Diabetes is growing rapidly in India, with a whopping 72 million cases recorded in 2017 itself.
Characterized by frequent urination, fatigue, and nausea, diabetes can lead to dreadful health issues like cardiovascular disease, kidney damage, skin conditions, and even depression.
However, with healthy diet changes, it can be dealt with.
Here are five Ayurvedic foods (and some tips) to regulate your blood sugar levels.
Amla: A storehouse of nutrition, lowers blood sugar levels
Packed with Vitamin C, antioxidants, iron, and calcium, amla (Indian gooseberry) helps boost your overall health, and keeps the risk of dreadful health conditions at bay.
Further, according to studies, amla can help regulate blood sugar levels, and also make the body more responsive to insulin.
It also benefits your eyesight, skin health, immunity, and digestion.
Eat it fresh or prepare its juice.
Turmeric: Packed with anti-inflammatory properties; great for diabetics
An Ayurvedic superfood, turmeric is loaded with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, which are vital for managing diabetes, and other associated ailments.
Studies suggest that curcumin, an active compound found in turmeric may decrease levels of glucose in the blood, and also address other diabetes-related complications.
Add it in your dishes during preparation, or make yourself a nice glassful of turmeric milk.
Fenugreek: It slows down digestion, checks blood-sugar, improves insulin activity
Fenugreek (methi seeds) is considered great for keeping a check on blood sugar levels and improving insulin activity.
These seeds contain fiber that help in slowing down the digestion process and regulating absorption of carbohydrates and sugar.
Mix one teaspoon of fenugreek powder (methi dana powder) with lukewarm water, and drink early in the morning, everyday.
A daily dose of 10mg fenugreek is recommended.
Jamun and Bitter gourd (Karela)
Jamun: Jamun/the Indian blackberry is a top food for treating diabetes. Not only does it have amazing antioxidant properties, it also contains jamboline, a chemical which, according to studies, slows down the diastatic conversion of starch into sugars.
Karela: Apart from aiding weight loss and boosting skin, karela/bitter gourd is known to regular blood sugar levels and treat diabetes. Drink its juice regularly.
Foods to avoid: What diabetics shouldn't be eating
The food items that can cause a spike in insulin and blood sugar levels should be avoided. These include excessively sugary drinks (sodas/juices/sports drinks), processed foods, honey/maple syrup, sweetened yogurt, sugary coffee, white bread, pasta, and breakfast cereals (with added sugars), among others.
If you're a diabetic, follow these essential diet tips
Here are some handy diet tips that can help control diabetes:
1) Incorporate more of whole grains and fiber into your diet. Peas, beans, oats, and barley are all good options.
2) Foods with moderate amount of carbohydrates should be preferred.
3) Break your daily diet into smaller portions. And never skip meals.
4) Cut down on saturated fats and high-fat dairy food items.