The moment one is pronounced to have diabetes, long lists of medicines and an even longer list of do’s and don’ts show up. And then a diabetic is expected to be careful about what he/she eats, to control blood sugar levels, to get regular check-ups done and to indulge mild workouts. But along with these, there are certain basic home remedies which a diabetic must adhere to, in order to keep diabetes under control.
While the role of medicines in curing diabetes cannot be questioned, kitchen remedies provide extra benefits in maintaining the blood sugar levels. One cannot completely rely on home remedies, the key lies in benefitting from natural as well as medicinal methods for curing diabetes.
Here are some of the tried and tested, proven, facts about foods in your kitchen that can effectively lower your blood sugar levels:
Karela (bitter gourd)
Karela stimulates the pancreas to secrete insulin. The compound ‘gumarin’ in karela lowers blood glucose levels. Regular consumption of karela reduces craving for sweets. Also, it improves body resistance and helps prevent infections that diabetics are prone to. You can either have Karela as a cooked vegetable with meals or in the form of juice before meals. Karela powder or karela capsules are easily available at most ayurvedic pharmacies, which makes it easier to consume the otherwise bitter vegetable.
Dalchini stimulates the insulin receptors and improves the ability of diabetics to respond to insulin. It reduces sudden rise in blood sugar levels and also reduces the levels of bad cholesterol in the body, while maintaining the good cholesterol. Dalchini can be added to tea, coffee, orange juice, oatmeal, salads and most vegetable curries for health benefits and enhancing taste.
Vinegar consumed before a starchy meal, has been proved to reduce the rise in blood sugar levels in the body. The acidic nature of vinegar helps in slowing down the stomach emptying time, thereby reducing sugar spikes. Vinegar also keeps you full for longer. It contains chromium which helps increase insulin levels.
2 tsp of vinegar added as salad dressing, before meals can be good for health. Also, 2 tsp vinegar can also be added to water and taken. Apple cider vinegar gives best results. Lime juice though not as potent as vinegar can help to some extent.
Jamun, which is easily available in India, has minimum calories. The seed of Jamun contains a compound which lowers conversion of starch into sugar. The medicinal part of the fruit that helps in controlling diabetes is the seed. It can be taken either as a whole fruit or in the form of juice.
Methi contains an amino acid that initiates insulin release from the pancreas. It is an excellent source of soluble fibre, and slows down the stomach emptying time. 25 gms of fenugreek consumed before meals in two divided doses has been proved to reduce blood sugar levels. Also, 25 gms of methi can be soaked in water overnight and consumed in 2 parts before breakfast and dinner. It is easily available in powder and capsule forms too.
These natural remedial measures are safe and effective, but this does not mean putting a stop to the medicines prescribed by a qualified medical practitioner.
Along with home remedies and medicines, a diabetic patient must conform to a balanced diet, regular exercise and healthy living.