In a world where prescription medication is becoming more expensive, why not try to find alternative products to help gain some advantage in managing your blood sugar levels. The truth is, millions of American adults are diagnosed with diabetes each year and this number is expected to grow in the coming decade. While prevention and treatment of the condition have come a long way, it is important to have a plethora of ways to help reduce your chance of being diagnosed with diabetes. Most healthcare professionals recommend a lifestyle filled with physical activity and healthy eating, moderate portions, and low consumption of sugar, others tend to stray from alternative options, such as herbs and spices, to help control blood sugar levels.
Listed below are 12 common spices and foods to help regulate your blood sugar. Prior to making any lifestyle change geared towards combating diabetes, it is highly recommended that you consult with a physician and discuss your health goals and desires.
This common spice is often offset with sugar, as if you need a reminder of what you put on your French toast. The fact is, cinnamon has been studied over the years and in a 2011 study on glucose levels, it was found that whole cinnamon and cinnamon extract were shown to significantly reduce fasting blood glucose levels. It is crucial you discuss the use of cinnamon with your doctor because many forms of cinnamon contain blood thinning properties (warfarin). 2. Garlic Extract
A 2012 study among rabbits found that the regular use of garlic extract led to a significant reduction in blood glucose levels when compared to the control. Although the study used rabbits, there was still a 30 point reduction in blood glucose levels, which is significant enough to cause substantial positive effects for humans. While garlic is typically known to reduce cholesterol, maybe now it will get even more attention now that type II diabetes is prevalent.
3. Avocado Extract
The main ingredient in avocados is the monounsaturated fatty acids, which are the good source of fats we desire. These fats have been shown to improve fasting blood glucose levels and they also have demonstrated to reduce insulin resistance. Eating a half to a whole avocado can provide ample healthy fats and can be a source of lowering blood sugar levels.
4. Almond Extract
Similar to the avocado, nuts, especially almonds contain a high level of healthy fats. Consider having a handful of almonds as a snack between meals every day and be mindful that nuts contain a lot of calories per serving.
Many nutrition specialists recommend blueberries for various health issues. Consuming blueberries with their dark color means they provide antioxidants and other compounds you do not find with other colored fruits and vegetables. Blueberries are touted for improving insulin sensitivity, which means your insulin is efficient. While blueberries are not a spice or herb, you can purchase powder forms to gain the benefits. 6. Ginger
This spice is popular for soothing your stomach and aiding digestion. However, ginger is not quite known for its blood glucose leveling properties. If you are already on glucose medications, consider talking with your doctor or pharmacist because taking ginger and medication could cause your body’s glucose to drop dangerously low.
Turmeric is a spice commonly used in curry powders, which also contain curcumin. Both of these spices can be purchased separately, but both of these spices has been found to reduce hemoglobin A1C levels. If you have yet to discover the flavor of these spices, consider eating more Indian style cuisine.
These summer treats are loaded with flavor and anthocyanins. A recent study in 2014 found that women who consumed diets high in anthocyanins from cherries had less systemic inflammation and a marked improvement in insulin resistance. While cooking with cherries and liquid is possible, consider cooking with cherry extract. 9. Cayenne
Not only is this spice hot, but it can help melt away glucose in the blood following a meal. Blood sugar can be reduced and lowered up to two hours after a meal containing cayenne spice, but be aware of how much you add if you are sensitive to spicy foods. 10. Oregano
Your favorite Italian spice got even better. A 2008 study found that glucosides within oregano leaves can help reduce and lower blood sugar at a significant rate. Consider cooking with this herb more often to help reduce your blood sugar levels. 11. Marjoram
This dried herb is used in various dishes and is high in polyphenols, which are compounds that are important for controlling blood glucose levels. Try sprinkling this on your dinner every night to help add variety in flavor. 12. Sage
Cooking with sage can have important glucose lowering effects. Some researchers claim that using sage can have similar effects of metformin among diabetics. If you are looking to reduce your blood sugar, consider cooking with sage as often as possible.