Q: I am 45 years old has been diagnosed pre diabetic. I never took any medicine for diabetic but controlled my glucose level through proper diet and regular exercise. My sugar level is almost 130 mg and also HB1Ac is within well-controlled level always. Please advise whether it is appropriate to take bitter gourd juice and soaked fenugreek.

Prediabetes is a menace of modern-day sedentary lifestyle. If left unattended, the person might become diabetic. Prediabetes is a condition in which your blood sugar level is higher than normal, but not high enough to be classified as type 2 diabetes. With healthy lifestyle changes, such as eating healthy foods, physical activity in your daily routine and maintaining a healthy weight — you may be able to bring your blood sugar level back to normal.

Most people have no symptoms during pre-diabetic stage. Some may have unusual thirst, frequent urination, blurred vision, fatigue etc. Physically inactive people, those having family history of diabetes, having high triglyceride and high cholesterol, and those suffering from obesity are at risk.

Ayurveda explains “eating at will” as a main cause of diabetes. So cut down the excessive sweets, junk foods, oily foods. Eat more of vegetables. Sitting in front of TV for long hours, no physical activities, and sleeping during day time should be avoided by pre-diabetics.

Losing weight through walking and exercise is one of the effective ways to fight prediabetes.

Ayurveda explains yogurt as a bad food for diabetes. Buttermilk can be a suitable substitute. Ayurveda encourages the use of barley and old grains (stored at least for a year) for diabetic patients.

Turmeric and amla combination is effective in prediabetes management. Include them as a part of diet. Turmeric helps in preventing insulin resistance among cells. It acts as a channel opener for glucose into the cells. Amla is able to prevent cataract and retinopathy in diabetic patients. If you have an option getting fresh amla, take a fresh ¼ cup of amla juice with half teaspoon of turmeric powder every day. Or a teaspoon of amla powder with half teaspoon of turmeric powder mixed with warm water. Fenugreek seeds also control blood sugar levels and decrease insulin resistance in mild type 2 diabetic patients. To help your diabetes symptoms, try taking 2-3 grams of soaked fenugreek with your meals, a couple of times a day.

Many alternative therapies with bitter gourd, fenugreek, cinnamon, gymnema (Gymnema sylvestre) have been used as possible ways to treat or prevent type 2 diabetes. In recent years, there has been an increased demand for natural cures for diabetes as they are considered safe, complimentary and devoid of any side effects. 

• Foods that must be avoided: sweets, ice-creams, fruit sugar, cakes, pastries, sweet biscuits, chocolates, soft drinks, condensed milk, cream, jaggery.

• Foods to be consumed in a limited manner: salt, red meat, poultry, egg, coffee, tea. These should be especially avoided when you have an empty stomach. Other examples: pasta, coconut, honey, palm sugar, and yogurt.   

• Beneficial foods: fig, pomegranate, and citrus fruits, vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, spinach, carrots, radish, beet, garlic, onion, cucumber, lettuce and tomato, cereals, whole grain foods, sprouts and grains such as Bengal gram and chick peas.

• Herbal dietary supplements: cinnamon, aloe vera, amla, green tea, fenugreek, neem and turmeric.

Consult an Ayurveda doctor for a prescription.

Dr VL Shyam is an award-winning Ayurvedic practitioner based in Dubai. Got a problem? Our fantastic panel of renowned experts is available to answer all your questions related to fashion, well-being, nutrition, finance and hypnotherapy. Email your queries to friday@gulfnews.com.

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