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5 Spices That May Improve Blood Glucose

spices reduce blood glucoseEating a diet rich in antioxidants, fiber, vitamins and minerals is going to go a long way to improve health, but scientific studies are finding some foods that may be specifically helpful to people concerned with regulating blood glucose. Those with metabolic syndrome, prediabetes, diabetes, and people who are obese need to find optimal ways to manage their blood sugar on a daily basis. Adding specific spices to a reduced carb diet that can impact blood glucose is a smart idea; but will this method reduce blood sugar or help people lose weight?

Eat A Flavorful Healthy Diet

Reducing the amount of calories and carbohydrates you consume is important for weight loss, and carb reduction is especially important for blood sugar management. However, reducing carbs and calories in an extreme way can have a negative impact on the amount of nutrients you get from your diet. It’s more beneficial to focus on a nutrient rich diet with moderate carbohydrate intake and spice it up. Consider how you might use some of the foods and spices listed below to help keep your blood sugar stable.

  1. Fenugreek – Not a common ingredient in the USA but more widely used in Indian, north african, middle eastern cuisines. Interesting to note that many of the sauces made with this spice are served with rice or some other grain. You may need to do some research to discover which foreign dishes specifically use fenugreek, but it could be well worth the trouble. Aside from plenty of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, the fiber in fenugreek slows the digestion of carbs which reduces blood sugar spikes. It can be found in health food stores as a pill or tea, but it will probably be more enjoyable to learn to cook with it.
  2. Turmeric – Another common ingredient found in curries, turmeric is especially well known for reducing inflammation. Inflammation plays a role in the development of type 2 diabetes as well as obesity and an anti-inflammatory diet and exercise program are usually recommended. If you’re not a curry fan, a small amount of turmeric can be a flavorful addition to marinades, salad dressings and other types of sauces. It can also be found in pill or tea form, or with the Asian produce in your grocery store.
  3. Ginger – This root has received a lot of publicity lately because it can increase the uptake of glucose into muscle cells, reducing blood sugar and it also help fight inflammation. Ginger has been used throughout the world for years in treating a wide variety of digestion problems. Interesting to note that ginger and turmeric are related, like cousins, and when used together they enhance each other. Try buying the roots fresh at your grocery store and grinding them in a food processor for use raw, or in many recipes.
  4. Cinnamon – Another well noted spice that has been found to impact blood glucose as well as lipid profiles. Cinnamon can reduce serum glucose, triglyceride, total cholesterol, and LDL cholesterol levels in people with type 2 diabetes.1 It’s ironic that in the USA cinnamon is probably used most in combination with sugar and carbs in baked goods, however the amount of cinnamon in a sticky bun probably doesn’t compensate enough for the carbs and sugar. However cinnamon is also often an ingredient in Indian curries and used to spice middle eastern beef dishes. It’s important to mention though that not all cinnamon sources have the same benefit, and Ceylon cinnamon would be the best.
  5. Garlic and onions – Several studies showed that these two bulbous plants may reduce blood glucose in diabetic rats and rabbits. However the results are inconclusive especially in relation to human consumption. It is well known that garlic can prevent hardening of the arteries and has an impact on cholesterol levels making it good for people with metabolic syndrome. Since garlic and onions add so much flavor to food and have many other health benefits it’s a great idea to include them in a nutrient rich diet. In relation to the rat studies, garlic only had an impact on blood glucose when given in raw form, not cooked.

Not Your Favorite Cuisine?

If you’re not inclined toward the foods and spices listed above, don’t worry, although they are beneficial they are not a cure all. Reducing carbs and sugar in your diet and increasing movement in your lifestyle are still the number one way to improve blood glucose and lose weight. To assist in reducing the impact of carbs, SUGARDOWN® can be taken before high carb meals to prevent blood sugar spikes, improve your feeling of fullness and prevent cravings that often follow sugar spikes. SUGARDOWN® also improves digestion. Using SUGARDOWN® regularly can help manage blood glucose and reduce your desire for high carb foods, allowing you to naturally transition to a lower carb diet.

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1 http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/26/12/3215.full