India is home to 77 million diabetic patients and there is an overall prevalence of 30% as far as hypertension is concerned, a very important risk factor behind cardiovascular diseases and morbidity. Our lifestyle today, as is often discussed, is responsible for this high prevalence, as more of us are required to juggle between different and critical roles professionally and personally, different spaces and sometimes even different time zones, all in the course of a day. Added to that, we have more than often taken recourse to several erroneous lifestyle choices like excess carb-heavy food, sugar, alcohol, drugs and caffeine to ease the pressure off, while our meals lacked sufficient nutrients and minds underwent chronic anxiety, stress and depression. In the process, it is the overall health that has been hit the hardest. Incidents of lifestyle diseases, led by these reasons, have seen a meteoric rise in India to the extent that India is now called the Diabetic capital. On the occasion of World Nutrition Week, we share in this article powerful yet doable tips and remedies in terms of mind-body practices, dietary and lifestyle changes focused on reducing hypertension and diabetes.
If you can recall, anytime your forehead burned or your stomach rumbled with an ache, your mother or grandma would have a solution at hand already. Out came the pots and pans, strange-looking leaves and roots and whatnot. Before you knew, before you needed to let the doctor know, you were cured. You vividly remember how they would never let you leave home with an empty stomach, no matter how late you got. They had the best home remedies. And how we were persuaded, pestered or threatened with dire consequences to abide by them. But as we outgrew childhood and adjusted to the demands of adult life, this peerless wisdom got left behind.
On the positive side, this has elicited a higher awareness about the dos and don’ts of lifestyle. Many of us are now willing to walk an extra mile to seek healthy options. The recent years have seen a significant rise in the change of attitude towards minimalist living and organic eating. Above all, an increased number of people are taking to Ayurveda and Yoga owing to their holistic approach and proximity to natur.
One of the risk factors at the root of both Diabetes and Hypertension is stress. If you are equipped with tools to manage stress, half your battle is won. Stress increases the secretion of Glucagon hormones in the body, responsible for increasing blood glucose levels. Pranayama, meditation, yoga asanas (postures) and Sudarshan Kriya along with a correct diet have been proven to reduce glucagon and can also help improve insulin action. Though stress is the major cause of diabetes, the condition in turn results in patients getting highly stressed about it, which further exacerbates the problem. Here meditation can help – restoring their confidence levels and they gain the strength to fight the condition and live well. A common craving for diabetes is sweets. Studies have shown more awarenesa, an outcome of meditative practices can help us have better control over sugar cravings too.
Sudarshan Kriya is one of the most comprehensive breathing techniques derived from the science of Yogic Breath. This is a precise, 5000-year-old science of health promotion. It recognizes the impact of the mind and emotions on creating and restoring optimal health. It helps to eliminate stress through specific rhythms of breath and support the various organs and systems within the body, peace of mind is restored and it transforms overpowering emotions, thus supporting the whole mind-body system. Sudarshan Kriya, once learnt under the supervision of an Art of Living trainer can be practised at home every day. Along with Sudarshan Kriya, it is imperative to take care of what we eat. Food can work wonders on any disease.
Dr. Nisha Manikantan, a senior Art of Living instructor and Ayurveda expert shares some home remedies for diabetes –
A diabetic should drink 30 ml of bitter gourd juice every morning and evening. Bitter gourd and lady’s finger helps in lowering sugar levels in the blood and urine. Split 4 to 5 lady’s fingers in half and soak them overnight. The next morning drink this water to control the diabetes.
Jamun seeds powder should be taken with water every morning on an empty stomach. The bark and leaves of jambul should be boiled in a cup of water and then drunk with half a cup of milk to arrest the progress of the disease.
Either eat soaked fenugreek seeds with onion or just drink the water of the soaked seeds. Those with joint problems should consume the powder of fenugreek seeds with water every morning on an empty stomach.
Every morning on an empty stomach juice of neem leaves should be consumed
Bael (stone apple) is also beneficial.
Drinking filtrate of soaked sadabahar flowers (periwinkle) and leaves in the morning is useful.
Consuming sweets is a strict no for a diabetic
Sweet fruits like Mango, Banana and custard apple should be avoided.
Home remedies for High Blood Pressure are:
2-3 times a day a glass of warm lemon water can be consumed with a teaspoon of honey.
Watermelon juice early morning on an empty stomach is very beneficial and consuming apple also control blood pressure.
You can mix coriander powder with honey.
If you go for a walk then you should keep a small piece of ginger with 4-5 basil leaves and 4-5 small cubes of rock sugar in the mouth. This should be slowly consumed in order to control the blood pressure.
Chewing 20 neem leaves with water helps in reducing blood pressure.
Boiled potatoes with their skins are valuable for lowering blood pressure as they absorb the lesser amount of salt.
A salt-free diet is recommended for high blood pressure patients.
Soup and salad of raw vegetable juices should be taken especially carrot and spinach.
With this armoury of Ayurveda, the demons of diabetes and high blood pressure can easily be defeated.