Diabetes or High Blood Sugar is a condition in which the body is not able to utilize glucose completely. It occurs due to complete absence, deficiency or inefficiency of Insulin- a hormone necessary to channelize glucose into our bloodstream. Today, the cases of Diabetes are increasing at a rapid pace. According to a report published by the American Diabetes Association, about 9.3% of U.S population has Diabetes. Out of these, approximately 1.25 million American children and adults have Type 1 Diabetes. With the advancement in medical science, a number of medications are now available that help one maintains normal blood glucose levels. Unfortunately, no complete cure for the disease has yet been found. If Diabetes is left untreated or poorly controlled, it may affect each and every organ of your body and give rise to complications like kidney disease, high blood pressure, nerve damage, blindness, blood vessel damage, heart disease, stroke, infection, limb amputation, coma and even death. Therefore, efforts must be made by the individual himself to control his blood sugar levels and keep it within the normal limits.
Nature has gifted us certain foods that help in fighting Diabetes naturally. These foods contain certain elements which aid in lowering blood glucose levels and if consumed in a proper way these are not only safe as compared to the conventional medicines but are also equally effective. A number of clinical studies conducted in the recent years have also shown potential links between the natural compounds present in certain foods and improved blood glucose levels. Some of these foods along with their method of consumption have been listed as under:
Blackberry: Blackberries are rich in antioxidants and fiber. This fruit also contains Jamboline %u2013 a glucoside that prevents the conversion of starch into sugar. Clinical Research has shown that this fruit can significantly lower blood glucose levels and prevent sharp insulin spikes.
1-2 teaspoon of powdered blackberry seeds taken twice daily with water is extremely helpful in reducing blood glucose levels.
Fenugreek Seeds: This is one of the most effective natural remedies for diabetes. Fenugreek seeds are rich in soluble fiber and contain an alkaloid trigonelline that helps to lower blood glucose levels.
Recent studies have suggested that adding 100grams of fenugreek powder in the daily diet of type 1 diabetics reduces their fasting blood glucose levels and improves glucose tolerance. On the other hand, incorporating 15 grams of fenugreek powder in the daily diet of type 2 diabetics prevents a sharp rise in postprandial blood glucose.
Take 1-2 teaspoon of fenugreek seeds and soak them overnight in water. Next morning, consume these seeds and water empty stomach.
Gooseberry: Gooseberry or amla is one of the richest sources of antioxidant, Vitamin C. It stimulates the pancreas to secrete more insulin, thereby lowering the blood sugar levels.
1 tablespoon of gooseberry juice mixed with a cup of Bitter gourd juice is considered to be very effective in controlling Diabetes. If fresh gooseberry is not available, then 1 tablespoon of gooseberry powder can be taken with a glass of water.
Curry Leaves: Curry leaves contain minerals like copper, iron, zinc which plays a very important role in keeping blood glucose levels under control. According to a study published in the Journal of Plant Food and Nutrition, curry leaves not only help to lower the blood glucose levels immediately but also controls it for a few days after consumption.
10-12 fresh curry leaves / 1 tablespoon of curry leaf powder taken daily along with meals is very effective in reducing blood sugar levels.
Purslane Seeds: These seeds contain certain elements that increase body%u2019s production of insulin by stimulating the pancreatic beta cells, which in turn lowers the blood glucose levels.
1 teaspoon of Purslane seeds taken regularly with a ? cup of water for 2 months has a very beneficial effect on Diabetes.
Mango Leaves: While Mango fruit is not meant for the Diabetics, recent studies have shown that the aqueous extract of Mango Leaves significantly lowers the blood glucose levels in hyperglycemic individuals. The hypoglycemic effect of Mango leaves is due to the presence of some biologically active compounds that aid in the release of insulin from pancreatic beta cells.
Take 10-15 Mango leaves and soak them overnight in a glass of water. Drink this water next morning on an empty stomach at least 1 hour before the breakfast.
Alternatively, these leaves can also dry, powdered and stored in a container. ? teaspoon of dried mango leaf powder taken twice a day, preferably before lunch and Dinner, is very effective in controlling Diabetes by regulating insulin levels in the blood.
Flaxseeds: Flaxseeds have a low glycemic Index and contain both soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber helps to lower and stabilize blood sugar levels by slowing down the absorption of glucose from the small intestine. Studies have shown that a daily consumption of 10 grams of flaxseed for 2 months reduces the blood sugar level by almost 28%.
1-2 Tablespoon of flaxseed powder taken early morning on an empty stomach is helpful in lowering and stabilizing blood glucose levels. Alternatively, this powder can also be added to soups, gravies, breakfast cereals, flour etc.
Green Tea: The nutritional components of Green Tea helps in managing both type 1 and type 2 Diabetes. Green Tea has a high polyphenol content which has a strong antioxidant that helps in reducing the blood sugar levels.
Researchers have shown that people who drink more cups of green tea per day have better results than those who drink just a few. Try to include 2 or more cups of green tea in your daily routine.
Neem Leaves (Margosa): Neem leaves have been used for centuries to treat Diabetes. These leaves contain certain chemicals that stimulate insulin production in the beta cells of the pancreas. In addition to this, they also increase the blood circulation by dilating the blood vessels, thereby decreasing the risks of long-term complications of Diabetes like limb amputation. Studies indicate that regular intake of neem leaf extract reduces the need for insulin by 20-50%.
Chewing 8-10 neem leaves daily in the morning helps to lower blood glucose levels. Alternatively, take a handful of neem leaves, crush them to extract the juice. Take one tablespoon of this juice early morning on an empty stomach.
Papaya Leaves: Papaya leaves increase the efficiency of glucose uptake by the cells. Papaya leaf supplementation decreases the level of enzymes Alanine Aminotransferase and Aspartate Aminotransferase, the biomarkers of Non-Insulin Dependent Diabetes and improve insulin sensitivity. The antibacterial and antioxidant properties of the Papaya leaf help in faster wound healing of Diabetic patients and reduce the chances of long-term complications of Diabetes.
Papaya leaves are best consumed in the form of tea. Boil 10 Papaya leaves in 8 cups of water. Continue boiling till the water is reduced to half its original quantity. Cool, and consume in small doses throughout the day.
Bittergourd: Bitter gourd contain compounds that have a hypoglycemic effect. 1 glass of bitter gourd juice taken empty stomach early morning has proven to be very effective in bringing down blood sugar levels.
To extract the bitter gourd juice, de-seed 4-5 bitter gourds and extract the juice with a juicer. Drink this juice for at least 2 months.Alternatively, if the fresh bitter gourds are not available you can boil a few pieces of dried bitter gourd in a cup of water. Have this tea at least twice a day for lowering your blood sugar levels.
Aloe Vera: Aloe Vera contains a hypoglycemic factor, phytosterol and has proven to be useful in lowering the blood glucose levels in both Insulin Dependent and Noninsulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus patients.
1 tablespoon of aloe vera gel mixed with a ? teaspoon each of turmeric and bay leaf powder taken twice a day before lunch and dinner helps to lower blood glucose levels.
Cinnamon: Cinnamon contains certain bioactive compounds that can help fight and prevent Diabetes. Cinnamon also increases the gastric emptying time, thus preventing a sharp rise in postprandial blood sugar levels.
A ? teaspoon of cinnamon taken daily before meals is very effective in keeping blood sugar levels under control. Alternatively, Cinnamon powder can also be added to milk, coffee, tea or sprinkled on the salads and other dishes and consumed.
Lady Finger: Lady Finger is an excellent remedy for Diabetes. It is rich in magnesium, potassium, zinc, copper, vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin K and soluble fiber. Soluble fiber helps in lowering the blood sugar levels by slowing down the absorption of glucose from the intestine. Its seeds contain alpha-glucosidase inhibitors that prevent the conversion of starch into glucose.
Take 2 lady fingers and slit them from the bottom towards the stalk. Do not separate the two pieces; let them be joined at the top. Put them in a glass of water in the evening and leave it at room temperature during the night. Next morning, mash the lady fingers in the water, strain and drink the water as the first thing in the morning. Do not eat or drink anything for 30 minutes after taking this water. Do it on a regular basis and you will notice a remarkable reduction in your blood sugar levels in 2 weeks.
Apple Cider Vinegar: Apple cider vinegar contains some biologically active compounds that help in lowering postprandial blood sugar levels.
Mix a pinch of salt and 2 tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar in a glass of water. Take this regularly before every large meal.
Alfa-Alfa: This is one of the ancient herbal remedies for controlling Diabetes. Alfa Alfa is rich in vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients.
1 teaspoon of crushed alfa alfa seeds taken with or before meals helps in lowering and stabilizing blood sugar levels.
Ginger: Recent studies suggest that ginger contains compounds that not only increase insulin sensitivity in people with diabetes, but gingerols present in this spice also help increase glucose absorption even in the absence of insulin, thereby achieving a better control of blood glucose levels.
Add ginger to your tea or meals to control diabetes. However, best results are obtained if 1teaspoon of ginger juice is taken in raw form at any time during the day.
Basil Leaves: Basil leaves contain antioxidants and essential oils that help in lowering the blood sugar levels by stimulating the release of insulin by the pancreatic beta cells. Research has shown that a regular consumption of 2.5 grams of Basil leaves for 4 weeks reduces the fasting blood sugar levels by 17.6% and postprandial by 7.3%. To obtain maximum benefit these leaves must be consumed early morning on an empty stomach.
Chew 4-5 basil leaves or crush and extract 2 tablespoons of basil leaf juice and drink on an empty stomach in the morning. Alternatively, take 5 neem leaves and 5 basil leaves, crush them to a fine paste and consume it early morning on an empty stomach.
Bilberry Leaves Recent studies published by %u2018Journal of Nutrition%u2019 state that Bilberry leaves contain a high amount of anthocyanidin, an antioxidant that helps in lowering blood sugar levels by enhancing the action of various proteins involved in glucose transportation and fat metabolism.
Crush bilberry leaves and consumes 100 grams of this extract on an empty stomach. Alternatively, boil a handful of bilberry leaves in 4-5 cups of water. Simmer and leave it for half an hour. Cool and drink at least 2 cups of this tea a day to lower blood sugar levels.
Drumstick Leaves (Moringa): Drumstick Leaves are rich in photochemical and are very effective in lowering Glycosylated Hemoglobin Levels (HbA1c). The high fiber content of the leaves increases the satiety and helps in slowing the breakdown of food and lowering of blood glucose levels.
Take a few drumstick leaves and grind them to a fine paste with a little water. Strain to extract the juice. Drinking a ? cup of this juice every morning helps lowering blood sugar levels.
Guava Leaves: Guava leaf contains quercetin - a flavanoid that reduces the activity of enzyme alpha-glucosidase, which in turn reduces the blood sugar levels.
Boil 2-3 guava leaves in 2 cups of water for 15 minutes, cool and take it with meals for at least 3 months to see a remarkable decrease in your blood sugar levels.
Garlic: Garlic contains allicin, allyl propyl disulfide and S-allyl cysteine sulfoxide that increase the amount of insulin released in the body and regulate blood sugar levels.Studies suggest that garlic is very effective in increasing one%u2019s insulin content in the body and it also protects the heart from diabetes-induced cardiomyopathy.
Crush 2 medium size pods of garlic and eat it raw on an empty stomach as the first thing in the morning. Else you can also add it to your meals. But eating garlic in raw form has been found to be more effective in managing diabetes.
The above-mentioned remedies will only be effective if one follows a healthy lifestyle with regular exercise, no alcohol, high fiber diet and restricts his intake of simple carbohydrates.