India is said to be the diabetes capital of the world. With nearly 50 million people in India suffering from diabetes, the country has a big challenge to face. First, let’s know what is diabetes. The elevated sugar in the blood is called diabetes. There are two primary reasons behind diabetes – one is when our body stops producing insulin and second is when the body does not respond to insulin that is produced by the body. Insulin is broken down by the body and used as energy, which is transported to the cells. There are two types of diabetes – Type I diabetes and Type II diabetes. Let’s know about them in a little detail:
Type I diabetes
Type I diabetes usually occurs in people who are below the age 20 and that is why it is also called as juvenile diabetes. In this type, the body becomes partially or completely unable to produce insulin. Type I diabetes is an autoimmune disease. In this, your immune system attacks the pancreas from where the insulin is produced, thereby making the pancreas inefficient or unable to produce insulin. Type I diabetes cannot be prevented, it can only be controlled with healthy lifestyle changes.
Type II diabetes
Type II diabetes is more common than Type I diabetes in India. Type II diabetes usually happens to people who are above the age of 40. This type of diabetes is caused due to insulin resistance. In this case, the pancreas produces insulin but the body is not able to respond to it properly. There can be many reasons behind type II diabetes. Some of the reasons can be being overweight, high blood pressure, having a poor diet, taking too much stress, hormone imbalance, certain medications and leading a sedentary lifestyle. Though type II diabetes can be reversed.
Let’s us know some natural ways by which we can treat diabetes at home:
What not to eat:
There are some foods which can negatively impact your diabetes. So, the first thing you need to do is to remove these foods from your diet.
1. Refined sugar – We all know that sugar, until it is in its most natural form, is bad for people suffering from diabetes. When consumed, refined sugar spikes the blood sugar rapidly. Sometimes even the natural form like honey can cause a sudden spike in the blood sugar levels. So, it’s better to avoid refined sugar by all means if you are a diabetic.
2. Whole grains – Grains that have gluten in them should be avoided. Gluten is associated with diabetes as its intake can cause leaky gut leading to inflammation which in turn can lead to auto immune diseases.
3. Alcohol – Alcohol consumption is directly related to diabetes. Alcohol not only damages your liver but also attacks the pancreas that produces insulin. Diabetes is linked with consumption of heavy alcohol which is two to three glasses a day. Beer should especially be avoided as it has a lot of carbohydrates.
4. Cow’s milk – Just like whole grains, cow milk can trigger the immune system which can lead to inflammation. Milk coming from sheep and goat is not harmful in fact it helps to maintain the blood sugar level. But the conventional cow milk can be dangerous for you if you are suffering from diabetes.
5. GMO foods – GMO foods have the capability to promote diabetes along with causing liver and kidney diseases. Go for products which are labeled as GMO-free.
What to eat and do
Cinnamon contains a bioactive compound that can help to fight and prevent diabetes. Cinnamon is known to stimulate the insulin activity and thus regulate the blood sugar level. As excess of anything is bad, likewise cinnamon if taken in excess can increase the risk of liver damage due to a compound called coumarin present in it. The true cinnamon, not the one buy from shops (Cassia cinnamon) is safer to have.
How to consume cinnamon
– Mix half or one teaspoon of grounded cinnamon with warm water and have it once daily.
– Boil raw cinnamon in 2 glasses of water. Let it cool for 30 minutes and have it daily.
Aloe vera is easily found in Indian households. Though it’s bitter in taste, but combing it with buttermilk makes it taste better. Usually, aloe vera is used for beauty purposes but as it has anti-inflammatory properties it can heal the wounds. Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, it is said to control the blood sugar levels.
Jamun and its leaves have proven to be helpful in lowering the blood sugar levels. Consuming approximately 100 grams of Jamun every day is said to show tremendous improvement in your blood sugar levels.
Vitamin C is not only good for skin but also for diabetes. Recent studies have shown that consuming approximately 600 mg of Vitamin C daily can improve the blood sugar level significantly. People who have chronic diabetes should consume foods rich in Vitamin C every day. Some foods rich in Vitamin C are amla, orange, tomato and blueberry.
One of the main reasons behind type II diabetes is being overweight. Any kind of physical activity, be it yoga, Zumba, aerobics, gymming, playing sports can significantly improve blood sugar level by maintaining your weight. Not only this, walking every day can help to reduce the blood sugar level tremendously.