Diabetes is one of those health conditions, which cannot be cured, but can be managed well; be it through engaging in exercises, eating a healthy diet or medications. Ayurveda also suggests some herbs that can be effective in managing this condition well. One of the most popularly used herbs is vijaysar that is known to help regulate blood sugar levels. Scientifically termed as Pterocarpus Marsupium, vijaysar is well known as Malabar kino and Indian kino and is indigenous to Sri Lanka, India and Nepal. This herb is widely used in Ayurveda for its therapeutic and healing properties. Let's look at how vijaysar helps in maintaining your blood sugar levels and manage diabetes well.
Vijaysar Benefits: How Vijaysar helps in managing diabetes?
It is said that the anti-hyperlipdemic properties of vijaysar tree help reduce total cholesterol, low-density lipo-protein and serum triglyceride levels in the body. It also tends to reduce symptoms of diabetes like frequent urination, overeating and burning sensation in limbs. According to Ayurveda Expert, Dr. Ashutosh Gautam, "Vijaysar can used in the form of utensils like glass, or internally as powder, tablet and capsules. It improves insulin sensitivity, peripheral utilisation of glucose, GLUT4, Hepato glycogen levels, which ultimately reduce blood sugar levels."
According to Ayurveda expert Dr. Ram N Kumar from NirogStreet, "Vijaysar is native to India and found mostly in Indian subcontinent. Vijaysar found in western ghat jungles are considered good for controlling Prameha (Diabetes). Vijaysar increases digestive agni and increases insulin production in body. It is easy to take Vijaysar; cut into small pieces and put it into water, the colour of the water would change to red. Drink it in the morning before breakfast. The same wood can be used twice."
How to use vijaysar for diabetes?
1. It is believed that in olden times, Ayurveda gurus used blocks or pieces of vijaysar wood to control diabetes. It is said to be a time-tested method of managing blood sugar levels. Nowadays, it is more easily available in the form of powder, tablets and supplements. Here's how you can use vijaysar to control diabetes:
2. Vijaysar wood tumblers are available; all you need to do is to add some water in the tumbler overnight. The tumbler will turn the water into reddish brown colour and have a neutral taste. Drink it the morning on an empty stomach. Tumblers made of vijaysar wood are said to last upto 40-45 days.
3. You could simply soak a piece of vijaysar wood in water overnight and drink the water first thing in the morning to regulate diabetes.
4. You could also have vjiaysar in the form of tablets and powder with water.
Please note: In case you are a diabetic and have been advised to take medications, make sure you consult your diabetologist, as having medication and vijaysar together may significantly drop your blood sugar levels.
Blood sugar levels in the body maybe affected the most by your diet. Following a healthy diet, rich in complex carbohydrates, vegetables, as well as fruits with low glycaemic index, is essential for people suffering from diabetes or pre-diabetes. It is crucial for diabetics to replace processed carbohydrates from junk foods with healthy carbohydrates from whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Usually, it is advised that diabetics must avoid starch in their daily diets as it can lead to sudden spikes in levels of blood sugar. This is because simple starches are easily absorbed and digested and release glucose instantly in the blood. However, there is a type of starch that diabetics can benefit from - resistant starch.
Diabetes: What Is Resistant Starch?
Resistant starch is a type of starch that is not easily digested in the upper digestive tract and consequently a small part of it remains in the gut unchanged. This functions as sustenance for the bacteria in the large intestine, resulting in benefits for the body. It results in growth of helpful bacteria in the gut as well as leads to release of short chain fatty acids, which are essential for colon health. There are a number of different types of resistant starch as well. Some types can be consumed through dietary sources, while some others are synthetically manufactured via chemical processes. The main benefit of resistant starch comes from the fact that it is soluble and fermentable fibre.
Benefits Of Resistant Starch For Diabetics
Resistant starch is important for feeding the cells lining your colon. However, it is also said to have a number of powerful health benefits, including improving insulin sensitivity in diabetes patients. Here's how resistant starch can help diabetes patients:
1. Improves Glucose Metabolism
Meals with resistant starch in them have been said to reduce blood sugar spikes after the meal. Resistant starch has also been known to improve the body's responsiveness to the hormone insulin, which is responsible for metabolising sugars and keeping blood sugar levels under check. A 2010 study, published in the journal Diabetic Medicine, concluded that consuming resistant starch improved insulin sensitivity in metabolic syndrome patients.
2. Aides Weight Loss
Foods rich in resistant starch tend to be low in calories. Resistant starch has been shown to promote feelings of satiety or fullness, thus, keeping hunger pangs at bay and aiding weight loss by making them eat lesser calories. Losing weight can help diabetics manage the condition better as weight loss improves the body's ability to effectively respond to insulin.
Diabetes Diet: Foods Rich In Resistant Starch
Here are some of the foods that diabetics may add to their diet to improve their intake of resistant starch and the respective quantities of resistant starch in them*:
1. Raw banana and Banana flour: Contain 4.7gm and 42 gm resistant starch, respectively.
2. Oats and oatmeal: 17.6 gm and 0.5 gm respectively.
3. Lentils: 5 gm
4. Cooked White Beans: 7.4 gm
5. Cooked Pearl Barley (Jau): 3.2 gm
*Data according to Journal of the American Dietetic Association 2008; all quantities are specified for portions equivalent to 1 cup (approx. 227 gms).
Diabetics are advised to consult their nutritionist/dietitian before adding anything to their daily diet. Excessive consumption of resistant starch has also been known to cause flatulence.
Type-2 diabetes is a condition which affects the way the body processes blood sugar. In this condition, the body of the patient either doesn't produce the hormone insulin or it resists the effects of insulin, making it incapable of regulating blood sugar. There are over 10 million cases of Type-2 diabetes in India every year. Some of the reported symptoms of Type-2 diabetes include excessive thirst, frequent urge to urinate, hunger, fatigue and blurred vision. This condition may be managed through medication, exercise and by following a healthy diet. It is crucial for a patient of Type-2 diabetes to follow a strict and healthy diet, which prevents any sudden spikes in blood sugar levels. This is why diabetics must carefully analyse every food on their plate and include more foods that control blood sugar.
Green pea or matar is one such vegetable that diabetics may benefit from including in their diet. One of the most popular desi vegetables, green peas are utilised in Indian cooking across the subcontinent. Although peas are a winter vegetable, nowadays they are available around the year. Green peas can be added to a variety of dishes to add nutrition to them.
Benefits Of Green Peas For Diabetics
There are a number of reasons why green peas are good for patients of Type-2 diabetes:
1. Low in Calories
A 100 gm portion of green peas contains only 80 calories (as per the data by United States Department Of Agriculture). Low-calorie foods are important for diabetics as being overweight is a risk factor for Type-2 diabetes. Additionally, weight gain in diabetics makes it even harder for patients to control blood sugar levels.
2. Rich In Potassium
A deficiency of potassium may increase risk of diabetes and hence this mineral is important for those who are vulnerable to the condition. Green peas contain 244 mg of potassium per 100 gm (as per USDA), which may be good for diabetics. Additionally, potassium is important for keeping blood pressure levels under check.
3. Rich In Protein
A 100 gm portion of green peas contains 5 gm of protein (as per USDA data). Protein is a satiating nutrient, which may prevent hunger pangs. Additionally, protein is important for weight management, which is also important for diabetics.
4. Rich In Fibre
A 100 gm portion of green peas contains 14 gm of carbohydrates, including 5 gm of fibre (as per USDA data). Fibre is perhaps the most important nutrient for diabetics to focus on. This nutrient is crucial for regulating blood sugar levels and blood pressure. This is because it is digested slowly in the body, releasing blood sugar slowly and preventing any spikes.
Diabetics may add peas to their rice dishes, salads, breakfast omelettes, upma, pies and even pastas. It is important to consult your dietitian before adding any food to your diabetes diet.
One of the most common myths about diabetes is that it is caused by consuming too much of sugary foods. Indeed, sweets can affect your body but they do not cause diabetes. Diabetes is a health condition which is caused by high blood sugar levels. It is extremely unhealthy and can adversely impact the overall health. However, there's also no denying the fact that intake of sugar items in such conditions can increase it significantly. Hence diabetic patients should avoid high sugary foods in order to prevent hyperglycaemia, also known as high blood sugar. If you're suffering from diabetes, then it is of utmost importance to take care of your carbohydrate intake as it can trigger the sugar levels to a great extent.
When it comes to desserts, it is essential for diabetic patients to not go overboard with them. Having diabetes not always means that you totally have to cut yourself from sugar. Instead, you may swap it with some other natural sweets. According to Expert Nutritionist Dr. Rupali Datta, "Diabetic patients can have desserts until the desserts are providing them with nutritional requirements. They should make sure that the desserts are made with artificial sweeteners and with the help of natural ingredients. You can even have brown rice with milk with some artificial sweeteners and can add some dry fruits to enhance the taste. What matters is that they should be made up of natural ingredients and sugar substitutes must be there"
Desserts like cookies, pastries, cakes and ice creams should not be eaten as they won't be providing you with the sufficient nutritional value. Instead, you could opt for low-fat sugar-free frozen yogurt, fig bars, or even some unsweetened oat cookies. If you happen to have a sweet tooth and find it difficult to resist on them, then make sure that you buy one bar at a time, instead of buying in bulk and storing it at home. This will save you from unnecessary odd hour munching. Apart from this, it is quite important to give priority to the nutritional value in the anything you consume. So, choose wisely!
Diabetes is a condition that affects the body's ability to process blood sugar normally, leading to an excess of glucose in the blood. There are two different types of diabetes - Type-1 diabetes and Type-2 diabetes. While the former is a result of the pancreas producing little or no insulin, the latter is a lifestyle disorder, resulting from the body becoming insulin resistant. Diabetes affects millions of people in India every year and common symptoms of the condition include frequent thirst, frequent urge to urinate, fatigue and hunger and even blurred vision in some cases. Diabetics need to be very careful about what they eat on a daily and even hourly basis. Diabetics need to be extra careful of their diet. They should include food that is high on fibre content. Fibre enables slow release of sugar in the bloodstream that prevents abnormal spikes.
There are certain foods and drinks that people can include in their diet to regulate their levels of blood sugar and onion is one of them. The vegetable may prove to be beneficial for diabetics, especially during summers.
Benefit Of Onion For Summers
Onion is an indispensable part of the Indian cuisine. It's used in preparing almost every curry and rice dish, and is a common part of sides and accompaniments like chutneys, salads etc. Onion also comes with a number of health benefits, including boosting skin and hair health, as well as protecting the body against symptoms of heat stroke. Red onions, which are the most common onions used across the Indian subcontinent, are rich in the compound quercetin, which is a flavonoid and which is said have anti-histamine properties. This means that it stops the release of allergen histamine from cells. It may, therefore, help prevent rashes due to heat on the skin. It also helps in preventing allergies and fights inflammation in the body.
Benefit Of Onion For Diabetes
Onion or onion juice may be consumed during summers to fight adverse impacts of the heat, as well as to regulate levels of blood sugar. A recently published review of studies on the impact of quercetin has indicated that the compound may help diabetics. The review that was published in the journal Phytopherapy Research said that daily consumption of quercetin supplements in dosage 500 mg or above for eight weeks, lowered blood glucose levels in metabolic syndrome patients. The participants were at a high risk of developing diabetes. Other than that, the juice from onions is also recommended for consumption as well as external use during summers, to treat heat stroke and soothe sun burns, respectively.
Another study conducted on rats concluded that diets containing 5 percent onion extracts for a period of 28 days were able to decrease fasting blood glucose levels. These anti-diabetic effects of red onions come from the presence of both quercetin and sulphur compounds in it.
Include red onions in your salads, sandwiches, savoury porridges, brown rice dishes etc. to reap the benefits of the vegetable. Pregnant women may be advised to stay away from excessive consumption of too much onion. In case of food allergies or chronic illnesses, it is advised to consult your dietitian or physician before adding any food to your diabetes diet.
Nutritional Composition of Raw Onions
One cup of chopped onion contains approximately:
- 64 calories
- 15 grams of carbohydrate
- 0 grams of fat
- 3 grams of fibre
- 2 grams of protein
- 0 grams of cholesterol
- 7 grams of sugar
- 10% or more of the daily value for vitamin C, vitamin B-6 and manganese.
- They also contain small amounts of calcium, iron, folate, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium and the antioxidants quercetin and sulfur.