By Paul Scicluna
In 1550 BC, the famous Ebers Papyrus advised treating diabetes with high fibre wheat grains. Not much has changed since then. Plant foods are the drug of choice for treating diabetes. There are large numbers of scientific research findings to confirm the effectiveness of plant foods in managing this disease. Through the centuries, more than 400 plants have been identified, used and prescribed as diabetic remedies.
Raw onions and garlic have long been a favourite anti-diabetic pharmacopeia in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. The herb ginseng has been widely used for treating diabetes since the ancient times in China. Common mushroom is widely used in parts of Europe to lower blood sugar. Barely bread is a popular treatment for diabetes in Iraq. Other foods, used in different countries, in the treatment of diabetes include beans, cabbage, cinnamon, coriander seeds, cucumber, fenugreek seeds, Indian gooseberry and lettuce.
All these foods have anti-diabetic properties. Scientific research has confirmed that most of these foods, or their compounds, either lower blood sugar, or stimulate insulin production. Some of the more important foods that help to lower blood sugar or stimulate insulin production in diabetes patients are discussed here.
Artichoke is a tuberous root with a top like a sunflower. This vegetable contains good amounts of potassium, a fair amount of calcium and some iron and sulphur, all of which are needed by the body for maintaining good health.
Artichoke is beneficial in the treatment of diabetes because of its high insulin content. A fully ripe artichoke is said to contain more than two percent of insulin. Artichokes are most effective when eaten raw in salads. You can also cook them and they will still be good for you rather than having a toxic supplement or pill.
Want to know about exercising for diabetics? Check out our article, "Exercise for Diabetics - Get Moving!"
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