Diabetes is a group of metabolic disorders that affects the body’s ability to either produce insulin or to use insulin effectively. According to statistics, India is fast becoming the diabetic capital of the world, and with a large number of young people being diagnosed with the condition, doctors are looking at newer techniques to treat the disorder. Ever wonder if there was something you could do at home to keep your blood sugar levels in check? Well, there is. Here are some of them:
Holy Basil Leaves: Also known as tulsi, leaves of holy basil are packed with antioxidants and essential oils that produce eugenol, methyl eugenol and caryophyllene. Collectively these substances help the pancreatic beta cells (cells that store and release insulin) function properly. This in turn helps increase sensitivity to insulin. An added advantage is that the antioxidants present in the leaves help beat the ill effects of oxidative stress. Here are top 10 health benefits of tulsi
Tip: Have two to three tulsi leaves whole, or about one tablespoon full of its juice on an empty stomach to lower the blood sugar levels.
Flax Seeds: Due to their high fibre content flaxseeds help digestion and aid in the proper absorption of fats and sugars. Consuming flax seed helps reduce a diabetic’s postprandial sugar level by almost 28 per cent. Read more health benefits of flaxseeds
Leaves of bilberry plant: Also called the neelabadari plant, it has been used in Ayurveda for many centuries to control diabetes. Recently the Journal of Nutrition stated that the leaves of the Bilberry plant contain high amounts of anthocyanidin, which enhance the action of various proteins involved in glucose transportation and fat metabolism. Due to this unique property, bilberry leaves are a great way to lower one’s blood sugar levels.
Cinnamon: Also known as dalchini, it improves insulin sensitivity and lower blood glucose levels. Having as little as ½ teaspoon of cinnamon per day can improve one’s insulin sensitivity and help controlling weight, thereby decreasing one’s risk for heart disease. Read more health benefits of cinnamon.
Tip: Include about 1 gram of dalchini into your daily diet for about a month to help lower blood sugar levels.
Green Tea: Unlike other tea leaves, green tea is unfermented and is high in polyphenol content. Polyphenol is a strong antioxidant and hypo-glycaemic compound that helps control the release of blood sugars and helps the body use insulin better. Read more health benefits of green tea.
Drumstick leaves: Also called moringa, the leaves of this plant are best known for their ability to boost one’s energy. In the case of diabetics, the moringa leaf increases satiety and slows the breakdown of food and lower blood pressure.
Isabgol: Also known as psyllium husk is often used as a laxative. When isabgol comes in contact with water, it swells to form a gel-like substance. This slows the breakdown and absorption of blood glucose. Isabgol also protects the stomach lining from ulcers and acidity.
Bittergourd or Karela: Rich in plant insulin-polypeptide-P, a bio-chemical that is useful in reducing blood sugar. Tip: Have karela at least once a week either as a subzi or in a curry. If you want quick results, try having a glass of karela juice on an empty stomach once in three days. Here’s how karela can help you to beat diabetes.
Neem: Found abundantly in India, the bitter leaf has a number of amazing medicinal properties. Neem enhances insulin receptor sensitivity, helps improve blood circulation by dilating the blood vessels, lowers blood glucose levels and reduces one’s dependence on hypoglycaemic drugs. Here are more health benefits of neem.
Tip: Have the juice of the tender shoot of neem leaves on an empty stomach, for best results.
Jambul or Indian blackberry: A glycoside present in the seeds of Indian blackberry prevents the conversion of starch to sugar. It lowers blood sugar and helps prevent insulin spikes. Jambul also has properties that can protect you from heart diseases and other vascular disorders.
Read more about causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of diabetes.
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- Go vegan to prevent and reverse diabetes (World Diabetes Day 2013)
- Beat type 2 diabetes with yoghurt and low-fat dairy products
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