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Since ancient times, plant leaves have been used as plant-based traditional medicines in the treatment and prevention of diabetes. This is because medicines derived from plants are commonly known to have no or few side effects.
Certain plant leaves contain high amounts of phytochemicals like antioxidants, even more than their fruits. In this article, we will discuss the leaves of plants that are good for people with diabetes or may help in the prevention and treatment of the condition.
Take a look at the details.
1. Blueberry leaves
Blueberries are an excellent fruit for people with diabetes due to their high antioxidant components like anthocyanin. The leaves of blueberries are also rich in antioxidants like flavonol glycosides and chlorogenic acid that may help improve the levels of glucose in the body and enhance the functions of beta cells of the pancreas. 
2. Bay leaves
According to a study, consumption of bay leaves, around 1-3 grams per day for a month, may help decrease the risk of diabetes and associated heart diseases, owing to the leaves' high antioxidant, glucose and cholesterol-lowering, and capillary functions. Bay leaves also contain phytochemicals like flavonoids, tannins, eugenol and linalool that helps with diabetes. 
3. Guava leaves
A study talks about the postprandial blood glucose-lowering effects of guava leaf tea and improvements in cholesterol and glucose levels. It says that guava leaves are commonly used in folk medicine due to their antioxidant, hepaprotective, anti-diabetic, anti-inflammatory and heart-healthy properties. Guava leaves could be a safe and effective remedy in the prevention and treatment of diabetes. 
4. Neem leaves
Neem leaves possess antidiabetic, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activities, says a study. Consumption of this bitter and pungent leaf can help improve abnormal levels of blood glucose in the body, along with maintaining the lipid profile and preventing complications due to high glucose. 
5. Basil leaves
Basil leaves are widely known to maintain glucose levels, be it in diabetics or non-diabetics. Some studies also show that basil leaves are more effective than metformin, the first-line medication for diabetes treatment. Consumption of basil leaves may also help improve insulin sensitivity. 
6. Insulin plant leaves
Insulin plant (Costus igneus), also known as the spiral flag, has anti-diabetic properties, says a study. It is usually used as an ornamental plant due to its large leaves. Insulin plant is believed to decrease fasting and postprandial blood glucose levels in diabetes to a great extent. This could be because of the release of insulin by the consumption of insulin plants leaves. 
7. Custard apple leaves
According to a study, the leaves of Annona squamosa, commonly known as custard apple or sugar apple have many antioxidant effects. The consumption of these leaves for a 30 days may significantly help reduce blood glucose and lipids, and may also help prevent diabetes complications like heart disease. 
Plant leaves are mainly herbs that can benefit diabetics a lot. If you include the leaves in your diet, they may help prevent diabetes in the long run. Diabetics or pre-diabetics must consult a medical expert before including these leaves in their daily diet.
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