India is touted as the world’s diabetes capital. Even as cases continue to increase, it may help you to know that nature holds many hidden gems that can assist in managing this condition. I stumbled upon one such remedy when I observed my mother peeling a food resembling almonds for my grandmother. When I expressed curiosity, I found out it was kadwa badam or bitter almond, known for its ability to regulate blood sugar levels. My diabetic grandmother had been experiencing unusually high blood sugar levels for the past few days, and we hoped that kadwa badam could be a natural way to manage diabetes.
We began noticing better blood sugar levels just a few days after she began having a handful of kadwa badams daily. It was a significant breakthrough, offering her relief. The efficacy of this natural remedy became evident as it played a crucial role in effectively managing her condition but I still got in touch with an expert who confirmed this! Let’s take a look at how kadwa badam can help manage diabetes.
What is kadwa badam?
We are not talking about almonds that taste bitter. This kadwa badam is also known as sky fruit or sugar badam, and is derived from the seeds of the Mahogany tree (Swietenia macrophylla) native to Southeast Asia. It is packed with essential nutrients and bioactive compounds that offer numerous health benefits, particularly for individuals with diabetes. It is an excellent source of protein, fiber, healthy fats, vitamins (including vitamin E), and minerals (such as magnesium and potassium). Incorporating kadwa badam into a balanced diet can help provide the body with crucial nutrients necessary for optimal health and well-being.
The name “sky fruit” is derived from the fascinating way it grows on the tree. Unlike most other fruits that hang downward from their branches, sky fruit hangs in a unique manner, with the fruit facing upward towards the sky.
Benefits of kadwa badam for diabetes
“Kadwa badam is a natural medicine that boosts immunity, controls blood sugar levels, and improves circulation,” says Ayurveda expert Dr Chaitali Deshmukh. She further explains that kadwa badam contains natural compounds such as saponins, flavonoids, and phenolics, which have been found to possess anti-diabetic properties. These bioactive compounds help enhance insulin sensitivity, improve glucose utilisation, and reduce insulin resistance.
Kadwa badam can serve as a beneficial between-meal snack for individuals with diabetes. “These almonds contain magnesium, a mineral that plays a crucial role in diabetes management and blood sugar regulation,” says Dr Deshmukh. Furthermore, bitter almonds have been used in various herbal, Ayurvedic and Unani medicines due to their therapeutic properties.
Also try: Manage diabetes with the power of turnips!
Other benefits of kadwa badam or bitter almonds
Beyond its specific benefits for diabetics, kadwa badam offers an impressive array of essential nutrients:
1. Antioxidant powerhouse
Kadwa badam is rich in antioxidants that play a vital role in protecting the body against oxidative stress. Oxidative stress occurs when there is an imbalance between the production of harmful free radicals and the body’s ability to neutralize them. Diabetes is often associated with increased oxidative stress, which can lead to complications such as cardiovascular disease and nerve damage. The antioxidants present in kadwa badam, including vitamin E, phenolic acids, and flavonoids, help combat free radicals and reduce oxidative stress.
2. Anti-inflammatory properties
Inflammation is a common factor in various chronic diseases, including diabetes. The bioactive compounds in kadwa badam exhibit potent anti-inflammatory effects that can help reduce inflammation in the body.
3. Heart health
Diabetes is often accompanied by an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases. Kadwa badam contains heart-healthy nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and plant sterols. These components help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, improve lipid profiles, and promote cardiovascular health.
Also read: Heart disease and diabetes can co-exist: What you need to know
How to eat kadwa badam for diabetes?
Dr Deshmukh suggests that eating these raw will be best. Start by removing the outer brown peel of the kadwa badam. The peel can be tough and bitter, so it’s essential to discard it before consumption. You can use a sharp knife or your fingers to gently peel off the outer layer, revealing the white seed inside. You can also grind it into a powder and add to milkshakes.
So, give kadwa badam a try and see for yourself if your sugar levels stay in control or not!