If you want to learn how to reduce your blood sugar level with home remedies, lemon might be a good option for you.
Keep reading to find out why, and learn some health benefits of lemons.
Lemon is a citrus fruit. It has been an important crop for thousands of years. But did you know that the American Diabetes Association considers lemon to be a diabetes superfood?
Lemons also contain the following compounds:
A raw lemon without the peel contains:
- 29 calories
- 9 grams of carbohydrates
- 2.8 grams of dietary fiber
- 0.3 grams of healthy fat
- 1.1 grams of protein
- 1.5 grams of sugar
- 52 grams of water
Does lemon reduce sugar levels?
The benefits that lemon has depend upon the following factors:
- Which type of diabetes mellitus you have
- How much lemon you consume
- What kind of lemon you consume
- Other health and lifestyle factors
Lemons might not have a direct impact on blood sugar levels. However, they can help to prevent large blood sugar spikes.
Lemons contain vitamin C, which can help promote better metabolic control. Vitamin C can decrease levels of fasting blood sugar. It can also improve insulin resistance.
Another study found that vitamin C in the diet can even play a role in preventing the development of type 2 diabetes.
Lemons contain soluble fiber. Soluble fiber can help to slow the absorption of sugar. It does this because it does not break down easily and therefore ensures slow release of sugars into your bloodstream. This can then help to stabilize your blood sugar levels.
Certain citrus flavonoids can inhibit the digestion of starches. This can help to lower sugar absorption in the intestines.
Low glycemic index
Lemons are low on the glycemic index. The glycemic index is a value given to a food based on how it affects blood sugar levels. The index goes from zero to 100. 100 is the equivalent of pure glucose.
Foods higher on the glycemic index cause high blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia). If you consume lemon juice with a high glycemic index food, this can slow the conversion of starch to sugar.
This then lowers the food’s glycemic index, which promotes lower blood sugar and insulin secretion levels after eating a meal.
Type 1 diabetes
Type 1 diabetes mellitus is a condition that originates in the pancreas. This is when the body can’t produce insulin. Patients with type 1 diabetes need to take insulin and sometimes other diabetes medication.
Lemons certainly cannot cure type 1 diabetes. However, citrus can still help stabilize blood sugar levels. Lemons can also help contribute to a lifestyle that prevents obesity, heart disease, and other conditions that can complicate type 1 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes
In type 2 diabetes, the body still creates insulin. However, the insulin the pancreas makes is not being used properly. This is why it becomes difficult to regulate blood sugar and insulin levels.
Lemons can be helpful in type 2 diabetes because they can help prevent sugar absorption after carb intake. They can also help to lower glucose levels, insulin resistance, and regulate your metabolism.
A study showed that citrus fruits such as lemon could help to lower obesity in rodents. Since obesity is associated with type 2 diabetes, this is yet another reason to consume lemons if you have type 2 diabetes.
Gestational diabetes is the type of diabetes that people may develop in pregnancy. This is confirmed with a glucose tolerance test.
Prediabetes is a condition that, if not treated properly, can turn into type 2 diabetes. Consuming lemon can help to prevent this progression from happening.
5 other health benefits of lemon
1) Anti-inflammatory Effects
The flavonoids in lemon (naringin and naringenin) have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.
This was confirmed in a study published in the “Advances in Nutrition” journal. This was an animal study conducted on rats. They found that naringenin may have anti-diabetic properties.
Epidemiological studies show an association between consuming citrus flavonoids and a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. Citrus flavonoids may also contribute to the prevention and treatment of obesity.
There are also studies on rats that demonstrate citrus flavonoids prevent hepatic steatosis, or fatty liver. They do this by inhibiting the synthesis of hepatic fatty acids and increasing fatty acid oxidation.
2) Reduces Blood Pressure and Cholesterol
The soluble fiber content of lemons can help to lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and weight loss. This can then lower risk of heart disease.
Consuming soluble fiber can reduce total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol by five to ten percent. It has been associated with improved immune function and less inflammation.
3) Potent Antioxidant
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant. It can reduce damage by free radicals, which attack cells and membranes in the body. Since vitamin C also helps with collagen formation, it helps maintain the integrity of blood vessel walls.
This is why vitamin C can also be helpful to people with circulation problems and arterial damage. Overall, vitamin C can help lower triglycerides, cholesterol, and inflammation.
4) Contains Quercetin
Lemon is a good source of quercetin. Quercetin can help to reduce the risk of the following conditions:
- Allergic disorders
- Neurodegenerative disorders
- Cardiovascular diseases
5) Protects Against Free Radical Damage
Lemon peels contain phenolic compounds. These compounds act as antioxidants by donating either protons or electrons.
They also protect cells against free radical damage. Eating lemon peels can help to reduce the risk of several chronic diseases.
Other home remedies to reduce blood sugar level
Cinnamon can help to lower blood glucose levels.
Momordica charantia, or bitter gourd, can also help to lower blood glucose levels.
One study looked at ginger’s effects on patients with type 2 diabetes. The patients were randomized to ginger consumption or the control group. Those who took ginger had between 1600 and 4000 milligrams per day.
The results showed that the ginger group had significantly improved hemoglobin A1c levels between baseline and follow-up. There was no significant difference in the control group.
The researchers concluded that ginger might impact glucose control over a longer period in patients with type 2 diabetes.
Fenugreek seeds have also shown potential to help maintain good blood sugar control.
Moringa is one of the most nutritious foods on the planet. It also has antihyperglycemic properties. This is due to the presence of phytochemicals in its leaves, fruits, roots, and oils.
Moreover, there is strong evidence showing moringa’s acute antihyperglycemic effects on diabetic animal models.
Apple cider vinegar
People with diabetes can take apple cider vinegar to improve blood sugar management.
Gymnema is an Indian Ayurvedic herb. It is also called gurmar, which means “sugar destroyer.” Gymnema suppresses blood sugar activity and has a wide range of therapeutic effects, including its actions against diabetes.
This remedy also has positive effects on blood sugar homeostasis, sugar cravings, and promotes regeneration of the pancreas.
Chia seeds are high in soluble fiber. This is why they can also help in the regulation of blood sugar levels.
So it looks like lemons are one of many home remedies that can help to reduce excess sugar level after all! They’re even considered to be a diabetes superfood because they are full of beneficial nutrients, like vitamins, minerals, and soluble fiber.
And lemons aren’t your only option, either. Several home remedies can help to reduce your blood sugar level, such as ginger, cinnamon, moringa, and gymnema.
So, if you have diabetes or blood sugar dysregulation, speak to your health care provider to see if lemons may be helpful to you.