Three popular spices for diabetics

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Spices to Lower Blood Sugar(NaturalHealth365) Did you know that adding organic spices can help manage your blood sugar better? It is easy to add to any recipe and gives plenty of nutrients and specific health benefits. In fact, there are many studies that suggest merely half a teaspoon of cinnamon, a day, can significantly reduce excess blood sugar levels.

But before you run to the health food store to buy cinnamon, don’t forget to add fenugreek, coriander and clove seeds. These spices give you that extra kick of flavor while, at the same time, helping to stabilize your energy level.

How does fenugreek improves insulin production and reduces blood sugar?

Fenugreek seeds contain many natural compounds, but research has identified that the phytonutrient galactomannan and an amino acid, 4 – hydroxyisoleucine are responsible for its glucose-lowering effect. Many lab studies have confirmed the beneficial effects of fenugreek in lowering blood sugar in type-2 diabetics.

In a study on human subjects with mild type-2 diabetes, consumption of fenugreek extract for two months decreased the blood sugar levels and were less insulin resistant than the placebo group. In another study, published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 50 grams of fenugreek seed powder consumed twice daily decreased the fasting blood sugar level, improved glucose tolerance and reduced the urinary glucose output by 54% in type-1 diabetics.

In addition to this – it also decreased the total cholesterol, bad cholesterol levels significantly indicating its usefulness in managing diabetes and treating its complications. There is no recommended dose of fenugreek, however clinical studies have used 5 grams of seeds or a gram of the powder per day.

Coriander improves insulin sensitivity and digestion

Although coriander and cilantro belong to the same family, coriander leaves and seeds offer more significant benefits than cilantro. Coriander seeds contain two volatile oils – linalool and geranyl acetate – which are powerful antioxidants that work at a cellular level. Lab studies have shown that coriander seed extracts were able to decrease the plasma glucose, improve insulin sensitivity and improved the serum lipid levels in rat models.

Another study showed that treatment with 200 mg/kg of coriander seed extracts significantly increased the activity of insulin-secreting beta cells in comparison with the diabetic control rats. In a human study, reported in Digestive Diseases and Sciences, researchers observed that coriander (seed) powder decreased the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, a chronic digestive complaint. Study participants reported a greater absence of bloating, pain and constipation compared to the placebo group.

Lower blood glucose and cholesterol levels with cloves

Cloves are rich in antioxidants anthocyanins and quercetin plus high in an active component called eugenol, and is also an excellent source of manganese, good source of omega-3 fats, vitamins C, K, fiber and minerals calcium, magnesium. In addition, this spice is a natural antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and analgesic.

In one study, 30 type-2 diabetics were given capsules containing 0, 1, 2 or 3 grams of cloves each day – for a month – to observe the serum glucose levels. It was found that serum glucose dropped from 225 to 150 mg / dl with a significant drop in triglyceride, total cholesterol and LDL levels. Researchers of the study suggested that consuming 1 to 3 grams of cloves per day is beneficial for type-2 diabetics to better manage their glucose and total cholesterol levels.

It is always best not to focus on one spice alone, adding a variety of spices to season your food doubles its medicinal value. Naturally, for best results, always work with an experienced healthcare provider about the best nutritional advice for you – especially if you have diabetes.

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References:
1. Sharma RD, Raghuram TC, Rao NS. Effect of fenugreek seeds on blood glucose and serum lipids in type I diabetes.Eur J Clin Nutr. 1990 Apr;44(4):301-6.
2. Eidi M et.al; Effect of coriander seed (Coriandrum sativum L.) ethanol extract on insulin release from pancreatic beta cells in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Phytother Res. 2009 Mar;23(3):404-6.
3. Alam Khan et.al; Cloves improve glucose, cholesterol and triglycerides of people with type 2 diabetes mellitus, The FASEB Journal. 2006;20:A990.

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    Cayenne pepper is another useful spice for managing diabetes. A study showed that eating meals with generous amounts of this hot spice resulted in diabetics needing lower insulin doses.