Come festive season and every diabetes patient is secretly unhappy at having to restrain themselves from eating those mouth watering sweets. If you are one of them, here’s your plan B for eating those sweets to your heart’s fill!
Below is a list of common and/or readily available foods that help you with managing various conditions related to diabetes at home.
1. Bitter gourd (Karela)
This bitter veggie used widely in Japanese and Indian food is a real sweetheart for diabetics. It has been clinically proven to reduce blood glucose levels significantly within 6 hours of consumption, in highly reviewed human trails.
Ideal for: Gulping down a cup of fresh juice before/after a heavy carb-eating session.
2. Turmeric (Haldi)
This daily used spice from Asian diet has long been used in Ayurveda as a maintenance drug in diabetes and cardiac disorders. Now, it has been found in multiple animal trials, that it can induce a sustained reduction in blood glucose levels and increase HDL (the ‘healthy’ cholesterols) at an optimal dose of 200 mg/kg body weight. In practice, even a 2 to 5 gram daily morning dose in an adult human is sufficient to give you remarkable and safe results at home.
Ideal for: Daily supplementary maintenance for prediabetics, and with medication for diabetics.
3. Indian Gooseberry (Amla)
The richest source of Vitamin C is the king of all natural antioxidants. It is the best natural way of preventing oxidative stress and protecting your blood vessels, heart and kidneys from the secondary damaging consequences of diabetes. Also being a very good rejuvenant, it has a very good impact on overall longevity and wellness.
Ideal for: Daily supplementation in equal dose in combination with turmeric.
4. Black Plum (Jamun)
This wild tree found mostly in the Asian and American tropics is a real boon for insulin dependent diabetics, as it gives strong insulin-mimicking action on the peripheral tissue intake of glucose, leading to rapid lowering of blood sugar levels within an hour of consumption. All parts of the tree can serve the purpose more or less; fruit is the easiest and safest available, fresh leaves are recommended for use in traditional medicine as a maintenance dose, seed is the most efficacious part used in actual medical treatment.
Ideal for: All diabetics, specially insulin dependent patients.
5. Chili pepper
Is it really that simple? Yes, atleast for those suffering from numb fingers and feet (peripheral diabetic neuropathy) due to diabetes. Chili stained oil (Sesame/coconut oil boiled with red chills in it), a centuries old remedy used in many countries has recently been clinically tested and proven to be very effective when applied locally in diabetes induced numbness and neuralgia. Oral formulations containing chili are also used in practice for severe cases, but those are out of the scope of home remedies.
Ideal for: Diabetic patients suffering from numbness/tingling of hands and feet.
6. Bael (Aegle marmalos)
<Warning: Geek stuff ahead>
The leaves and fruit of this common tropical tree contain enzyme analogs that act at multiple stages of glucose phosphorylation and gluconeogenesis pathways, enhancing peripheral utilization of glucose, correcting impaired hepatic glycolysis and limiting gluconeogenic formation.
<End of Geek stuff>
Simply put, it helps the body consume the circulating blood glucose faster, and restricts letting out of excess fresh glucose into the blood. It can be consumed in the form of fresh leaf decoction or fruit jam (made just like any other fruit jam).
Ideal for: All diabetic patients.
7. Neem (Azadirachta indica)
The leaves and seed oil of this tree widely distributed in South Asia contain active constituents that have been shown to lower blood glucose in hyperglycemic and normal animals in research trials. This property has been known and used by traditional physicians since as back as 3rd millennium BCE. Though there is not much review evidence available from human trials in diabetes control, you can safely try it out with dozens of other proven benefits, such as antiviral/antimalarial/antibacterial protection, cholesterol control and hair repigmentation. Beware, however, that it exerts significant reversible suppressive action on both male and female sex hormones. So if you are already suffering from decreased libido, menstrual disturbances or other uro-genital / hormonal problems, you should consult a practitioner of herbal medicine before starting this one.
Surprisingly, this all rounder medicinal wonder hasn’t been approved as much useful in diabetes, although several traditional systems of medicine claim so. Still, owing to its excellent cholesterol reducing and capillary strengthening properties, it is a very good adjunct for people having atherosclerosis, hypertension or cardiac disorders secondary to diabetes mellitus.
Ideal for: Diabetics having / prone to cardio-vascular disorders.
No, we are not out of our minds. What we are talking about here, is the seed cotyledon (core of the seed) and the leaves, not the fruit. Believe it or not, mango seed is an important ingredient of the patent hypoglycemic drug Ayush-82 developed by the premier research body Central Council for Research in Ayurveda and Siddha, New Delhi. In combination with Jamun, Gudmaar and Neem seeds, it yields sustained results with significant lowering of HbA1c levels in clinical settings. So, next time you feel hesitant eating a mango, just devour it whole with the seed as well! (Joke intended: the seed carp can’t be eaten even if you try to; the author won’t be responsible for any broken teeth or scarred gums arising out of it 🙂 ).
Ideal for: Consumption along with Jamun and/or Neem.
So folks, that’s all for today! Go ahead, enjoy the festive season, eat your hearts out, just remember the advice and stay one step ahead of diabetes in all your endeavors.
Stay healthy, stay happy!
If you have any further queries or comments, feel free to post them in the comment box below, or on the About/Ask page.
About the Author – Read more about Dr. Harshad Rajandekar here.
Disclaimer – The information contained in this article is solely meant for educational and informative purposes only. Nothing contained in this article is intended to be used or interpreted as medical advice or replacement to medical advice.