Looking for natural ways to help manage 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 2018 statistics showing more than 34 million Americans suffer from Types 1 or 2, and with numbers continuing to rise. Whether as a direct or an indirect cause, diabetes was associated with the deaths of 270,702 people in the United States in 2017, 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 pre-diabetic Americans has soared to 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, related specifically to diabetes. Fortunately, however, this predicament can be brought under control if each person who suffers from diabetes addresses their health on an individual level.
It’s Time for a Change
No cure has been discovered for diabetes. Even so, despite the fact that 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 hormone generated by the pancreas 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 regular applications of insulin to keep the diabetic’s glucose levels in check. If a body’s blood sugar levels get out of hand, the diabetic can experience serious consequences, including kidney failure, heart attack, stroke, and even death.
In addition to medication 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 great food choice for diabetics? That’s right; this 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 Vigna Mungo Extract, or VME), published in the Journal of Biological Science in 2015 , not only showed significant levels of antioxidant in the VME but, when introduced to diabetic rats, found that the extract also proved to be a powerful tool to regulate the disorder.
In the study, a test group of laboratory rats was 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.
Upon introduction of VME, it became obvious that moderate doses of VME were reversing the effects of the rats’ inability to utilize insulin. It appeared that the VME was 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 generate insulin (up to 78% increased insulin) and absorb insulin. Perhaps best of all, even at high doses, there were no observable toxic effects from the black gram extract!
Let’s not overlook the other great quality of black gram regarding 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 between 19-38 grams per day, depending on gender and age, 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. 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 bacteria from building up in the digestive tract. All of these attributes make fiber well worth our attention.
Unsurprisingly, fiber is very beneficial for diabetics by regulating the body’s absorption of sugars and carbohydrates.
Healthy Can Taste Good Too
For the many people who are trying to manage their diabetes, it can be frustrating to forego the many sweet and fatty foods that tempt you from bakery and restaurant signs. But, it is possible (very possible) to transform your diet by engaging in 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 Asian 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!
Disclaimer: While we believe in black gram, and the power of black gram as a part of your healthy diet, neither black gram nor the statements made herein have been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Our black gram products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.