Looking for ways to help maintain your diabetes and live a healthier life?
The Diabetic Emergency
There is no denying the fact that our society is suffering from a mass epidemic of diabetes, with statistics showing more than 30 million Americans suffer from Types 1 or 2. Whether it was a direct or an indirect cause, diabetes was associated with the deaths of 252,806 people in the United States during the year 2015, and comes in seventh on the list of leading causes of death in the nation.
But these numbers don’t even come close to capturing the overarching problem that exists in reality, as the number of Americans with pre-diabetes soars over 80 million, and 1.5 million more will be diagnosed with full-on diabetes every year. Our populace is on a fast track to detrimental nation-wide health issues. But, fortunately, this predicament can be brought under control, if the issue of diabetes is addressed on a personal level by those individuals who suffer from (or are at risk of) the disease.
It’s Time for a Change
No cure has been discovered for diabetes; but even though Type 1 and Type 2 have different causes and are prone to affect various ethnic groups differently, both can be controlled and regulated to a large extent by good lifestyle choices, including exercise and diet.
In fairly simple terms, diabetes is a metabolic disorder that results from a disruption of the body’s use of insulin, which is a pancreatic-generated hormone that functions as a blood glucose regulator. Type 1 diabetes (an autoimmune disorder where the body attacks the pancreas, and thus damages the ability to produce insulin) and Type 2 diabetes (when the body has difficulty using insulin and produces an irregular amount) require medications or applications of insulin to keep glucose levels in check. If the blood sugar levels get out of hand, serious physical malfunctions can occur, such as seizures, comas, and even death.
In addition to medications and insulin, staying active can help the body use the sugars in blood so that they don’t accumulate to dangerous levels. Regular exercise also helps to lower your blood pressure, HDL cholesterol, and triglycerides. Even though it’s hard work, cardio and aerobic routines are great ways to stay healthy, along with choosing foods that will nourish your body and stabilize blood glucose levels.
Black Gram and Diabetes
Did you know that, along with its many other benefits, Black Gram (Vigna Mungo) is a perfect food choice for diabetics? That’s right; this ever-increasingly popular legume is high in fiber and other powerful elements, including antioxidants that scavenge for damaging free radicals (which attack the pancreas and hinder the production of insulin) and help the body eliminate free fatty acids (one of the main causes of insulin resistance).
Modern scientists are just scratching the surface of what Black Gram has to offer humanity, breaking the bean down to its most simple components to analyze their effects on various diseases. An in-depth research project on Black Gram extract, also called VME (Vigna Mungo Extract), not only showed significant levels of antioxidants but, when introduced to diabetic rats, the extract also proved to be a powerful tool to regulate the disorder.
A test-group of laboratory rats were pre-treated with triton WR1339 (a nonionic detergent used to induce hyperlipidemia and hyperglycemia in animals). They were also fed a diet high in fat and were given a low dose of streptozotocin to induce Type 2 diabetes. The rats began to show signs similar to those of a human with Type 2 diabetes, such as high glucose levels, added body weight, and hyperglycemia, and were then ready for the introduction of VME.
It became obvious that moderate doses of VME were reversing the effects of the inability to utilize insulin by stimulating the use and removal of excess glucose and, thus, preventing the formation of more free radicals. This allowed the rats’ bodies to balance themselves out and function better in terms of insulin generation (up to 78% increase) and absorption. Perhaps best of all, even at high doses, there were no observable toxic effects from the Black Gram extract!
And let’s not overlook the other great quality of Black Gram in regards to diabetes; dietary fiber. Regular intake of fiber is recommended to reduce the risk of many ailments including cardiovascular diseases, digestive diseases, obesity, and more! The Institute of Medicine sets the daily fiber intake recommendation at 25 grams for women and 30-38 grams for men, making it one of the most substantial elements in a healthy diet.
Black Gram’s wonderfully high content of soluble and insoluble fiber make these beans a good choice for meeting the IOM’s daily intake standards, and this fiber is very beneficial for diabetics by regulating the body’s absorption of sugars and carbohydrates. The fiber also helps with weight loss, as it produces a feeling of fullness without filling the intestines with empty calories and excess carbs. The indigestible bulk of fiber cleans the intestines as it travels through, and keeps unhealthy bacterias from building up in the digestive tract. All of these attributes make fiber well worth our attention.
Healthy Can Taste Good Too
For the many people who are putting forth the effort to manage their diabetes, it can be frustrating to turn your back on the many sweet and fatty foods that tempt you from the bakery and restaurant signs. But, it is possible (very possible) to transform your diet into more healthy habits that are delicious too! …after all, your food will taste amazing and give you a whole new perspective once you begin to see the changes in your body.
While researchers are still on the path of discovering more and more valuable qualities that this Asiatic legume possesses, we are beginning to see that it really is a remarkable food! It has been used medicinally in India for centuries, and now you can add it to your own meal times for a boost of pure health! The rich earthy flavor makes an ideal base for soups and salads; so don’t be afraid to try new recipes, and see what Black Gram can do for you!