Black seeds, or kalonji, may not be entirely unknown to Indians, but it is certainly a rare find in Indian kitchens. The culinary uses of the seeds, also known as black cumin or Nigella Sativa, are many, including using them to top flatbreads, as well as adding it to a number of dals and curries. Black seeds are quite aromatic and can add a distinct flavour to some dishes that they are used in preparing. However, these seeds are quite under-appreciated for their health benefits, which are numerous. They are rich in potassium, protein, fibre as well as a number of essential vitamins and minerals, as well as healthy fats, amino acids and antioxidants.
Black seeds are consumed in the whole form or in the form of its cold-pressed oil that is extracted from the seeds. One of the best uses of black seeds is the use of black seed or black seed oil for regulating blood sugar levels in diabetics. The oil may be especially beneficial for Type-2 diabetics as it can benefit them in multiple ways. There are powerful antioxidants in black seeds or kalonji which have positive impact in a number of ways on the overall health of Type-2 diabetics.
Black Seeds And Black Seed Oil For Type-2 Diabetes
Here are some incredible benefits of black seeds and black seeds or kalonji oil for Type-2 diabetes:
1. Regulates Blood Sugar Levels
Some research has indicated that black seeds or kalonji may help regulate blood sugar levels. The studies have shown that adding kalonji or kalonji oil to diabetic diet may improve fasting and average levels of blood sugar.
2. Regulates Cholesterol Levels
Diabetics are at an increased risk of heart diseases as diabetes tends to lower the levels of High Density Lipoprotein (HDL) or good cholesterol and increase the levels of bad cholesterol or Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL). Black seeds help in reducing this risk by improving the levels of good cholesterol as it is rich in poly- and mono-unsaturated fatty acids. Black seeds have no cholesterol and studies have shown that adding kalonji to your diet can decrease levels of blood LDL and blood triglycerides.
3. Fights Inflammation
Hyperglycaemia or increased blood sugar level is also linked with increased inflammation in the body. So people suffering from Type-2 diabetes tend to have high levels of inflammation, which is where black seeds come in. Research has shown that including kalonji oil or kalonji in your daily diet can reduce symptoms of inflammation and oxidative stress in the body, allaying further health complications or risks related to inflammation in patients of Type-2 diabetes.
Kalonji or black seeds are also incredibly rich in potassium- a mineral that diabetics are deficient in and that is helpful in maintaining blood pressure in blood sugar patients. Furthermore, it is incredibly rich in iron and the immunity-boosting Vitamin C, which are both important for improving overall health in diabetics. Patients of Type-2 diabetes may hence, benefit from including black seeds or kalonji, or its oil in their daily diet.
Diabetes is emerging to be one of the most prevalent health conditions around the world. According to a study, around 98 million Indians are at risk of developing diabetes by the year 2030. Diabetics need to be very cautious with what they include in their diet. While we know that junk food, processed food, and sugary goods can cause immense blood sugar fluctuations, but did you know that some of the healthiest fruits too could take your blood sugar levels for a toss. You must have heard of starchy and non-starchy foods. If you are a diabetic, you must know about the carb content of the fruits that you're eating. Here are some tips you should know about if you are planning to include different types of fruits in your diabetes diet.
1. Go for fruits with low glycemic index: The glycemic index (GI) is a relative ranking of carbohydrate in foods according to how they affect blood glucose levels. Eating high glycemic index foods tend to spike your blood glucose levels. On the other hand, consuming foods that have low GI index enables slow release of sugar in the bloodstream. Fruits like guavas, apples, pears, and grapefruit are all low glycemic fruits you can have in moderation.
2. Do not go for overripe fruits: Overripe fruits tend to be much denser in sugar than the raw or perfectly ripe ones. Therefore, it is best to avoid them if you are a diabetic.
3. Some healthy fruits can also prove to be risky: Fruits are indeed a healthy addition to any diet, but sometimes even the healthiest of fruits could cause an upsurge in blood sugar levels. Fruits like melons, watermelons, mangoes and chikoo are packed with healthful nutrients and antioxidants, but diabetics need to be very careful with these fruits as they also have high natural sugar content. If you like to snack on these fruits, make sure you balance them well with low-carb, low-sugar fruits and nuts too.
4. Do not juice your fruits: It is best to eat your fruits whole. It is a good way to ensure that all good fibres are going inside your body. Fibres take the longest time to digest; since they take a while to breakdown and metabolise, fibre tends to prevent sugar spikes. If you juice your fruits, you lose out on a considerable amount of fibres. It is also a wise idea to avoid market-based juices as they are often concentrated with sugar and artificial sweeteners.
5. Try to have fruits with their peel on: Fruit peels contain a significant chunk of fibres; hence, you should try to have fruits with their peel on, whenever and wherever you can. For instance, apples, pears, guava, plums should be consumed without peeling.
6. Diabetics should not have dried fruits like raisins, prunes, dried peaches. According to consultant nutritionist Dr. Rupali Datta, "One should ideally avoid dry fruits as they are concentrated versions of fresh fruits. Naturally then, in these concentrated forms, everything goes up. The sugar levels, the glycemic index."
Take note of these points, and if you happen to see any abnormal fluctuations in your blood sugar levels, consult an expert.
Today, our lifestyle is a serious threat to our health. We live in a way in which we do not provide the right food to the body, nor do we exercise right. Taking into account the fact that we consume so much processed food and even more unhealthy food, is there anything that can be done? Well, of course! Without having to put much effort, follow some simple steps, which will result in plenty of benefits.
Remember, the main area of focus in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle is your diet. After all, it is true that this has massive effects on the health of any person, regardless of the stage of life he or she is in.
Sleep better: Over the longer run, it is impossible for a person to prosper health-wise if he or she does not get a sufficient amount of sleep, according to what is actually needed. A few simple things which can be done to improve a person’s sleep are cutting out caffeine and alcohol from one's diet. While it may seem that alcohol helps a person sleep better, it does throw the sleep cycle out of whack. Similarly, caffeine has properties which contribute to keeping a person up for long hours.
Eat a balanced diet: When it comes to the ideal diet for a healthy person, it should contain an adequate amount of nutrients and should also be balanced, so as to not overload on any one set of nutrients. Comprehensiveness has its much required advantages. So, adequate portions of fresh fruits and vegetables is a must, while you should keep a check on the consumption of sugar, fast food and starchy food items.
Quit smoking: Smoking is one of the worst habits any person can have and it does no favours for any individual, regardless of the situation that is faced. If no problems are faced, it can create its own! Apart from the repercussions on the heart, what also occurs when a person smokes is that the bones are weakened and the bladder is irritated. Additionally, the risk of cancer increases. So, who would want to compound the normal troubles of life with the misery all these things can provide?
Focus on fitness: Regular exercise is something which is quite underrated. Consistency is said to be the key. As a matter of fact, it improves sleep and does wonders for a person’s mood, apart from other health benefits such as keeping the weight in control. It not only protects joints, but also helps overall health, and can go a long way in letting you lead a healthy life.
The above discussed lifestyle changes can do wonders for your overall health. These will surely help you in living a healthy as well as happy life forever.
What is a blood sugar test?
A blood sugar test is a procedure that measures the amount of sugar, or glucose, in your blood. Your doctor may order this test to help diagnose diabetes. People with diabetes can also use this test to manage their condition.
Blood sugar tests provide instant results and let you know the following:
Your diet or exercise routine needs to change
How your diabetes medications or treatment is working
If your blood sugar levels are high or low
Your overall treatment goals for diabetes are manageable
Your doctor may also order a blood sugar test as part of a routine check up. They may also be looking to see if you have diabetes or pre-diabetes,a condition where your blood sugar levels are higher than normal.
Your risk for diabetes increases if any of the following factors are true:
You are 45 years old or older
You are overweight
You don’t exercise much
You have high blood pressure, high triglyceride’s, or low good cholesterol levels (HDL)
You have a history of gestational diabetes or giving birth to a baby who weighed over 9 pounds
You have a history if insulin resistance
You have a history of strokes or hypertension
You have a family history of diabetes
Checking your blood sugar levels can be done at home or at a doctor’s clinic.
What does a blood sugar test do?
Your doctor may order a blood sugar test to see if you have diabetes or pre-diabetes. The test will measure the amount of glucose in your blood. Your body takes carbohydrates found in foods like grains and fruits and converts them into glucose. Glucose, a sugar, is one of the body’s main sources of energy. For people with diabetes, a home test helps monitor blood sugar levels. Taking a blood sugar test can help determine your blood sugar level to see if you need to adjust your diet, exercise, or diabetes medications.
Low blood sugar (Hyperglycemia) can lead to seizures or a coma if left untreated. High blood sugar (Hyperglycemia) can lead to ketoacidosis, a life-threatening condition that’s often a concern for those with type 1 diabetes.
Ketoacidosis occurs when your body starts using only fat for fuel. Hyperglycemia over a long period can increase your risk for neuropathy (nerve damage), along with heart, kidney, and eye diseases.
What are the risks and side effects of a blood sugar test?
A blood sugar test has low to no risks or side effects. You may feel soreness, swelling, and bruising at the puncture site, especially if you’re drawing blood from a vein. This should go away within a day.
Types of blood sugar tests
You can take a blood sugar test two ways. People who are monitoring or managing their diabetes prick their finger using a glucometer for daily testing. The other method is drawing blood.
Blood samples are generally used to screen for diabetes. Your doctor will order a fasting blood sugar (FBS) test. This test measures your blood sugar levels, or a glycosylated hemoglobin, also called a hemoglobin A1C test. The results of this test reflect your blood sugar levels over the previous 90 days. The results will show if you have pre diabetes or diabetes and can monitor how your diabetes is controlled.
When to test blood sugar?
When and how often you should test your blood sugar depends on the type of diabetes you have and your treatment.
Type-1 diabetes: According to the medical experts, if you’re managing type-1 diabetes with multiple dose insulin or an insulin pump, you’ll want to monitor your blood sugar before eating a meal or snack, exercising, sleeping, critical tasks like driving or babysitting.
High blood sugar: You’ll want to check your blood sugar levels if you have diabetes and feel increasing thirst and the urge to urinate. These could be symptoms of high blood sugar and you may need to modify your treatment plan. If your diabetes is well-controlled but you still have symptoms, it may mean you’re getting sick or that you’re under stress. Exercising and managing your carbohydrate intake may help with lowering your blood sugar levels. If these changes don’t work, you may need to meet with your doctor to decide how to get your blood sugar levels back into target range.
Low blood sugar: Check your blood sugar levels if you feel any of the symptoms like shaky, sweaty or chilly, irritated or impatient, confused, light-headed or dizzy, hungry and nauseous, sleepy, tingly or numb in the lips or tongue, weak, angry, stubborn, or sad. Some symptoms like delirium, seizures, or unconsciousness can be symptoms of low blood sugar or insulin shock. If you’re on daily insulin injections, ask your doctor about glucagon, a prescription medicine that can help if you’re having a severe low blood sugar reaction.
You can also have low blood sugar and show no symptoms. This is called hypoglycemia unawareness. If you have a history of hypoglycemia unawareness, you may need to test your blood sugar more often.
Pregnant women: Some women develop gestational diabetes during pregnancy. This is when hormones interfere with the way your body uses insulin. It causes sugar to accumulate in the blood. Your doctor will recommend testing your blood sugar regularly if you have gestational diabetes. Testing will make sure that your blood glucose level is within a healthy range. Gestational diabetes usually goes away after childbirth.
No scheduled testing: Home testing may be unnecessary if you have type-2 diabetes and have a diet- and exercise-based treatment plan. You may also not need home testing if you’re taking medications that aren’t associated with low blood sugar.
Diabetes is a metabolic disorder in which our body’s use of food for production of energy is affected. Most of the food we eat is carbohydrates, and this is broken down by the digestive juices into a simple sugar called glucose. Glucose is the main source of energy for the body. After digestion, the glucose passes into our bloodstream where it is available for body cells to use for growth and energy. Insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas, facilitates the entry of glucose into our cells. When we eat, the pancreas is supposed to produce the right amount of insulin to move the glucose from our blood into our cells. In diabetics, the pancreas either produces little or no insulin, or the body cells do not respond to the insulin that is produced. Due to this, glucose levels rise in the blood, floods into the urine and passes out of the body, making the body lose its main source of fuel.
Most diseases are surrounded by a number of myths. This stems basically from ignorance or lack of proper information. Similarly, diabetes too has given rise to a number of imaginary beliefs.
Myth: Eating too much sugar causes diabetes.
Fact: There is no proof that sugar is the main cause behind diabetes. Diabetes is more related to family history, wrong eating habits and little or no physical activity.
Myth: Healthy foods don't raise blood sugar.
Fact: The fact is that all foods provide carbohydrates. And if there is enough insulin present in the body naturally or provided by injections, it will utilise the carbohydrates and consequently the blood sugar will not rise. However, if your body is producing less insulin or not utilising it sufficiently, then blood sugar is bound to rise even if you eat healthy foods.
Myth: Only medical treatment can control diabetes.
Fact: Diabetes is a disease that requires dietary intervention along with medical treatment. Medications are only a part of the cure. What is also needed is a healthy lifestyle behaviour that will allow the medication to work more effectively. This comes with a healthy, well balanced diet as well as a regular exercise routine.
Myth: Diabetics have to eat special foods.
Fact: Diabetics can eat the same food as non-diabetics, but in moderation.
Myth: No diet modification is required, if external insulin is being administered.
Fact: Insulin is not replacing a meal plan or involvement in any physical activity. Thus diet modification is needed, irrespective of whether insulin is being given or not.
Myth: Exercises are of no help in diabetes.
Fact: Exercise helps the pancreas to secrete more insulin, while at the same time, keeps the stress levels under control. Both these factors help to keep the blood sugar under control.
Myth: People with diabetes can eat any number of sugar free products
Fact: Sugar free does not mean calorie free. It is advisable to keep a check on the calorie product of the food, before consuming it. This way the total calorie intake can be kept under control and will further help in keeping a check on the blood sugar.
Myth : I don't have a family history of diabetes, so I won't get it.
Fact: Some people are born with a greater chance of developing diabetes than others. However, plenty of people diagnosed with the disease don't have a family history of diabetes. Your weight and lifestyle can be factors in whether you develop diabetes.
Myth: The strain and stress of everyday life is not related to diabetes.
Fact: The fact is that everyday stresses, as well as emotional and crisis situation can play a role in raising the blood sugar. Hence people with diabetes should take time out to relax and keep their stress levels under control.
A proper understanding of any disease means having a thorough knowledge about the disease, its causes and effects. That is why it is mandatory for all diabetics to be well informed and to be able to separate the myths from the facts.