If you have diabetes, you’re probably tired of eating tasteless food and are looking for the best herbs and spices for diabetes. Living with diabetes is a struggle that often requires avoiding every food that adds taste to life.
But it doesn’t have to be that way – there are plenty of spices out there that will let you enjoy your food without feeling guilty about how much sugar or carbs you’re consuming.
Here’s our list of the best herbs and spices for people with diabetes – and their surprising benefits!
Spices for Diabetes
Diabetes is an ailment that’s very common nowadays. Many people have diabetes worldwide, and while medications can treat it, many natural herbs are also effective remedies. Different spices have healing properties that can reduce blood sugar levels and increase your metabolism rate. So if you or someone you know suffers from diabetes, you must question if spices are good for diabetes or what spice kills diabetes.
Are Spices Good for Diabetics?
As you can understand, eating with diabetes is pretty dull. Increasing your food flavor by using spices and condiments is the basic key to enjoying a healthy diet for type 2 diabetes. Before grabbing mayonnaise and ketchup, keep in mind that some choices are far better than others.
Best Herbs and Spices for Diabetes
According to Jill Weisenberger, “Seasoning foods creatively wakes up the taste buds and helps us to use less added salt, sugar, and fats”.
It’s better when you flavor your food with specific spices and seasoning, as that can boost your body health by reducing inflammation, which causes many problems, including insulin resistance. So, let’s do a quick tour of the best herbs and spices for diabetes.
Cinnamon is known as the best spice that helps regulate your blood sugar levels and can help to lower blood glucose levels. It also contains antioxidants, which help slow down or prevent complications caused by diabetes, such as heart disease. Try adding cinnamon to your cereal, tea, or coffee; use it in baking desserts; or add a dash of it to sweeten up a fruit compote. It’s the best seasoning for diabetics.
Research suggests that cinnamon may even reduce high cholesterol levels and protect against certain cancers. According to a study in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition in 2007, one component found in cinnamon called cinnamaldehyde improves insulin resistance. It reduces other risk factors related to diabetes .
The Ginger herb is a powerful antioxidant that helps control blood sugar levels. It is one of the best spices for blood sugar. It improves insulin sensitivity, helping your body respond better to insulin.
According to one study, consuming 1 gram of ginger can significantly lower plasma glucose and hemoglobin A1c in people with type 2 diabetes (HbA1c is a long-term marker of blood sugar levels).
The herb is also effective at lowering cholesterol levels. The effects are dose-dependent, meaning you’ll see an improvement in LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol when consuming higher amounts of ginger root. Other studies have confirmed that ginger extract positively affects triglyceride and lipoprotein levels (two other important factors for heart health). It also improves circulation by inhibiting platelet aggregation.
Besides being a great spice for soups and curries, cloves have potent anti-inflammatory properties. A 2010 study in the Biological & Pharmaceutical Bulletin found that patients with Type 2 diabetes had better blood sugar control when adding two grams of clove powder to their daily diet .
The spice’s active ingredient, eugenol, slows down glucose absorption and promotes insulin secretion. It also helps lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Cloves may be too hot for some people, but you can add them in small doses (one teaspoon a day) until you’re comfortable with them. Adding ground cloves to your tea (1/2 teaspoon per cup of water) is another way to add them to your diet.
Basil is a wonderful herb that’s used worldwide in cooking. It also contains rosmarinic acid, a powerful antioxidant, which improves insulin sensitivity and reduces blood sugar levels, making it one of the best spices for diabetes.
A study showed that participants who consumed half a cup of basil daily for 4 weeks lowered their fasting blood glucose levels by 5-6%. The other half of the participants took a placebo instead and saw no improvements.
You can eat fresh basil leaves raw or use dried basil as a seasoning in your food. Dried basil is a common component of spices like Italian herb mixes and curry powders. Try adding some to your next pasta dish!
Research shows that fennel seed extract can lower blood sugar levels, regulate insulin production, and ward off food cravings. These effects make it ideal for those with diabetes and similar conditions.
Fennel seeds contain an anethole compound, which stimulates several enzymes involved in carbohydrate metabolism. Fennel seeds can help reduce post-meal blood sugar spikes while simultaneously reducing overall glucose absorption and secretion. Additional research suggests that anethole might also be effective at lowering bad cholesterol and may even help with reducing your risk of diabetes-induced liver injury .
While you should check with your doctor before starting any new supplement, fennel seeds have few side effects when consumed moderately on a short-term basis.
We are adding a bonus addition known as the best spice for blood sugar.
Turmeric is one of nature’s most powerful natural remedies. While its anti-inflammatory properties are well known, it also contains compounds that help balance the blood sugar levels of diabetics. This compound, curcumin, has been shown to lower levels of certain proteins that cause inflammation and damage nerves .
Research shows that curcumin can work with other compounds in turmeric, called polyphenols, which increase glucose uptake by muscle cells. Turmeric is a good choice for those who want to lose weight and fight diabetes. To incorporate more turmeric into your diet, try adding fresh or dried turmeric root (or powder) to your soup and other cooking dishes.
The Bottomline: Best Spices and Herbs for Diabetes
While many herbs and spices are healthy, a few stand out for their ability to lower blood sugar levels. For example, studies suggest that cinnamon is highly effective at helping people with diabetes control their glucose levels.
Similarly, cinnamon reduces cholesterol. Chili powder and hot peppers can also serve as potential treatments for diabetes and high blood pressure patients. Other spices such as oregano, peppermint, turmeric, and rosemary might also promise natural high blood pressure and diabetes remedies.
Disclaimer: This article is only a guide. It does not substitute the advice given by your own healthcare professional. Before making any health-related decision, consult your healthcare professional.