If you are one of the millions suffering from diabetes or any other form of “insulin” resistance, maintaining a normal level of blood sugar can be very challenging; especially with prescription medicines getting more and more expensive.
Maintaining a normal level of blood sugar is necessary for our body’s overall health. An erratic blood sugar can affect the body’s performance and even lead to complications if left unchecked.
Increased sugar levels, otherwise known as hyperglycemia, affects people who have diabetes. It’s important to treat hyperglycemia, because if left untreated, it can become severe and lead to serious complications requiring emergency care; such as diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) or hyperglycemic hyperosmolar nonketotic syndrome. In the long term, persistent hyperglycemia, even if not severe, can lead to complications affecting your eyes, kidneys, nerves and heart.
Herbs and spices can lower blood sugar
Traditionally, herbs and spices are used to lower sugar levels to normal. In a study by the University of Georgia, it was revealed that many herbs and spices, being rich in the antioxidant phenol, can prevent damage and inflammation to tissues caused by high levels of blood sugar.
Let’s take a look at some of the best natural sources you can consider to include in your diet
In a study conducted by researchers from the American Chemical Society and published in Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, oregano was found to inhibit an enzyme, dipeptidyl peptidase IV, that promotes the secretion of insulin. Protein tyrosine phosphatase – which plays a role in insulin signaling – has led researchers to conclude that the herbs could be useful in preventing and treating diabetes.
If you don’t have access to fresh oregano, no worries – although, of course, it is always preferable to use fresh, organic herbs whenever possible, the dried “supermarket” version is just as effective when it comes to lowering blood sugar.
Garlic may provide other benefits for patients with diabetes. In addition to lowering blood sugar levels, garlic may also help control other factors that contribute to diabetes, including levels of cholesterol and fat in the blood, known as triglycerides, the 2008 “Acta Diabetologica” study reports.
Doctors at the University of Toronto have reported that American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius L) can be used to reduce blood sugar levels in individuals with type 2 diabetes.
American ginseng capsules were given 40 minutes before diabetic individuals were given an oral glucose challenge. Those who took the ginseng were found to have a 20 percent reduction in blood sugar levels compared to the results obtained with placebo capsules.
This study was particularly interesting for several reasons. It revealed that when ginseng was taken with a meal, no change in blood sugar levels occurred. The timing of the ginseng consumption seemed to be crucial, requiring a period of at least 40 minutes to pass before consuming a meal.
Cinnamon, also known as the ‘poor man’s insulin’, has been found to have 18 percent phenol content in dry weight. For type-2 diabetics or those who suffer from insulin resistance, studies have shown that improved insulin sensitivity and blood glucose control can be had for as little as a teaspoon per day. Improved insulin resistance helps in weight control and lessens the risk of heart disease.
Cloves come from a flower bud of a tropical evergreen tree. Research promotes the use of cloves for patients with diabetes for the glucose-lowering impacts experienced when consuming it on a daily basis. When consumed for more than 30 days, according to research published by Dr. Alam Khan in 2006, cloves have the potential to lower average serum glucose from 225 mg/dl to 150 mg/dl.