Are you looking for a way of making your meals healthier and tastier while preventing or managing diabetes?
Following a healthy diet that’s high in vegetables and fruits, together with at least 30 minutes of daily exercise and keeping both blood pressure and cholesterol levels in check, help right diabetes.
Usually, when people find out they have diabetes, it comes with concerns about their food, like whether they’ll be able to enjoy meals, or have to say goodbye to their favorite dishes for blander, healthier alternatives.
However, eating with diabetes can be exciting.
While you need to limit your sugar and salt intake, there are many flavorful seasonings that can help enhance the taste of your meals while boosting your overall health.
Seasoning foods wakes up your taste buds creatively, while helping you use less added fat, sugar, and salt. Even better, it reduces inflammation and enhances overall health.
There are several herbs and spices that taste great and deliver some possible health benefits that keep diabetes at bay.
This category of foods can have a beneficial impact on stabilizing the daily levels of blood glucose, lowering inflammation, and boosting your overall health.
There are countless natural spices and herbs with medicinal benefits and effects, but here are ten, which are not only supported by reasonable studies that back their use, but that have anecdotal improvements in blood sugar and the diabetics’ health.
Most of these listed here have anti-inflammatory or anti-diabetic properties, and can be used with any meal to reduce inflammation, while offering the best flavors for your dishes.
Cinnamon is known for its ability to lower blood sugar, as it is loaded with phytonutrients that reduce inflammation, while lowering cholesterol and accelerating metabolism.
Its anti-diabetic compounds reduce the rate at which glucose enters the body, while improving its uptake by cells, and helping with spikes in blood sugar.
A regular dose of cinnamon reduces fasting blood sugar and high cholesterol levels in the body.
Cinnamon can be sprinkled onto fresh fruit, cereal, tea, or coffee as an alternative to sugar.
Bilberry is the European form of blueberries, but it is more superior because it is blue within and without, unlike the American form that is only blue on the outside.
Its blue color carries wholesome antioxidants known as anthocyanins, which strengthen your heart, while lowering blood fats and inflammation, and fighting diabetes.
Fresh bilberries have been found to reduce inflammation markers while improving glucose tolerance for people with metabolic syndrome.
Turmeric (Curcuma Longa), is a popular yellow root found in Indian cuisines and curries, and is known for its cancer-preventive properties.
It is an ideal spice for diabetics as it has been found to have anti-aging, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-atherosclerotic, neuroprotective, weight-reducing, heart protecting, and anti-infectious properties.
All these benefits of turmeric are attributed to curcumin, its main ingredient.
This is an all-around, dark, leafy green herb that restocks your body with the required bitter agents that help heal the liver while lowering blood pressure.
Dandelions support a mild cleansing action in your body by increasing urinary flow, and it is also said to help with weight loss, which is vital for most diabetics.
When eaten as a vegetable, Foeniculum Vulgare, or fennel, has an exquisite taste.
Its seeds also have a strong aroma that make its famous tea used on babies that suffer colic.
Both fennel seeds and the vegetable itself contain chemicals that fight diabetes, including Anethole, a phytochemical that fights cancer while blocking several inflammatory agents.
This is the perfect herb to right diabetes as it attacks the disease from several sides.
Ginger also fights high blood lipids, and helps with weight loss.
It can be taken in a hot beverage like tea, or used as a spice in various dishes, as it goes well with poultry, meat, and vegetarian dishes as well.
This indispensable spice has a sharp and pungent aroma that delivers a robust spicy flavor in your drinks or food, and is a common ingredient used in a variety of home remedies since time immemorial.
It is one of Ayurveda’s most treasured spices, and a herbal treatment for indigestion, nausea, and the management of blood sugar levels, while stimulating insulin production.
Salvia Officinalis or Sage, is yet another aromatic herb that has been shown to right diabetes.
Sage contains antioxidants, is high in polyphenols, and works well in stews and tea, for a soothing and calming effect.
Chamomile is known for preventing diabetic complications and lowering blood sugar by taking the sugar out of your blood and storing it in your liver.
It is also soothing and calming after a long day.
Peppermint contains natural antioxidants that are known to fight heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and aging.
Besides adding great flavor to your teas, it also aids digestion.
This fine herb has been shown to decrease overeating in diabetics while lowering insulin resistance.
Its French version, however, doesn’t easily propagate like the American and Russian kinds that are found invariably across most of the temperate world.
It is also a bit more expensive compared to the American species, as the latter doesn’t have a similar hypoglycemic effect.
Herbs and spices can be used to help diabetics improve the regulation of their blood sugar.
Some herbs, like cinnamon and turmeric, are popular in the control of blood sugar levels.
Other spices, like ginger, reduce cholesterol levels and promotes insulin production while helping to clear blood glucose levels after meals.
If you’re looking to make your meals healthier and tastier, while preventing or managing diabetes, these ten herbs and spices are great options.
Diana Paul is a certified nutritionist who writes for leading health blogs. She is a master herbalist, yoga teacher, forager, and wild-crafting writer She is focused on helping people transform life blocks to opportunities. Based in NYC, she often holds health seminars and lectures.