In order to live a long and healthy life, it is important to tend to your body in the right ways. One way of achieving this is by controlling your blood sugar. By today’s standards, we have to overcome many obstacles to acquire the health we desire. Thankfully, nature has provided us with many spices that naturally help to control blood sugar. Provided below is a list of ten spices that can help you keep your blood sugar in check:
1. Cayenne Pepper
This spicy pepper may provide more benefits to your overall health than you may think. Apart from adding flavor to your meals, cayenne pepper “may improve the sensitivity of your tissues to insulin, and less insulin will be required to efficiently cause the movement of glucose from your blood into your tissues,” according to The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. If you aren’t too sensitive to spicy food, give it a try!
Cumin is often used in cooking, and is especially found in chili powders and curry. Many people enjoy eating ethnic foods, but there may be a better reason than that to eat cumin. According to a study published in “Food and Chemical Toxicology,” the test subjects (mice) experienced lower blood sugar while ingesting cumin, as did the mice that were given blood sugar medication.
Coriander is sometimes confused with cilantro, as they come from the same plant. However, coriander is very different in its properties when used in preparing food. Not only that, but coriander is believed to aid in lowering blood sugar as well. According to organicfacts.net, as coriander stimulates the endocrine glands, “the secretion of insulin is increased from the pancreas which subsequently increases the insulin level in the blood. This regulates the proper assimilation and absorption of sugar and the resulting drops in the sugar level in the blood.”
Originating from tree bark (did you know?), cinnamon is widely used in the preparation of food and household products. Did you also know that consuming cinnamon is a fantastic way of helping to lower your blood sugar levels? According to an article from NPR, “Cinnamon Can Help Lower Blood Sugar, But One Variety May Be Best,” it is suggested that cinnamon does in fact lower fasting blood glucose levels. However, cassia cinnamon (what you are most likely to find at the grocery store) may “contain high levels of coumarin, a naturally occurring ingredient that, when eaten in large enough amounts, can cause reversible liver toxicity in a small group of individuals sensitive to it.” In that case, it is suggested that you purchase Ceylon cinnamon (also known as True Cinnamon), which is not related to cassia.
Often found in pumpkin pie during the holidays, cloves may prove to have more benefits than simply flavoring this traditional pie. According to livestrong.com, when consumed on a daily basis, cloves have been found to aid in lowering blood sugar. “When consumed for more than 30 days, according to research published by Dr. Alam Khan in 2006, cloves have the potential to lower an average serum glucose from 225 mg/dl to 150 mg/dl.”
Ginger is commonly found in Asian cuisine, and has been used for cooking and medicinal purposes for thousands of years. According to livestrong.com, ginger has been shown to lower blood sugar levels. Ginger also has the ability to relieve an upset stomach and help to fight against the symptoms of a cold.
Another ingredient commonly found in a curry, turmeric can lower blood sugar levels. “According to a 2012 study conducted at Harbin Medical University in China, patients with Type II diabetes who took 300 mg/day of turmeric for three months experienced considerably larger drops in blood glucose levels, insulin resistance and hemoglobin A1C than those who took a placebo.”
Often, the leaves of sage are seeped to make hot tea. There are many health benefits to consuming sage tea, which includes aiding in menstrual problems and menopause. Interestingly, consuming sage may also help to lower blood sugar levels, however, it is advised that it be used for this purpose under medical supervision.
9. Celery Seed
Celery is found commonly in many American dishes. It is great for dipping, but the seeds have benefits as well. What is not often known is that celery can be used to lower blood sugar. According to livestrong.com, celery may help if you have Type-1 Diabetes, because it has been known to act similarly to insulin in the body.
Oregano is often used in Italian cooking, such as in pizza and pasta. Based on a study in the Journal of Natural Medicine in 2008, “glucosides in oregano are the ones responsible for lowering blood sugar levels.” Perhaps you should take that into consideration the next time you are preparing your favorite Italian dish at home.
Hopefully this list will be a good starting point for those who want to avoid medication, but still wish to have control of their body’s own blood sugar levels. By purchasing these spices at your grocery store, and using them while cooking in your home, it may be possible to finally have some control over your blood sugar.
Food and Chemical Toxicology: Antihypergylcemic Activity and Inhibition of Advanced Glycation End Product Formation by Cuminum Cyminum in Streptozotocin Induced Diabetic Rats
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: Effects of Chili Consumption on Postprandial Glucose, Insulin, and Energy Metabolism