Diabetes is a lifestyle disease that has reached alarming proportions today.In the last three decades, the number of Americans diagnosed with diabetes has tripled.
Diabetes can be prevented or reversed, if diagnosed early on, througha proper diet and adequate exercise. If left untreated, it may lead to blindness, heart disease and several other complications. It is therefore very important to manage the disease by keeping blood sugar levels in control. There are several natural ways of doing this, the first and foremost being altering one’s diet. A plant based diet has lower fat, higher fibre and antioxidants and is highly recommended.
Here are a few natural methods to control diabetes:
- Reduce your sugar intake. Replace sodas with water and green tea. Green tea has enzymes that help to increase insulin activity in the body and slow down the digestion of carbohydrates.
- It is best to avoid refined carbohydrates and instead choose whole grains such as corn, oats, millets, barley, etc. Include beans, peas and lentils in your diet.
- Eat plenty of vegetables – greens are particularly helpful. Avoid potatoes and replace them with sweet potatoes, yams, and squashes.
- Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, limes help control blood sugar levels naturally. However, avoid fatty fruits like avocado and olives and excessively sweet fruits like pineapple. A handful of nuts added to the diet help control blood glucose levels. Nuts contain good fats that are essential for heart health.
- Several plant extracts have been known to have anti-diabetic properties, for example, febugreek seeds, neem leaves, aloe vera. Stevia has leaves that are naturally sweet and is an excellent substitute for sugar.
- Regular exercise is crucial in maintaining a healthy weight. Obesity is a major cause of diabetes. A minimum of 150 minutes of exercise a week is a must.
- Stress can have a negative impact on health in general and diabetes in particular. A good sleep and relaxation techniques like meditation, pranayama, listening to soothing music are very much recommended.