With World Diabetes Day just gone by, here are a few cues to turning the situation around
Every year, November 14 is marked as World Diabetes Day to spread awareness about stopping the spread of the disease.
The number of people with diabetes in India has increased from 26 million in 1990 to 77 million in 2017. This data is extremely alarming. What is even worse is the fact that a lot of members of comparatively younger generations are also catching this disease quite early on in their lives.
Unfortunately, India is regarded as the diabetes capital of the world where one out of every eight people are expected to have either diabetes or pre-diabetes by 2022. However, today, let us understand that type 2 diabetes, which constitutes more than 90 per cent of the total diabetic cases, is not a lifelong disease but rather is a lifestyle disease.
Type 2 diabetes is absolutely a reversible and preventable disease. Which means that we can gradually bring back and maintain our sugar levels at absolutely normal levels without any medicines or insulin injections.
In order to reverse our diabetes completely, we need to understand that diabetes is not a problem of high blood sugar. In fact, high sugar is the end result of diabetes. Instead, the root cause of diabetes is insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is a situation when each and every cell in our body becomes resistant to the hormone insulin, which is made by the beta cells in our pancreas. So, in order to reverse our diabetes, we need to reverse insulin resistance which, unfortunately, no one focuses on most of the time.
So now the question is how can we reverse insulin resistance? The answer lies in one word — fibre. We all know that when we eat fibre, it lowers our blood sugar levels, but the only reason why it lowers is because it treats insulin resistance, or, in other words, it helps our cells become more sensitive to insulin. Hence, we need to eat more fibre to reverse our diabetes. And fibre is found only and solely in plant foods.
Therefore, when we eat more plant-based items, that is fruits and vegetables, it not only helps in losing weight but also in reversing diabetes and aging gracefully. Apart from eating more plant-based food, exercising regularly, having sound sleep and a good emotional health can also help in holistic healing of diabetes.
THE POWER FOODS
I am hereby sharing with you five specific foods that can help in reversing diabetes:
Fenugreek seeds: Fenugreek seeds can lower blood sugar in people with diabetes. Fenugreek seeds are high in soluble fibre, which helps lower blood sugar by slowing down digestion and absorption of carbohydrates.
Bhindi Seeds: Okra increases sensitivity to insulin and ensures that there are sufficient insulin-producing cells in the pancreas.
Broccoli: Broccoli contains sulforaphane, an antioxidant that studies have shown to limit the glucose production in the liver in people with diabetes. This green vegetable can also help improve glucose tolerance and regulate fasting blood glucose, especially in obese diabetic patients.
Purple cabbage: Cabbage has a lot of antioxidants and antihyperglycemic properties that make it a medicine for diabetes.
Chia seeds: Chia seeds are full of fibre, protein, omega-3 fatty acids, phosphorus, magnesium, and various micronutrients that can help reduce cravings and control blood sugar. Studies have shown that chia seeds can help improve glucose and insulin tolerance, making them a great choice for diabetics.
We have seen hundreds of patients reversing their diabetes and if they can do it, I am sure all of us can. It is all about the right mindset, awareness and our day-to-day habits that are going to help us create long-term disease-free life.
Karan Kakkad is a nutrigenomics and disease reversal expert. His passion in medical nutrition led to the birth of Reverse Factor, which is backed by an extensive research in nutrigenomics — the scientific study of the interaction of nutrition and genes. Visit www.reversefactor.in for more information. He tweets @karan_kakkad