Health watch: How your Indian kitchen can fight diabetes

November 14 was World Diabetes Day. India is dubbed the diabetes capital of the world, the disease afflicting more than 50 million Indians. Here are a few simple things you can keep in your kitchen to fend off the disease.

Pratishtha November 15, 2011 09:31:00 IST
Health watch: How your Indian kitchen can fight diabetes

India might soon have the dubious honour of being crowned the world's diabetic capital.

According to a pan-India survey conducted by Metropolis Healthcare Ltd that screened 28,79,175 people across Mumbai, Pune, Noida, Chennai, and Bangalore it was found that sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy eating choices will soon help tip the scales in India's favour for it to become the  world's diabetic capital. Mumbai has the most diabetics in the country and more women suffer from diabetes than men.

Diabetes can cause serious health implications like blurred vision, kidney failure, greater risk of heart disease and even strokes. Type 1 diabetes is attributed to genetics while Type 2 to diet and obesity. While people diagnosed with Type 1 cannot do much about preventing the disease, people prone to Type 2 can diet and exercise their way to being diabetes-proof. And it starts with your kitchen.

Here are the must-haves in your kitchen to prevent the disease.

Health watch How your Indian kitchen can fight diabetes

The fighting against diabetes starts in your kitchen. Reuters.

Cinnamon: Not only does this amazing spice taste good but it makes most dishes come alive with its wonderful aroma. While cinnamon is recommended for the treatment of diarrhea, bloating, and even some menstrual disorders, it is also known to regulate glucose by reducing glucose concentration in patients.

Fenugreek: Also known as methi in India, it is used to cure kidney problems, reproductive infections, constipation, high cholesterol and sugar-intolerance problems. In a study conducted on the effectiveness of fenugreek seed, it was found that the seed improves glycemic control. Methi laddoos are pretty popular in Northern India especially during winters.
You can make them using 2 cups wheat flour, 1 cup almonds, 1 cup fenugreek seeds, 4 tablespoon crushed coriander seeds, half cup gond (edible binding matter easily available at shops), three teaspoons ginger powder, one tablespoon cardamom powder and two-and-a-half cups of jaggery. Take a pan and heat three-four tablespoons of ghee, add the wheat four till it’s grainy and brown, once done, add gond and all the other ingredients, topping it off with jaggery right at the end. Keep stirring on low heat till it’s all blended well, and make little round balls the size of half of your fist. Have at least one laddoo a day.

Bitter melon: Karela helps lower blood sugar levels. The fruit also has the ability to enhance a cell's uptake of glucose which further promotes insulin release. You can drink karela juice before cooking it by using the water it's boiled in as a medicinal must-have shot before dinner.

Miracle fruit/ Gymnema: Also known as Gur-mur in Hindi and Chakkarakollin in Malyalam, the herb is native to the tropical rainforests of southern and central and is often used to treat diabetes. People even use it to fight sugar cravings since the leaf is known to reduce the taste of sugar as soon as you put it in the mouth. Most diabetics recommend Gymnema Sylvestre Tea but you can also grow the plant in your backyard and chew one leaf daily.

Irony is that all of the above feature regularly while cooking Indian food!

Updated Date: