Food, herbs, and spices that can control blood sugar
Food, herbs, and spices that can control blood sugar By Ellaine Castillo – DiabetesCures
Recent estimates show that there are more than 80 million Americans who suffer from insulin resistance. This is a great cause for concern since in just a few years this can condition can progress to cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, cancer, and diabetes.
Insulin is an important metabolic hormone that triggers the uptake of glucose from the blood to the cells. Unfortunately, people who suffer from insulin resistance do not respond well to this trigger. This causes the body to produce more and more insulin, but oftentimes it is still not enough to induce the appropriate response.
Diet is a major contributor to the development of insulin resistance but it is also the first line of defense against this condition. If you suffer from insulin resistance, here are some foods, herbs, and spices that you should include in your diet to restore your body’s sensitivity to insulin.
- Turmeric — This golden spice, which is a key ingredient in Indian cuisine, contains an active compound called curcumin that has been shown to be 500 to 100,000 times more effective than the antidiabetic drug metformin at activating glucose uptake. Furthermore, a study involving 240 pre-diabetic patients showed that taking 250 milligrams of curcumin for nine months prevented them from developing diabetes.
- Ginger — Ginger, a popular spice that belongs to the same family as turmeric, was widely used as a traditional remedy for conditions ranging from indigestion to the flu. Recently, a clinical showed that diabetics who received three one-gram capsules of ginger for eight weeks reduced their blood sugar by 10.5 percent and exhibited improvements in insulin sensitivity. These findings were supported by a separate study wherein a daily dose of 1600 milligrams of ginger improved eight markers of diabetes, including insulin sensitivity.
- Cinnamon — Patients who suffer from diabetes or prediabetes can benefit from cinnamon, a spice that is commonly added to beverages and pastries. It regulates blood sugar levels by improving the body’s response to insulin. Moreover, one study has shown that adding a teaspoon of cinnamon to a person’s diet can slow the rate at which the stomach is emptied by up to 37 percent, thereby preventing spikes in blood sugar levels.
- Olive leaf extract — In a clinical study involving 46 overweight men, it was shown that patients who received capsules containing olive oil extracts for 12 weeks improved insulin resistance by approximately 15 percent. Additionally, the patients exhibited a 28 percent increase in the activity of insulin-producing cells. These findings showed that the effects of olive oil extracts are comparable to the prescription drug metformin.
- Berries — Eating berries, such as Strawberries, bilberries, lingonberries, and chokeberries, can increase insulin sensitivity and consequently, improve blood sugar levels. This was based on the results of multiple studies, including one that showed that adding pureed berries onto bread can prevent spikes in after-meal glucose levels caused by starch. On top of this, berries have potent antioxidant properties that protect against diabetes, Parkinson’s, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and cancer.
- Black seed — For centuries, people have used black seed, scientifically known as Nigella sativa, for its various healing properties. Traditional users of black seed claim that it can remedy almost everything except for death. In a previous study of 94 participants, researchers found that daily consumption of two grams of black seed is enough to reduce blood sugar and improve insulin resistance.
- Spirulina — One study showed that insulin-resistant patient who received 19 grams of spirulina, which is a type of microalgae found in oceans and salty lakes, improved their insulin sensitivity by a whopping 224.7 percent in just eight weeks. A separate study also showed that diabetic patients who took spirulina exhibited healthy blood sugar levels and did not develop side effects associated with the disease, such as cardiovascular disease, nerve damage, and kidney damage.
- Berberine — Unlike the others on the list, berberine is a specific compound found in various plants including goldenseal, barberry, and Oregon grape. A comprehensive analysis of 14 studies, which involve a total of 1,068 participants, showed that berberine is just as effective is the antidiabetic drugs metformin, glipizide, and rosiglitazone. Moreover, this compound did not cause any adverse side effect. (Related: Berberine is an alkaloid that plays an essential role in metabolic and cardiovascular health.)