diabetic should avoid sweet juices, and rather prefer addition of ginger in their daily boiled vegetable preparations.
Image is self captured: Original
Mode of Action of Ginger in Controlling Diabetes: How Ginger Controls Diabetes?
Ginger has recently been proven to improve insulin sensitivity (thereby leading to greater control over glucose levels in blood) and some has also been shown to reduce bad-fats/lipids like cholesterol and some triglycerides that are often associated with complications in Diabetes. In addition, a recent study conducted in 2014 by Tahereh Arablou (Titled: The effect of ginger consumption on glycemic status, lipid profile and some inflammatory markers in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus) suggested that the subjects who regularly consumed 1.6 gram of Ginger exhibited reduced CRP and PGE2 in type 2 diabetic patients, apart from increased sensitivity to Insulin (as compared to the placebos).
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Ginger belongs to the same family as Turmeric, and Curcumin is the potent phytochemical in the plants of this family, which has been well established as an effective immune-modulator, apart from its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
So, Ginger is indeed bitter, but not for your Health!
I hope it interests you and more importantly, I hope it Helps you!