Basically, diabetes is not a disease but only a deficiency. The condition where either the body is not in a position to generate insulin or the body is not able to make proper and full use of the generated insulin as required, is called ‘diabetic’. For the diabetic patients, the amount of sugar in the blood will be more. Insulin loses its balancing mechanism. It is supposed to convert the sugar in the body to energy. If it is not able to control the sugar level in the blood, it will lead to high blood pressure and accumulation of fat deposits over the blood vessels. Ultimately, it will cause blockage and even partial paralysis.
It is further described as ‘diabetes’ or ‘madhumegam’ or ‘piramium’or ‘sugar’. In Sri Lanka, it is known as ‘sugar disease’.
More sugar in one’s blood will lead to frequent urination (polyuria), excessive thirst (polydipsia) and appetite (polyphagia) symptoms.
Point to be noted is that if diabetes is diagnosed in the early stage, proper diet, exercise and a few medicines would definitely remedy the situation. Some of the vegetables and fruits would also help us overcome this condition as under:-
* The juice of amla and bitter gourd will benefit diabetic patients. A big size amla and double the size bitter gourd should be ground and the essence must be taken in empty stomach as a result of which it will maximise insulin secretion which will help balance the level of sugar in our blood.
* Take 100 gm. newly sprouted flowers of avaram, 150 ml.water and boil the same until the mixture becomes 100 ml. Take 5 amla fruits, remove the seeds and add little water and extract 50 ml juice and mix with avaram flower juice -50 ml and little bit of honey. Drinking this mixture will purify the pancreas and stimulate the insulin secretion.
* We can mix mavilai kozhundu with tur dhal, boil the same and eat in order to control the sugar level in our blood.
* Bermuda grass(Botanical name-Cynodon dactylon), nutmeg, keerais, keezhanelli, neem flower, guava can be taken separately also. Neem flower can be added while making rasam; nutmeg can be mixed while preparing dosas; banana flower can be added while making kootu and also vadas. Avaram flower can be boiled in milk and this can be drunk in the evening. Avaram flower can also be added while making dishes. Similarly, bitter gourd can be used while making poriyal or sambar also.
Tender coconut, coriander seed leaves, kovakkai, kovai pazham, papaya etc. can be taken each per day to keep the sugar level under check.
* Likewise, boiled rice, brinjal, snake gourd, beans, banana stem, green dal, pepper, cumin, nutmeg, big cumin, gingili oil, dried ginger, sukku, black plum, pomegranate, lime, brown sugar, honey, buttermilk, kezhvaragu and wheat products including coriander leaves can be taken along with our daily food.
* Either rice or wheat based food can be taken in a limited manner and that too, when one feels hungry. Hunger and thirst should not be neglected. Buttermilk or juice can be taken. Amala juice with avaram flower and coriander leaves can also be taken. In vegetables, cabbage poriyal or soup is the best.
* Moongil rice ven pongal/ payasam is better for those who have become very thin due to diabetes. Moongil arisi, thinai arisi, salam arisi can be taken 100 gm each to prepare porridge out of it which will help one to regain good health and strength. It will also help one to keep sugar level under control.
Swimming in lakes, tanks, wells and rivers including cycling and related physical exertion will reduce the severity of the diabetes for a person. These exercises will enable one to maintain good health despite diabetes.
Food items that need to be avoided by the diabetic patients:-
Black eyed pea
Mutton like non-vegetarian items
Pumpkin, white pumpkin, bottle gourd
Fruit juice, cold drinks, curd
Tomato, sugar, oil-based bhajji, bonda, masal vadai etc.
Besides the above specifics, one should avoid fatty foods but can take fish. Further, one needs to ensure that constipation is not caused.
Faith is the recipe for success:- Former professor and both siddha and homeopathy practitioner, Dr.Edward of Cuddalore is a living example in regard to his faith and ability to manage diabetes with normal diet pattern. The common medical advice is that banana is prohibited for diabetic patients. But Dr.Edward consumes some bananas at 6 am daily and at 9 am he takes his breakfast. His sugar level, on an average, is just 140 to 150. At the same time, he opines that if one takes banana and breakfast together, the sugar level will certainly go up. Similarly, he is of the view that jack fruit is not a ‘must avoid’ fruit. He takes the seeds of jack fruit also after eating the jack fruit. Again he shares his personal experience that mangoes, if taken with the skin, will not be harmful. Besides the above, he takes mutton once a week and fish sambar frequently and he is not affected a bit adversely. He is of the firm opinion that everything that we eat should be normal and within limits.
However, the general preventive measures like avoiding kizhangu varieties of vegetables, smoking and alcohol etc. and at the same time, giving equal importance for physical exertion will definitely enable one to keep diabetics at bay.
(This article written by Maria Belsin in Tamil has been reproduced in English by P S Ramamurthy)