Diabetes can be described as a disease that is directly connected to the blood glucose levels of the body. In this case, the blood sugar level is extremely high, and this causes disorderliness in the body systems.
Ordinarily, the body is expected to digest and break down foods into essential glucose and circulate it to the body cells throughout the system of the body. The final product of the glucose is energy, and the cells carry out the work through a hormone called insulin. However, if the body doesn’t produce required insulin to process the glucose, the blood sugar tends to rise.
There are two types of diabetes namely; type 1 and type 2. The cases of diabetes have recently become a thing of concern as they are on the increase now and then. According to a report by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) in 2015, India is one of the top three countries with the highest diabetic population with about 69.1 million. This has brought up concerns for its treatments and prevention.
Just like the other diseases, healthy diet and nutrition have been observed to be the answer to diabetic treatment and prevention. Going by Dr. Rahul Dogra of the Kairali Ayurvedic Group’s saying, it states that “diet planning is the keystone of diabetic management.” This has brought up this content to discuss some of these foods that can help and effectively checkmate diabetes.
5 Ayurvedic Foods for Diabetes
If you are diabetic patients, foods that are low in sugar and high in fiber are highly recommended to reduce better and control your blood glucose levels. Below are 5 Ayurvedic foods that can keep diabetes at bay:
Bitter Gourd (Karela)
Bitter gourd with botanical name “Momordica charantia” is also known as bitter melon or karela. It is a well-known vegetable and medicines which usually grows in the Asian countries. It belongs to Cucurbitaceae family, and its health benefits cannot be over-emphasized especially in treating diabetes. (Read Ayurveda Health Benefits of Bitter Gourd or Bitter Melon (Karela) )
Ayurveda claims that consuming raw bitter gourd offers more health benefits than other forms. Apart from its effectiveness for treatment of diabetes, adding bitter melon in your diet also helps in fighting acne and other skin conditions. Bitter melon as it is usually called; helps keep diabetes at bay by preventing the absorption of glucose. This has been the most significant use of bitter gourd, and diabetic patients keep using it to reduce the blood sugar level to checkmate different types of diabetes. It can now be found in various forms such as tea, extracts, juice, and pills.
Turmeric is one of the important Ayurvedic medicinal foods that have been found useful for type 2 diabetic diseases. (Read Ayurveda Medicinal Properties of Turmeric (Haldi) ). It is naturally equipped with different medicinal properties for the treatment of diabetes. Turmeric is originated from its root, and apart from its effectiveness for diabetes, it is widely known for many health benefits such as pain relief and other disease prevention. Turmeric can be effectively used in diabetes by adding a pinch of turmeric in milk. (Read Benefits of Drinking Turmeric Milk )
Curcumin is the active component in the turmeric that is responsible for its medicinal benefits in Ayurveda's system of medicine. Many studies have suggested that this component in the turmeric is capable of reducing the blood glucose level, cholesterol, and as well as effective for other diabetes-related conditions. Another research also suggests that curcumin contained in turmeric added to diet plays an important role in stabilizing the level of blood glucose and helps manage diabetes.
Cinnamon is one of the Ayurveda spices extracted from the inner part of the bark of cinnamon trees. (Read Ayurveda Health Benefits of Cinnamon ) It is usually grown in the tropical region of South America, Caribbean, and South Asia. It is one of the best medicinal herbs but not popularly known among its medical peers.
Cinnamon contains antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties which have been found helpful to diabetic patients. Out of many types of cinnamon, Ceylon cinnamon is the most effective for the regulation of blood glucose which is responsible for diabetes. It does it by reducing the body’s resistance to insulin as well as minimizing the overall body cholesterol levels of the people with diabetes. Based on principles of Ayurveda this herb has hot potency and also helps in reduction of body fat. It normalises metabolism and prevents indigestion. Reduce in body fat immensely help in controlling blood sugar level. Hence ayurvedic doctors at Moolika Ayurveda have preferably added cinnamon in NILOBESE Ayurvedic Herbal Weight Loss Tea .
Cinnamon can be in powder form like spices or as a supplement to be taken as directed by physicians. A clinical trial has shown that 1 or 3 or 6 gram for 40 days can lower triglyceride, serum glucose, and bad cholesterol. An Agricultural Research Magazine report also showed that a daily consumption of 1- 6 gram of cinnamon could improve the sensitivity of insulin to help treat and prevent type 2 diabetes.
Ginger is an Asian ingredient of the Zingiber officinale plant that composes of useful properties to benefit people with diabetes. The rhizome or root of a ginger plant can be processed and consumed in powdered form, fresh, or dried like spices or as juice or oil form.
The unique benefit of ginger unlike the other foods used for treating diabetes is its ability to control blood glucose and produce glucose without building on insulin.
Apart from regulating blood sugar, ginger root has also been researched to help bronchitis, nausea, menstrual, and heartburn symptoms. Spicing your foods with ginger has been studied to benefit people with diabetes by lowering the blood glucose levels. Research shows that two various ginger’s derivative such as oily extract and spissum have direct interaction with serotonin receptors to overturn their impacts on insulin. This treatment has achieved about 35% reduction in blood sugar level and 10% plasma insulin levels increment. (Also read Ayurveda Health Benefits of Ginger)
Okra is another Ayurveda food that can help minimize levels of blood sugar and control different types of diabetes. It is popularly known as ladies fingers, and it consists of essential elements including polyphenolic molecules that are useful for blood sugar (glucose) levels reduction. (Read Health Benefits of Lady Finger or OKRA )
Okra has been studied to contain anti-hyperlipidermic and anti-diabetic properties to treat and prevent diabetes. It can be prepared differently but for effective treatment of diabetes, ends of okras are cut off and prick by a fork in a plate. Then, soak in a jar or glass of water (depending on the quantity) overnight to extract the needed properties from it. In the next morning, filter the content and drink the liquid on an empty stomach before eating anything. Consumption of this okra water every day for several weeks has been researched to reduce blood glucose levels and keep your diabetes at bay. Incorporating okras in your diet will also go a long way in regulating your blood sugar levels.
Diabetes, as well as other diseases, requires sticking to a healthy and nutritional diet, adhering to a good sleeping pattern, regular exercise, and keeping healthy lifestyles. However, healthy diet has been studied to be most effective that shouldn’t be compromised because this is what is going into our stomach and this is one of the important means of gaining energy and keeping ourselves fit.
Many Ayurveda foods are good for one disease or the other. Some of these foods have been discussed in this article to prevent and treat diabetes. When your blood glucose level is checkmated, diabetes disease is controlled in the process. Take a giant step and try these foods as suggested and you will see the positive result.
Dr.Savitha Suri is an ayurvedic Consultant Physician. She has an experience of 26 years in the field of ayurveda. The content is copyrighted to Dr.Savitha Suri and may not be reproduced on other websites. You can contact her for free online ayurvedic consultations at email@example.com
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