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High blood sugar levels characteristic for type 2 diabetes can lay the groundwork for a slew of complications, ranging from blindness to kidney disease. Fortunately, you can tame dangerously high blood glucose through certain dietary choices. Research makes a compelling case for including a certain spice to your shopping list.
Characterised by a spicy yet sweet taste, ginger can offer more than a kick of flavour for your warming winter dishes.
What’s more, ginger root can be used fresh, dried, powdered, as a juice or as oil.
Apart from its anti-viral properties, the plant has also been touted for its blood sugar-lowering powers.
Research, published in the European Journal of Pharmacology, sheds some light on how the small food can be so potent for blood sugar control.
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The research team found that ginger extracts were able to lower blood glucose by a whopping 35 percent.
They explained that two different extracts, spissum and an oily extract, interact with serotonin receptors to reverse their effect on insulin secretion.
Furthermore, the research suggests that the pungent spice could be used to “improve a diabetic situation”.
And you don’t have to take only this study’s word for it as there’s more research echoing the powerful effects of ginger on blood glucose.
A study in the Iranian Journal of Pharmaceutical Research also proved that ginger can “significantly” reduce blood sugar.
Looking at 41 patients with type 2 diabetes, the research team randomly assigned a ginger supplement or placebo to participants.
The subjects who were given the spicy food received two grams a day to be exact.
After 12 weeks of this regimen, the researchers concluded that ginger improved fasting blood sugar as well as haemoglobin A1c in diabetic patients.
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The team penned: “Regarding negligible side effects of ginger, it may be a good remedy for diabetic patients to diminish the risk of some secondary chronic complications.”
Another reason why ginger could be helpful for type 2 diabetics comes down to its very low glycaemic index (GI).
The GI is a rating system that details how quickly foods affect your blood sugar levels after eating, according to Diabetes.co.uk.
Low GI foods break down slowly and therefore don’t trigger a spike in blood sugar levels.
As diabetes symptoms might not necessarily make you feel ill, knowing what to look for is the first step in identifying them.
According to the NHS, the tell-tale signs include:
The health service advises seeing a GP if you suffer from any of these symptoms or you’re worried that you may have a higher risk of the condition.
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