Diabetes can be controlled and possibly reversed with food, herbs and lifestyle habits. Even the American Diabetes Association will admit that there are certain foods that will help manage diabetes symptoms for those diagnosed with diabetes type 2.
In diabetes the drug used by most doctors, metformin, was actually a synthesized compound originating from the herb, lilac! You can use this drug while you are working on changing food habits. Eventually, some of you diabetics….. could get to the point where the drug is no longer needed.
New food habits are sometimes challenging. You may be surprised that over time your body likes how it feels and you really desire these kinds of food.
- Greens, vegetables and fruit are the best. Buy them fresh at local markets or grocers. Use a variety of greens like spinach, arugula, kale, cabbage, romaine or watercress. Try some new veggies, radishes, beets or asparagus. Berries or melons have less sugar; and all of these listed are high in antioxidants benefits for your body.
- Drink water, herbal or green teas. Teas can be used hot or cold, flavored with different herbs lemon balm, mint, hibiscus, ginger or cinnamon.
It’s better to drink filtered water and add a squeeze or a slice of fresh lime, lemon, orange, cucumbers or leaves of herbs like basil or rosemary.
- Healthy grains or gluten free flours are now available to use in place of simple white flours. These provide more vitamins and minerals, more protein and omega 3’s; try quinoa, millet, brown rice or kamut.
- Consume healthy fats, we recommend more Omega 3 and mono saturated fats like olive, coconut, butter, nuts and avocados.
- Increase Intake of Onions and Garlic. Onions ability to lower blood sugar is well known. Its special compound, Quercitin, works when you eat onions with your meal, by reducing your sugar intake. Garlic has thousands of studies proving it can prevent or reduce major causes of disease or death worldwide, including diabetes.
- Fiber helps with weight loss and chronic digestive issues all associated with diabetes and other chronic disease states. Fiber will automatically increase as you eat more vegetables.
- Spices like turmeric and ginger have been commonly used in Asian countries for many centuries. Curcumin in turmeric and in cumin are proven anti-inflammatories, immune regulators and helpful for absorption of nutrients in the gut. Gingerol compound in ginger assists with cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancer, digestion and eye health.
- Bitter melon is a fruit used in Traditional Chinese Medicine and in Ayurveda for diabetes and other diseases. The sour taste of the melon’s juice mimics insulin effects. It can help with insulin secretion and glucose utilization.
Variety is the Spice of Life
Try some new methods to bring out the real taste of food. Sometimes simple is better.
Change your Omega 3 fats by using different seeds like flax, hemp or chia on salads or in smoothies. Or try good organic cold pressed olive oil for salad dressing with some flavored vinegars. Or coconut oil, also high in Omega 3, as a sauté oil or in your coffee!
Learn to Ferment some veggies or you can buy them. These are pickled vegetables, using vinegar, salt or lacto fermentation, they help with digestion, acting like a probiotic, and are high in good bacteria.
Diabetes Herbal Supplements
Medicinal herbs contain diverse compounds with multiple actions on both insulin production, insulin resistance and on glucose absorption.
Some of these compounds or dosages may react differently for each individual. There may be some changes in adjustment of which combination will work better for each person.
- Licorice has been utilized for many diseases. The compound, amorfrutin, regulates insulin resistance. It also can affect blood pressure control.
- Dioscorea is a Chinese herb that improves glycemic control and insulin resistance.
- Berberine is a plant compound in herbs, one of those is Coptis, and it lowers blood sugar, decreases inflammation and improves lipids. Also, it helps the body detoxify and get rid of stored chemicals and toxins from tissues.
- Codonopsis and Astragulus herbs tone Qi and improve immune system. It reduces insulin resistance.
- Chinese Yam and atractylodes strengthen digestive system and replenish Qi.
- Gurmar or Gymnema Sylvestre is an Indian herb used in India since 6th century B.C. for diabetes; It is called the “sugar destroyer”, due to the “munching up” of excess sugar in the blood.
- Schisandra fruit nourishes your lungs and kidney yin.
- Banaba leaf has corosolic acid which has blood sugar regulating properties. It has been used in India and the Philippines for thousands of years for diabetic treatment. Also, Banaba can control food cravings which can help control your weight if you need to lose some extra pounds!
- Milk Thistle’s compound silymarin, is a great antioxidant and detoxifier for the liver. Studies that along with conventional treatment it does help lower blood sugar and improves cholesterol levels.
- American Ginseng assists insulin in getting sugar into cells and increasing cell energy. Ginseng has been used for many years in Chinese medicine; it has been found to effectively lower glucose and possibly reverse diabetes.
There are other herbs and spices that can help aid diabetes and other chronic diseases; these are often side effects for diabetic patients. Fenugreek, Guggle and cinnamon are now being studied with good response in helping to lower blood sugar levels. (See: www.merryherb.com ).
Yes, they do work; sometimes you can use them along with your medication. Later, after your symptoms are much better, you can lower meds or finally get off them.
Remember, herbs and foods, in general may take twice as long to be effective since they are natural not man-made or synthetic like drugs are.