These days diabetes is a life style disease and once it is dictated in someone, then there is only chance that it can be controlled. Hardly you have heard that someone actually got cured of diabetes. So, let’s not put anyone in confusion that, this article is not written for the purpose of curing diabetes, rather it is written to make you aware of the issues and you can have control over your insulin so that everything is in control.
What is Insulin?
Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas that allows your body to use sugar (glucose) from carbohydrates in the food that you eat for energy or to store glucose for future use. Insulin helps keeps your blood sugar level from getting too high (hyperglycemia) or too low (hypoglycemia).
Rose of Pancreas
We hardly think of pancreas as an important endocrine organ unless it starts to create a problem. Pancreas has two important roles to play; (a) Make insulin for blood sugar control. (b) Create enzymes for the metabolism of fats and proteins.
Malfunction of pancreas could result in a variety of problems – the most common being diabetes. Fortunately, nature has given us some foods that boost the beta cells of pancreas to produce insulin and help alleviate diabetes, of course, couples with right lifestyle changes.
Foods Help Growing Insulin
1. Red Cabbage
Cabbage, especially red, is a boon for cancer and diabetes patients. The natural red pigments of red cabbage, betalains, helps lower blood sugar levels and boosts insulin production.
2. Lady’s Finger / Okra
Packed with dietary fibre, it helps in stabilizing blood sugar levels, and aids in enhancing production of insulin as well as its increased secretion. Also, their seeds are full of alpha-glucosidase inhibitors that prevent starches from converting to glucose. One can slice okra pods, soak in water overnight and can consume the water net day.
3. Bitter Gourd / Bitter Melon
Also known as karela, it may taste quite bitter but has the capacity to stimulate pancreas (an action perhaps similar to that of sulfonylurea drugs). This property can be attributed to the three substances these veggies contain; charantin, vicine and a polypyptide-p. Bittermelon tea, juice or a curry preparation are some ways to consume it. A cup of fresh bitter gourd juice mixed with 1 tbsp amla juice (gooseberry) can enable natural insulin secretion.
4. Fenugreek Seeds
Fenugreek is widely known and used, but it’s the seeds that contain trigonelline, a plant alkaloid known to reduce blood sugar levels. They can be used in various forms – like a powder of fenugreek seeds soaked in hot water to reduce your rising blood sugar levels, overnight soaked and sprouted seeds can be added to salads or idli/dosa batter.
Turmeric extracts are known to act directly on pancreatic beta cells to help produce insulin normally, by inhibiting phosphodiesterase activity.
6. Cinnamon (Srilankan)
This barky spice not only makes cells sensitive to insulin but also works similar to natural insulin produced by our pancreas. Sprinkle some cinnamon in your meals, tea, or try a cinnamon supplement.
7. Insulin Plant (Jarul)
Now, here is the most interesting food. As the name suggests, this plant – commonly-grown in South India – helps in boosting insulin production naturally by activating beta cells of pancreas. The corosolic acid present in the leaves induces insulin production and thus controls hyperglycemia in the blood. That’s not all, it’s also hypodermic, diuretic, antioxidant, anti-microbial and anti-cancerous. Chew 1-2 leaves every morning.
Other foods like flaxseeds, grapes, aloevera gel juice, are also known to repair beta cells and help in insulin production naturally.
Disclaimer: Before trying any remedy, it’s advisable to bring it to your doctor’s notice – as certain foods can interact with the medications.