Diabetes mellitus, commonly known as type 1 diabetes is a condition where an individual has a deficiency of insulin (a hormone produced by the pancreas). People with this kind of diabetes often have high levels of sugar and starch in their urine and blood owing to the fact that these substances are not properly used by the body in the absence of insulin. Often becoming insulin dependent (where they have to inject themselves with insulin on a daily basis), people with this disease are prone to various complications including diabetic foot, cardiovascular diseases, convulsions and coma. India is quickly becoming the diabetic capital of the world and with diabetes mellitus being one of the most common forms of diabetes that people suffer from, here are eight common kitchen ingredients that can be used to control the condition and prevent its onset in people who are prone to the disease.
Bitter gourd or karela:
Rich in plant insulin-polypeptide-P, a bio-chemical that is useful in reducing blood sugar, karela is the perfect vegetable when it comes to controlling diabetes, especially diabetes mellitus. While you should include this vegetable in as many dishes as possible, Dr HK Bhakru suggests having the juice of four karelason an empty stomach, first thing in the morning. This juice should be made sans seeds. If you do not want to waste the seeds you could crush them into a powder and sprinkle it on food as a way to incorporate the vegetable’s goodness into your meals.
Aamla or Indian gooseberry:
Packed with vitamin C, aamla is an elixir for diabetics. According to Dr HK Bhakru, having a tablespoon ofaamla juice mixed with a cup of karela juice on a regular basis can help stimulate the proper functioning of the islets of Langerhans (the group of cells responsible for the production of insulin) and keep your blood sugar under control.
Jambul fruit or jamun:
Known as a very potent home remedy against diabetes, jamun is great for diabetics as it helps the pancreas function optimally. Apart from that, not only is the fruit useful for diabetics, but even its seeds help lower blood sugar. The fruits contain a glucoside called jamboline, which mitigates the conversion of starch into sugar in cases where there are already high levels of glucose in one’s blood. To use this fruit, take the seeds of the fruit, dry them and crush them. Add one teaspoon of this powder to one cup of milk, water or a cup of curd and have this mixture twice a day. To make this medicine even more potent mix the powder ofjamun seeds, with powdered aamla and karela seeds. Have a teaspoon of this mixture once or twice everyday to check the progress of diabetes.
Also known as angora in hindi, this is a fruit that looks somewhat like an orange, but has a reddish interior. According to Dr Joe Shelby Riely, nutritionist, grapefruits are the perfect medicine for people with diabetes and those who have a risk of suffering from the disease. He suggests eating three of these fruits on a daily basis to keep your sugar levels in check and prevent the onset of diabetes. As an added bonus, this fruit also helps you lose weight, a common precursor for diabetes.
Or methi is another common fruit that is great for people with diabetes. The tiny seed contains galactomannan, a natural soluble fibre that slows down the rate of sugar absorption into blood. Apart from that, fenugreek also contains amino acids responsible for inducing the production of insulin. According to Dr HK Bhakru, when 25 to 100g of fenugreek seeds are administered on a daily basis to a person suffering from diabetes, it’s innate components help diminish hyperglycaemia (when a person’s blood sugar levels are extremely high) in diabetic patients. What’s more, the patient’s glucose, serum cholesterol and triglycerides are also significantly reduced. One great way to have this seed, is to use it as seasoning in your food. Another great way is to soak 25g of the seeds in water overnight and to drink this water first thing in the morning.
Also known as chickpeas, Bengal gram is great to lower glucose levels in a diabetic patient. Experiments have shown that even drinking the water that these peas have been soaked in overnight helps to enhance the utilisation of glucose in diabetic patients. This tip is also useful for people who have a high risk of suffering from the disease as well. The basic science behind the use of Bengal gram for diabetic patients is the fact that the seed’s components help lower the patient’s dependence on insulin. In a study performed at the Central Food Technology Research Institute, Mysore, researchers found that making Bengal gram a staple inclusion in a diabetic’s diet helped lower a number of major factors including their level of fasting blood sugar, glucose tolerance, urinary excretion of sugar and overall health.
Black gram or kala chana:
This is especially good in cases where a person’s diabetes has not become chronic and is at the beginning stages. All you need to do is add two table spoons of germinated black gram to half a cup of freshly made karela juice. Add a spoon of honey to the mix and have this on a daily basis. Once a day should suffice.
Tender mango leaves are extremely useful for diabetics as they help the pancreas function optimally. This also helps maintain a person’s blood sugar levels. In order to use this remedy, take about 15g of fresh leaves and soak them in about 250ml of water overnight. The next morning, squeeze them well in the water and filter the mixture. Now, drink this filtrate every morning on an empty stomach. This remedy is also very beneficial for those suffering from pre-diabetes.
Disclaimer: These are only home remedies and should not be used in place of a doctors advice. Please visit a doctor for a proper diagnosis and treatment.
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