Diabetes is one of the most prevalent lifestyle disorders these days. People often consider diabetes a curse because they think it can be controlled, managed or treated only through drugs, medication and Insulin therapy. But the good news is, there are many natural ways to treat diabetes; and Yoga, Meditation and Diet control are few of them!
“HOW TO TREAT DIABETES NATURALLY?”
In this article, I will be talking about the current perception of Diabetes in India, various natural tretaments for Diabetes and Diet for Diabetes.
Perception of Diabetes in India
Recently I was on a trip to our village near Kanyakumari. The host and his wife expressed their concern about their health issues. The wife had hypertension for some time while the husband has been a diabetic for the last 7 years. The couple remarked in unison – “Diabetes and hypertension are like sisters – often they are inseparable”. I couldn’t but agree with them.
Also, diabetes runs in the genes. Those who are predisposed to diabetes must take extra care to delay the onset of the disease. Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to frequent urination, problems in eyesight, delay in healing of the wounds etc. So, if you are diagnosed with diabetes it is better to be prepared to fight it right from day one.
Whether it is thyroid, diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure), cholesterol or triglycerides, readers should remember that obesity is one of the main causes. If you are obese, then you develop other complications like the pain in the knee joints etc. However, if you can lose weight by counting your calories then almost 50% of the problems are solved.
Natural treatments for Diabetes exist!
There are many natural treatments for controlling diabetes. However, patients should remember that these are supplementary and cannot be relied on as the main source of treatment. There are patients who have no control over their weight or diet and believe that drugs alone will take care of the problem. If you only rely on drugs and ignore physical exercises or yoga, then the drug dosage will keep increasing over a period.
So, walking is the simplest and most effective way of controlling diabetes. A daily morning walk of 35 – 40 minutes can be effective in losing weight provided you eat right. Stay away from junk food and fatty foods loaded with oil and cholesterol. Skipping is also considered useful in burning calories. Yoga is a time-tested method for controlling blood sugar and blood pressure. Breathing exercises can lead to mental relaxation and ease blood pressure. The more relaxed you are, the more receptive you become to alternative healing treatments.
Bangalore-based diabetes specialist Dr Chetan (Rishabh Polyclinic) says that it is important to count your calories. Per day the calorie count should not exceed 1700 calories. If you start counting your calories using Google or “Duck Duck Go Go”, you will be surprised at the amount of calorie overload you are subjecting your body too.
Diet for diabetes
1. Fruits and Vegetables
- One can consume all kinds of fruits except bananas, chikoos and mangoes. Guava and Papaya are excellent fruits rich in fibre. Citrus fruits like oranges, sweet lime, fruits like pineapple, jackfruit, plums, muskmelon, and watermelon can be had in reasonable portions.
- Greens and salads are a must in the diet. Salads should be freshly prepared.
- Regular consumption of bitter gourd (karela) and jamun powder can also aid control of sugar in the blood.
2. Jamun the Savior?
- Jamun or Black plum is an important summer fruit, associated with many health and medicinal benefits. The black plum is known to relieve stomach pain. It is a carminative and diuretic. Black Plum vinegar is good to reduce enlargement of spleen, diarrhoea, and those having urine retention problems. Jamun is known to improve blood sugar control. This fruit is 82% water and 14.5% carbohydrates. It contains no sucrose and has a hypoglycemic effect that helps reduce blood and urine sugar levels. Besides the pulp, the seed of Jamun is also very beneficial in controlling diabetes.
3. What else on a regular diet?
- Rather than relying on soup powders available off the shelves in retail stores, prepare soups at home.
- Doing household chores can not only be a stress buster but can also burn your calories. You can munch on sunflower seeds (unsalted) while you are involved in daily chores.
- Replace white rice with brown rice or red rice rich in fibre and nutrients.
- Say goodbye to curd and say welcome to buttermilk.
- Opinion is divided about consumption of rice and its timing. Conventional wisdom says that one should avoid rice at night, but some doctors opine that eating moderate amounts of rice at night will lead to better digestion and effective distribution of calories.
- Indian menus are rich in terms of variety so why not exploit this aspect? Idli, Dosa, Upma, Poha ….the list of Indian tiffin items are endless.
4. Tea, Sugar, Millets and more
- Green tea and cinnamon tea are rejuvenating drinks that can help in controlling your blood sugar levels.
- Sugar can be replaced with brown sugar made from palm. However, patients should not make this into a habit. We all know the old adage that habits die hard. Some people start craving for sugar and end up having sugar free tablets. These tablets are not good for your body in the long run.
- Kodo millet is very rich in dietary fibre and protein in addition to all the general characteristics of millets – gluten-free, low glycemic index, high fibre. It has high antioxidant content and is highly beneficial for diabetics.
- Barnyard millet, foxtail millet, jowar and bajra are millets that are powerful in terms of calorie management. However, it is important to restrict consumption of millets to twice a week. Anything in excess can turn counterproductive.
- Dry fruits are excellent hunger suppressants. Figs taken in moderation won’t cause much harm but cashew nuts can be avoided. Almonds and Walnuts are musts in your diet. Two spoons of roasted and unsalted groundnuts can also be consumed to meet daily dietary needs.
- Daily consumption of flaxseed helps in weight loss.
- A homemade powder made from roasted black cumin seeds (50 gms), Ajwain (100 gms) and Fenugreek (Methi seeds) (250 gms) can be consumed morning and evening (dosage: 1 teaspoon).
- Homemade Bhel Puri can satiate hunger pangs.
- 1 teaspoon of fenugreek seeds soaked in curd overnight can regulate blood sugar levels.
5. Last but not the least
- Follow a diet plan and stick to it. Use a variety of vegetables and fruits in your diet.
- Stay away from fried foods, butter and other saturated fats.
- Spread your meals throughout the day rather than consuming at one go.
Physical exercises, yoga and meditation lead to beneficial effects that can last a lifetime. There are a lot of Yoga studios who provide special Yoga therapy for Diabetes.
So, along with a proper, well-controlled diet, if diabetics go for regular walks and practice yoga regularly then this will lead to proper control of the disease. It is prudent to remember that the more you lose weight naturally greater is the propensity for controlling lifestyle diseases like diabetes.
Never think that everything is lost when you have diabetes. Think of it as a new phase in your life wherein you need to pay greater attention to your body. There is nothing more charitable than loving yourselves.