Home Remedies For Diabetes
- Tap the hypoglycemic effects of bitter melon
- Improve insulin sensitivity and lower fasting serum glucose levels with cinnamon
- Boost glucose metabolism with Indian gooseberry or amla
- Leverage the hypoglycemic activity of mango leaves extract
- Lower blood sugar and glycosylated hemoglobin with turmeric
Natural home remedies offer a gentler way to manage diabetes. By including non-starchy, low-carb foods in your diet, you can fight type 2 diabetes. Additionally, give berries, lean fish, and walnuts a try. You can also opt for ayurvedic remedies like bitter gourd, amla, turmeric, and mango leaves, which are proven hypoglycemic agents. Larder staples like cinnamon and apple cider vinegar can improve insulin sensitivity. A low-fat vegan diet can also help with glycemic control.
Being a type 2 diabetic doesn’t have to mean a lifetime of dependence on medication. In fact, if you’ve only been diagnosed as being prediabetic, lifestyle modifications alone could help cut your risk of developing full-blown type 2 diabetes by as much as 58%. Besides that, how about giving some home and natural remedies a shot? They may help you gain better blood sugar control and improve insulin sensitivity. What’s best is many of these remedies are easy to implement – all you need is a little care and the right knowledge.
As we all know, juicy, red apples are not only delicious but also healthy. If you are diabetic, apples are one the best fruits you can eat. Since apples have a low glycemic index of 38, they don’t raise your blood glucose level. Also, apples are high in soluble fiber, which slows down digestion. The slow digestion prevents you from eating between meals or overeating, thereby preventing spikes in your blood sugar levels. Several studies observe that apple consumption is generally associated with a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Eat half an avocado every day to reduce your risk of diabetes.
Diabetes tends to lower the amount of “good” fats in your blood and increase the amount of “bad” fats. For this reason, experts suggest that 25–25% of your daily calories be met by fats. While saturated fats aren’t good for you, it’s important that you include healthy fats like monounsaturated foods like avocados in your diet. However, moderate your intake of avocados, as consuming excessive potassium – a nutrient that avocados are rich in – can be as dangerous as consuming too little.
3. Bitter Melon
Known as “karela” in India, this medicinal plant is used to treat diabetes mellitus in Ayurveda. Bitter gourd or bitter melon has been found to lower blood glucose levels in those with type 2 diabetes. Studies and trials have found the juice, dried powder, and fruit to all have moderate hypoglycemic effects. Bitter melon components are even believed to have structural similarities to insulin in animals.
Bitter melon reduces blood glucose as effectively as standard diabetes drugs.
Both fresh and dried fruit extract powders have been found to reduce blood glucose in animal test subjects. The effectiveness of the aqueous extract powder of fresh unripe whole fruits has been comparable to a synthetic glucose-lowering drug – and without any apparent side effects.
Beans are high-protein, low-fat foods that contain complex carbohydrates and fiber, which are not easily digested by the body. This long digestion period prevents blood sugar spikes and keeps your blood sugar levels steady. Beans also have a low glycemic index, so the carbohydrates present in them will not significantly raise your blood sugar levels. Including lentils in the diet can also reduce your risk of coronary heart disease that could occur as a result of diabetics.
If recent studies are anything to go by, vitamin A deficiency could have a role to play in type 2 diabetes. Carrots, which are rich in vitamin A, could help treat the deficiency. Beta-carotene –the pigment that gives carrots its delightful orange color – is converted to vitamin A within your body. The vitamin is a powerful antioxidant that can treat diabetic individuals that have a vitamin A deficiency.Vitamin A Deficiency May Be Involved in Type 2 Diabetes, Researchers Say. Weill Cornell Medicine.[/ref]
Furthermore, carrots are foods with a low-glycemic index. The carbohydrates in carrots do not cause a sudden or a rapid rise in your blood glucose level, thus benefitting people with type 2 diabetes. Go for raw carrots as their glycemic index is lower than the cooked ones.
6. Non-Starchy Vegetables: Broccoli, Zucchini, And Spinach
Aim to eat at least 3 portions of non-starchy vegetables every day.
Non-starchy vegetables are high in fiber and low in carbs. The fiber in these vegetables isn’t digested by your body and hence, it does not raise your blood sugar levels, as opposed to other carbohydrates. The vegetables also protect your blood vessels from the damage caused by diabetes. Furthermore, the fiber in these vegetables can facilitate weight loss, as they are devoid of calories. And as we know, weight management plays an important role in the treatment of type 2 diabetes.
Plus, cruciferous vegetables – particularly broccoli sprouts – contain a natural compound called sulforaphane. This compound is observed to possess glucose-lowering properties. Interestingly, one study noted that sulforaphane is beneficial to only those diabetic individuals whose condition has been poorly managed. So, a patient whose diabetes is well-controlled might experience no changes in their blood sugar levels after eating cruciferous vegetables.
7. Whole Grains: Oats, Quinoa, And Whole Wheat Bread
Unlike refined grains, whole grains like oats, brown rice, and whole wheat bread are good for those with diabetes. Whole grains improve insulin sensitivity, improve blood sugar metabolism, and prevent blood sugar spikes. A study that surveyed 160,000 women revealed that those who received 3–4 servings of whole grains every day were 30% less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than the ones who didn’t.
However, in people with certain genetic variations in the gene SLC30A4, while the pigment beta-carotene reduces the risk of diabetes, gamma tocopherol – a common form of vitamin E – present in whole grains is associated with a higher risk of type 2 diabetes. But a large-scale research is required to study how these genes affect a person’s risk of contracting a disease.
8. Lean Fish: Flounder, Cod, And Sole
Lean fish are high in protein but low in fat. Proteinaceous foods facilitate weight loss and thus, manage type 2 diabetes. One study found that lean fish is associated with a decreased risk of type 2 diabetes. But the beneficial properties were observed only in lean fish and not fatty fish. However, just eating fish won’t do the trick; along with consuming fish, you also need to follow a low-carb diet and exercise regularly.
9. Unsweetened Soy
To control diabetes, eat unsweetened soy products, but avoid the sweetened ones. Unsweetened soy is usually a component of vegan milk. However, buy the product only if its label reads “unsweetened soy.”
Unsweetened soy products contain a group of phytoestrogens called isoflavones, which can alter insulin resistance and prevent the progression of type 2 diabetes. This especially holds true for postmenopausal women. However, sweetened soy products may actually increase the risk of diabetes.
Walnuts and other tree nuts are rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are known to improve insulin sensitivity and control type 2 diabetes. Studies suggest that walnut consumption is inversely proportional to the risk of developing type 2 diabetes When consumed in moderation, they may also aid weight loss and thereby help with diabetes management.
11. Mango Leaves Extract
Though the mango is a sweet fruit and to be had with caution by diabetics, mango leaf helps lower blood glucose by producing more insulin.
The mango tree, native to South Asia and India, has medicinal applications in ayurveda. Studies have revealed that extracts of mango leaf extract can reduce the absorption of glucose by your intestine and in turn, lower blood glucose levels in the blood. The extract can also reduce the effects of diabetes by stimulating the β-cells in your pancreas to boost insulin release.
12. Indian Gooseberry Or Amla
This tart green berry is popular in the Indian subcontinent and is a commonly used remedy in ayurveda. Indian gooseberry can improve your glucose metabolism due to its hypoglycemic (blood-sugar-lowering) properties. Its antidiabetic effects have been attributed to its free radical scavenging properties and antioxidant action.
Amla can treat various diabetes-related conditions affecting the heart, kidney, and nerves.
Amla may also help prevent hyperglycemia (a condition characterized by abnormally high levels of glucose in the blood) and reduce complications arising due to diabetics. It has also been found to help lower damage to the kidney, nerves, and heart – all of which plague diabetics and are responsible for many medical complications they grapple with.
13. Fenugreek Seeds
You can have soaked or sprouted fenugreek seeds or roast and powder them. You may even try fenugreek tea to lower insulin resistance.
You can reduce insulin resistance and improve your glycemic control with the help of exotic spice/seed fenugreek. Having the extract for a couple of months alongside regular treatment improved glycemic control and lowered insulin resistance of test subjects with type 2 diabetes. Fenugreek seeds have many other benefits for your health.
You can improve your insulin sensitivity and keep your blood sugar in check by adding a little cinnamon to your daily diet. It can not only help prevent insulin resistance but also ward off type 2 diabetes and keep you from developing metabolic syndrome.
Cinnamon improves insulin sensitivity and can lower fasting blood glucose by up to 29% in 40 days.
One study found that daily intake of 3 gm of cassia cinnamon on average brought down fasting glucose numbers by 10.3% in just 4 months. Other research has found that intake of anywhere from 1 to 6 gm of cassia cinnamon powder for as little as 40 days can bring down the fasting serum glucose level 29 percent.
Turmeric has been seen to reduce HbA1c and blood glucose levels. Keep adding it to all your cooked food.
Haldi or turmeric, a golden yellow spice used in Asian cooking, helps lower oxidative stress experienced by the body. Tests have shown the ability of curcumin, the active component of turmeric, to also lower blood sugar and levels of glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) – another indicator of how much in control your diabetes really is over the last 3 months.
16. Apple Cider Vinegar
Have apple cider vinegar mixed with water before meals to use up blood glucose efficiently.
Apple cider vinegar is especially useful to those who are prediabetic or trying to prevent type 2 diabetes. If you have been told you have insulin sensitivity, taking about 20 gm of apple cider vinegar dissolved into water before meals can improve your post-meal insulin sensitivity.
A common myth surrounding diabetes is that sweet fruits increase the progression of the disease. While the fructose present in fruits doesn’t particularly affect your blood sugar levels, it’s the fruit juice you should beware of. Whole fruits like berries – cranberry, blueberry, and raspberry – are, in fact, good for diabetics.
Berries, especially blueberries, are rich in antioxidants called anthocyanins, which might have a role to play in reducing insulin levels. Most studies observe that consumption of berries is associated with improved insulin resistance and a lower risk of diabetes. However, it’s important to note that the results are not consistent across studies and warrant further research.
Also Try A Low-Fat Vegan Diet
Going vegan and consuming low-fat food may not be something everyone’s willing to consider, but the results may be worth it. Research has shown that people with type 2 diabetes who switched to a low-fat vegan diet experienced an improvement in their glycemic control and lipid control. The latter is a promising sign since a leading cause of mortality among diabetics is cardiovascular disease.
- Eat a plant-based diet where you derive your proteins and fats from sources like nuts, seeds, legumes, beans, and tofu.
- Cut out refined carbs and include a lot of high-fiber foods that have a low glycemic index.