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More than 70 million people live with diabetes in India and according to a recent study published in the journal Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology the number of type 2 diabetes patients alone will reach 98 million by 2030. So, it's no wonder that India is known as the diabetes capital of the world.
Type 2 diabetes is a disease where your blood sugar levels become uncontrollably high. This happens when your cells are unable to efficiently use insulin, the hormone produced by your pancreas to convert sugar from your blood into energy. This condition is known as insulin. The regular line of treatment for this condition includes oral drugs and insulin shots. However, the cornerstone of managing diabetes is a healthy lifestyle including a diet full of green, leafy vegetables and a well-planned fitness regime. Diabetologists and nutritionists recommend a green platter for people with type 2 diabetes because they are high in fibre. According to experts, green vegetables like spinach, broccoli and bottle gourd are especially effective in controlling blood sugar levels.
Recent research shows that another green vegetable, kale is also a good option for people with type 2 diabetes. The study, published in the journal Nutrition Research and Practice, found that consumption of kale juice was effective in bringing down blood sugar levels significantly. The body fat percentage also reduced significantly among the study participants after supplementation with kale juice for six weeks. Kale, a cruciferous vegetable belonging to the cabbage family, works by improving insulin resistance in people suffering from type 2 diabetes.
Kale is known as the king of green vegetables, thanks to its high fibre anti-antioxidant content. This is what makes it an excellent choice for diabetic patients. From 130g of cooked kale you will get 2.6 g fibre. Apart from diabetes, kale can also protect you against heart diseases and certain types of cancer. High levels of vitamin K in kale, on the other hand, makes your bones strong.
While kale juice is certainly good for you, there are other ways of having this vegetable. There are various ways of prepping kale. You can steam, sautee, bake or boil it. However, boiling may deplete the nutrient levels of this vegetable. Steaming is the best possible way to have kale, because this process retains the maximum nutrients. Moreover, steaming keeps the calorie count of this veggie pretty low, which, in turn, may help in weight loss. Shedding extra kilos is essential for managing type 2 diabetes. You can add steamed kale in your soups, stews and stir-fries.
As already mentioned, eating fibre-rich fruits and vegetables essential for tackling type 2 diabetes. However, you may not like the taste of some veggies. In that case, juicing them is a good option. Here are some diabetes-friendly juices that you can try.
This juice is known for its various health benefits. It is a common weight loss drink and also helps in reducing menstrual discomfort. Wheatgrass juice has been used in folk medicine to treat diabetes. Wheatgrass juice is rich in fibre and hence helps in controlling diabetes. The fibre helps in keeping you full for a long time, which prevents the fluctuation of blood glucose level a major worry among diabetics.
A study published in the journal Advances in Pharmacological Sciences says that wheatgrass helps in controlling diabetes by enhancing the secretion of insulin by the pancreas. It was also observed that wheatgrass juice helps in lowering HbA1C levels and increased normal haemoglobin levels which can assist in preventing diabetes-related complications like diabetic retinopathy and neuropathy.
The study also pointed out that many patients with diabetes report elevated cholesterol and serum triglyceride levels which can not only complicate diabetes but also increase the risk of heart diseases. The study found that wheatgrass juice significantly reduces total cholesterol, VLDL and LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels and can also prevent diabetes-related complications.
Aloe vera juice can be an excellent natural remedy for people suffering from type II diabetes. It helps metabolise the blood sugar and control it.
Amla juice contains polyphenol that can protect your body from oxidative properties of high blood sugar. Drinking it first thing in the morning assists in the proper absorption of insulin, leading to a drop in blood sugar in diabetics.
Bottle gourd juice or lauki juice can lower excessive thirst experienced by diabetics. Drink lauki juice first thing in the morning with a pinch of salt to quench your thirst and prevent loss of sodium during summer.
Take a medium sized bottle gourd, four capsicums and six tomatoes. Blend them together and pour the contents into a glass, flavour it with rock salt, cinnamon, black pepper or turmeric. Bottle gourd is rich in fibre and helps to aid weight loss. Apart from this, it is also a rich source of various vitamins, iron, folate, potassium and manganese. The antioxidants from the capsicum and tomatoes make for a perfect health drink for diabetics.
According to studies, jamun juice contains a glucoside that is found to be anti-diabetic in nature. The compound has been found to lower the blood sugar level by 30% and also the risk of various health complications due to diabetes.
This juice only needs four carrots and two cups of spinach with a handful of parsley or mint leaves. Blend them and drink directly. The combination ensures a low calorie drink packed with vitamin A, folate, vitamin B6, iron and other minerals that promises to lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
Get one cucumber, one green apple, two cups of spinach, one-fourth cup of coriander or mint leaves, one-half inch ginger, and a half peeled lemon. Blend all the ingredients together. Lemon gives a tangy flavour that makes the otherwise healthy, but tasteless juice tolerable. It is a low-calorie drink packed with vitamins and other essential minerals. The nutritional dense green apples have soluble fibres and delays sugar absorption in the intestines.
(With inputs from TheHealthSite)
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