Whilst healthy diets should always consist of a good mix of all food groups, recent reports have indicated that particular herbs and supplements could also have huge benefits to those with diabetes. Many of the following herbs have been shown to contain anti-diabetic properties, which include the lowering of blood sugar levels and improving insulin sensitivity.
Turmeric is a herb that is commonly used in curries to produce a yellow coloring. It is thought to have a number of medicinal properties which come from a compound that the herb contains, called curcumin. Studies of curcumin have shown that it can lower blood sugar levels, possibly decreasing them by 18% by taking just 300mg a day of highly purified curcuminoids. Other studies have found that taking just 1.5 grams of curcumin for nine months can prevent the development of type 2 diabetes. The compound has also been found to contain anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties which could lower the risk of heart disease.
Ginger is often used in a variety of home remedies as well as being used in cooking an array of dishes. A study that was carried out on 88 participants found that taking just 3 grams of ginger each day can reduce fasting blood sugar and HbA1c levels. Together with this, ginger has also been found to have great anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, as well as the active compounds preventing changes in proteins which are caused by high blood sugar. These changes could otherwise damage cells, nerves and blood vessels.
Cinnamon is another well-known supplement for diabetes. A number of studies have shown that cinnamon may help to improve insulin resistance, fight inflammation, and decrease the absorption of glucose following a meal. However, there are currently two main types of cinnamon, namely Ceylon and Cassia, which have been found to have varying effects. Some studies have shown that Cassia cinnamon could be more effective at lowering blood sugar levels, although if too much is taken it could lead to liver damage. Therefore, if cinnamon is used as a supplement then Ceylon would be the safer option to use.
4) Black Seed
Black seed, also known as black curry, is the seed of a flower which has been used in traditional medicine for decades. It has since been proven to fight inflammation, lower blood lipids, fight bacteria and protect the heart and liver from disease. Researchers from the Indian Council of Medical Research have also found that black seed oil can increase lowered serum insulin concentrations.
5. Aloe Vera
Lastly, aloe vera has long been a well-known remedy for countless health benefits, both in its raw, natural form when it is used on surface skin abrasions, and taken as an internal remedy. It is a common house plant and is perhaps most well know for soothing the pain of sunburnt skin. However, further intensive studies have revealed that the diverse plant can also be used an oral supplement to treat the symptoms of diabetes. It has been found to significantly reduce fasting blood sugar, although further studies are needed to test any harmful side effects of consuming too much aloe vera.
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