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Diabetes - How You Can Control it With the Help of Yoga?

Written and reviewed by
Dr. Sudeshpal Singh 89% (125 ratings)
Bachelor of Ayurveda Medicine and Surgery (BAMS)
Ayurvedic Doctor, Kaithal  •  29 years experience
Diabetes - How You Can Control it With the Help of Yoga?

Are you looking for an effective way to managing your diabetes? Yoga is considered to be an ideal remedy. Regular yoga helps in reducing the sugar levels in your blood, and also lowers your blood pressure. It helps to keep your weight in check and relieves and reduces the symptoms of diabetes, thereby, slowing down the progression of the condition. Moreover, yoga helps in increasing the production of glucagon, which is a hormone responsible for increasing glucose levels in your blood. There are several yoga poses or asanas, which assist in reducing stress from your mind. This reduces the glucagon amount and improves insulin action.

Here are some important yoga poses and asanas, which help in stress reduction, and in turn work on your diabetic symptoms.

  1. Pranayama: This breathing exercise involves breathing in and breathing out. It helps in oxygenating your blood, thereby improving blood circulation. Your mind calms down and your nerves get relaxed.
  2. Setubandhasana: This yoga pose is ideal for blood pressure management, and also provides relaxation to your mind. It helps in improving several other conditions, and functions of your body.
  3. Balasana: This asana is referred to as the pose of a child. It is an ideal stress buster. It stretches your thighs, hips, and ankles, calms your mind and provides effective stress relief. It eliminates fatigue and cures lower back pain.
  4. Vajrasana: This is another simple yoga pose, which is ideal for providing relaxation to your mind. It is an important yoga asana, according to Ayurvedic beliefs.
  5. Sarvangasana: This yoga pose is renowned for its function of regulating the working of your thyroid glands. The thyroid glands control the functioning of your entire body, which includes your nervous, reproductive, and respiratory system. It also controls your body’s metabolism. This yoga pose nourishes your spine, supplying large amounts of oxygen and blood. This enables you to keep away from nervous system disorders, and improves your overall health. In short, it is an ideal overall stress buster.
  6. Halasana: This yoga asana is ideal for people who are stressed because of a bad posture, owing to long hours of sitting in a place. The pose stimulates your thyroid glands, lungs, parathyroid glands, and the organs in your abdomen. It helps the rush of blood to your face and head, keeping your hormone levels under supervision. It is effective for diabetic patients.
  7. Dhanurasana: It is another effective yoga pose that strengthens your backbone and back. It stimulates your reproductive organs, and works great in beating stress and fatigue. It is highly recommended to be practiced for diabetic patients.

Here is a list of food items you should include/cut down in your diet in case you have type 2 diabetes:

  1. Vegetables: You must have fresh or frozen vegetables and avoid using sauces, dips, fats or salts. Intake non-starchy vegetables like cucumber, spinach, broccoli, cabbage, lettuce and vegetables, which are dark green or yellow in color. Also have starchy vegetables such as corn, green peas, beans, carrots and yams. Avoid potatoes as they are pure starch.
  2. Fresh Fruits: You should include fresh fruits in your regular diet. Have apples, bananas, berries, papaya, cherries, grapes, melons, oranges, peaches, pineapples and raisins. Have whole fruits regularly, which do not contain added chemical sweeteners.
  3. Grains: Include grains in your diet and consume whole grains more. Whole grains are not processed and consist of the whole-grain kernel. Grains contain starch, which is a source of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are bad for blood sugar. Hence, whole grains, which are rich in fiber are recommended. Fiber controls the blood-sugar level from shooting up. Fiber should be included in the form of bran of oat and wheat.
  4. Proteins: Coming to protein food items, you should consume fish and poultry items often. Always remove the skin from chicken or turkey properly before cooking. Buy lean meat and trim all the fat from meat. Avoid frying and use methods such as baking, roasting, grilling or boiling. Also use healthy oils for frying purpose.
  5. Dairy Products: In case of type 2 diabetes, always use dairy products, which are low in fat. Do not add sugar to milk, curd or yoghurt as they contain natural sugar. Do not consume more than three cups of milk a day.
  6. Oils and Fats: Cut down the intake of excessive oily and fatty foods. Avoid food items that contain high saturated fats such as bacon, hams, sausages and butter. Consume food with polyunsaturated or monounsaturated fats. Oil raises blood-sugar level and is high in calorie and should be used in lesser amounts.

A type 2 diabetes patient needs to undergo several changes in his/her diet to keep a check on the rising blood sugar levels and for living as healthy as possible. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a yoga-and-naturopathy.

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