It is not easy managing diabetes. A diabetes-friendly diet comes with many restrictions. Even the most ‘healthy’ foods could set your blood sugar levels racing . Diabetes is fast emerging to be one of the most rampant conditions across the globe. Characterised by too much sugar in the blood (high blood glucose), diabetes is often linked with many other health complications such as obesity and stroke. According to WHO, in the year 2014, 422 million people were diagnosed with diabetes across the world.
The WHO also said that the prevalence of diabetes is steadily increasing in the past 3 decades and is growing most rapidly in low and middle income countries. Lack of awareness about diabetes management and its complications, delayed diagnosis, can make the condition worse and even lead to untimely death.
When it comes to diabetes, one has to be very careful about their diet. In diabetes, due to abnormal metabolising of carbohydrates, one is advised to ditch refined carbs and take complex carbs instead. Diabetics are also recommended to take low glycemic index foods. The glycemic index (GI) is a relative ranking of carbohydrate in foods according to how they affect blood glucose levels. Carbs with low GI value (55 or less) are digested, absorbed and metabolised slowly and cause a gradual rise in blood glucose.
When it comes to diabetes, one has to be very careful about their diet.
While much is said about a perfect diabetes diet, many of these don’t take into account as diabetic’s tussle with liquid calories. Yes you heard us, liquid calories. So you have been good, avoided all refined carbs and loaded up on whole grain foods and later in the day chugged in whole bottle of an aerated drink. This act of yours may undo most of your healthy efforts to manage diabetes naturally. Diabetics should steer clear of aerated and sugary drinks. Various studies and reports have time and again reinforced that these drinks are full of liquid calories and can cause major spike in the blood sugar levels. A can of fruit juice is not one of the healthiest substitutes either. Fruit juices, especially packaged fruit juices are loaded with fructose that elevates the blood sugar levels. However, there is one juice that you can have, and that juice may also help regulate your blood sugar levels naturally. We are talking about karela juice or bitter gourd juice.
Karela juice is an excellent beverage for diabetics. Bitter gourd helps regulate the blood sugar level in your body. Bangalore-based Nutritionist Dr. Anju Sood explains, “Karela juice makes your insulin active. When your insulin is active, your sugar would be used adequately and not convert into fat, which would eventually help in weight loss too”
According to studies, bitter gourd has a few active substances with anti-diabetic properties. One of them is charantin, which is famous for its blood glucose-lowering effect. Bitter gourd contains an insulin-like compound called Polypeptide-p or p-insulin which has been shown to control diabetes naturally. These substances either work individually or together to help reduce blood sugar levels.
Karela juice is an excellent beverage for diabetics.
How To Make Karela or Bitter Gourd Juice
Peel the bitter gourd with the help of a knife. Slice the bitter gourd to the centre. Once you are done slicing, scoop out the white flesh and the seeds of the vegetable. Now, take the bitter gourd and cut them into tiny pieces. Soak the pieces in cold water for about 30 minutes. Add bitter gourd pieces to a juicer and add half teaspoon of salt and lemon juice. Blend the ingredients.
To reduce the bitterness of the drink, add some honey or jaggery to it, or pair it with sweet fruits like apple or pears. You can even add lemon juice to lessen the harsh taste of bitter gourd juice. A pinch of black pepper and ginger can also decrease the tartness and make it more palatable.
It needs to be understood that nothing can substitute the importance of prescribed medicine and medical assistance. However, one can do a lot at home front to manage their diabetes well. Drinking a glass of bitter gourd juice could be one of them.