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7 Herbs & Spices You Can Use for a Diabetes-Friendly Diet

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The spice cabinet in your kitchen, may prove to be a source of help for diabetes patients.
Some of the most commonly used dried spices and herbs may help block the inflammation that is known to drive diabetes and other chronic diseases, according to studies conducted by researchers from the University of Georgia.

The researchers who tested extracts from 24 common spices and herbs found that many contained high levels of inflammation-inhibiting antioxidant compounds which is known as polyphenols.

spices and herbs for diabetes
spices and herbs for diabetes / pixabay

Fight Diabetes Using These 7 Herbs and Spices:

1. Basil

Basil contains lots of flavonoids and goes well with olive oil, tomatoes, mozzarella and balsamic vinegar. Consuming plenty of basil may help improve your blood pressure control, according to a research published in April 2014 in the Journal of Research in Medical Sciences.

High blood pressure can be a concern with individuals suffering from type 2 diabetes. Two of 3 individuals with diabetes have high blood pressure, according to the American Diabetes Association. Therefore, it might be worth growing a basil plant to enhance your dishes.

2. Cinnamon

Cinnamon has bioactive components that can help in lowering blood sugar levels. A 2013 study which was published in the Annals of Family Medicine and Diabetes Care showed that cinnamon is beneficial for patients with Type 2 diabetes.

It may have a beneficial effect on LDL cholesterol, fasting plasma glucose, triglyceride levels and HDL cholesterol in patients with Type 2 diabetes.

You can take 1-2 grams of cinnamon daily in the form of tea. You can also sprinkle it on your smoothies, oatmeal, or use it when baking and cooking. Always consult your doctor for the proper dosage suitable for your condition.

Note: If you are taking blood-thinning medication, avoid taking cinnamon.

3. Fenugreek

Research conducted on the spice fenugreek or Trigonella foenum-graecum, is also promising in diabetes. Clinical research in individuals with diabetes has been conducted on both a fenugreek extract and on soaked fenugreek seeds, that showed improvements in insulin sensitivity and fasting blood sugar(Gupta et al. 2001 and Madar et al. 1988).

4. Garlic

Garlic is associated with lower fasting blood glucose levels, according to an analysis which was published in December 2015 in the Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

You can include it in hummus, in cauliflower, or add cooked garlic to steamed spinach. Garlic may interact with your medications or thin your blood, so consult your doctor before adding it into your diet.

5. Ginger

Ginger or Zingiber officianlis has been used as a staple ingredient in Asian foods. It is known for its action as an anti-inflammatory, a digestive and as an anti-nausea medicine.

But, recently ginger has shown promising results in basic science and animal research, that tested its ability to reduce oxidation, improve insulin sensitivity and improve cholesterol (Bhandari et al. 2005 and Akhani et al. 2004).

6. Rosemary

Rosemary or Rosmarinus officinalis is a heart tonic, that is essential in the treatment of metabolic syndrome. Rosemary’s most active phytochemical, known as carnosol, helps in lowering oxidative stress. Therefore, it is effective in fighting cancer and inflammation.

You can get these properties by using rosemary in cooking, most especially when you are preparing stews, meats and stir-fries. You can also try brewing a relaxing rosemary tea.

7. Turmeric

Turmeric or Curcuma longa, is known as the yellow root that is popular in Indian cuisine. It is an ideal spice for those with diabetes, as studies have proven it has anti-aging, anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective, antioxidant, heart-protecting, anti-atherosclerotic, anti-infectious and weight-reducing properties. All of these benefits have been associated to its main ingredient, curcumin.

Read More:
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2. What You Should Eat to Fight Diabetes
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