Zesty Spices Balance Blood Sugar
Spices do more than season your food. They contain potent compounds that can treat disease. Scientists are currently studying these three spices for their power to battle diabetes.
One of the oldest medicinal plants, fenugreek shows promise in lowering blood sugar levels for people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. The seeds are rich in a soluble fiber that might help by interfering with the way your body absorbs sugar from food. And fenugreek is packed with an amino acid that stimulates your pancreas to release insulin. This exotic seasoning is found in curry powder, or you can buy the seeds separately. Some experts suggest eating 5 grams, about one and one-third teaspoons, of whole seeds daily. Watch your blood sugar closely if you take insulin or other diabetic medications, as adding fenugreek could cause hypoglycemia or low blood sugar.
Adding a dash of cayenne pepper livens up food while dampening after-meal insulin spikes. Australian researchers seasoned the food of 36 people, who were overweight, with cayenne chili pepper. After four weeks of eating the spicy food, their insulin and blood sugar levels were measured. Daily doses of this spice evened out insulin levels and lowered blood sugar spikes after eating. People in this study added 16.5 grams, a little more than three tablespoons, of a cayenne chili spice blend to their meals each day.
Years of poor blood sugar control can lead to cataracts. But turmeric, the yellow spice in curry powder, can put the brakes on cataract growth. This pungent spice seems to protect your eyes from damage caused by high blood sugar. Use it to liven up rice, beans, and sauces. For the most benefits, add a dash of black pepper to your dish and drink a cup of green tea with your meal. You’ll absorb up to 20 times more curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric.
And that’s not all spices can do for your health! Click the “Learn More” button and grab a copy of Simple Home Remedies for Seniors to learn more health benefits of spices.
- FC&A Staff Writer