Type 2 diabetes: Add this spice to your diet to lower your blood sugar levels
Type 2 diabetes means a person’s pancreas cannot produce enough insulin to control their blood sugar levels. Over time, unchecked blood sugar levels can be a precursor to deadly complications such as heart disease. Making healthy lifestyle changes, such as overhauling one’s diet, offers the best defence against rising blood sugar levels. Evidence suggests consuming cinnamon can help to keep the risks at bay.
Research has suggested that cinnamon can help to improve blood glucose levels
Cinnamon is a spice derived from the inner bark of the branches of wild cinnamon trees. The spice, commonly used in cooking and baking, is increasingly being linked to improving diabetes management.
Research has suggested that cinnamon can help to improve blood glucose levels and increase insulin sensitivity.
Results from a clinical study published in the Diabetes Care journal suggest that cassia cinnamon (cinnamon bark) improves blood glucose and cholesterol levels in people with type 2 diabetes, and may reduce risk factors associated with diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
A daily intake of just one, three or six grams was shown to reduce serum glucose, triglyceride, LDL or bad cholesterol and total cholesterol after 40 days among 60 middle-aged diabetics.
High levels of LDL cholesterol is a major risk factor in cardiovascular complications.
Another study found that consuming just 1g of cinnamon per day can increase insulin sensitivity and help manage or reverse type 2 diabetes.
In addition, an analysis published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, showed that 6g of cinnamon slows stomach emptying and significantly reduces hyperglycemia after meals (postprandial blood glucose) without affecting satiety.
What are the other health benefits of cinnamon?
According to Diabetes.co.uk, cinnamon has also been shown to:
- Have an anti-clotting effect on the blood
- Relieve pain in arthritis sufferers
- Boost the body’s immune system
- Stop medication-resistant yeast infections
- Help in relieving indigestion
- Reduce the proliferation of leukaemia and lymphoma cancer cells
- Preserve food by inhibiting bacterial growth and food spoilage
- Be a great source of vital nutrients, including calcium, fibre, manganese and iron
What is the best diet to follow?
A growing body of evidence is showing that a low-carb diet offers myriad health benefits for people with type 2 diabetes. As Diabetes.co.uk explained, it improves diabetes control, aids weight loss and is easy to follow.
One study found that patients with type 2 diabetes improve their ability to regulate blood sugar levels if they eat food with a reduced carbohydrate content and an increased share of protein and fat.
Significantly, the study revealed that a low-carb diet plan can improve blood sugar levels independent of weight loss.
“Our study confirms the assumption that a diet with a reduced carbohydrate content can improve patients’ ability to regulate their blood sugar levels – without the patients concurrently losing weight,” explained Senior Consultant, DMSc Thure Krarup, MD, from the Department of Endocrinology at Bispebjerg Hospital.
According to Diabetes.co.uk, a low-carb diet should include:
- Strong vegetable intake
- Modest increase in fat intake from natural sources
- Moderate protein intake
- Low reliance upon processed food, sugar and grains
- Rich sources of fat and protein include:
- Olive oil
What are the symptoms of type 2 diabetes?
As the NHS explained, people with type 2 diabetes may experience:
- Peeing more than usual, particularly at night
- Feeling thirsty all the time
- Feeling very tired
- Losing weight without trying to
- Itching around a person’s penis or vagina, or repeatedly getting thrush
- Cuts or wounds taking longer to heal
- Blurred vision
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