You probably know Ginger as the tasty spice that adds a little zing to your cooking - but you might not know that it’s been used as a go-to remedy for ailments like morning sickness, headaches, joint pain and the flu for millennia.
With recent studies suggesting that this delicious root might be effective in lowering blood sugar, researchers increasingly conclude that Ginger can help diabetes. Here, we explore how useful Ginger can really be in trying to help treat this serious illness.
What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a complex disease that occurs when blood sugar levels climb to dangerous levels. When you have diabetes, your body either fails to produce enough insulin, or struggles to make the most of that which it does create. This causes glucose levels in the blood to increase, leading to potential serious health complications.
Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes are the most common of the disease. They’re caused by different things, but both generally require medical treatment, coupled with a more active lifestyle and a healthy, balanced diet.
There are a range of superfoods that can help with this. Not only do superfoods like Cinnamon, Turmeric, Baobab and Ginger contribute to a nutritious diet, but they’ve also been linked to a reduction in blood sugar levels.
Ginger and diabetes
Ginger is loaded with phytochemicals like gingerol, zingerone, shaogaols and other volatile oils, including sesquiterpenes, b-biabolene and generanile. To say Ginger packs a nutritional punch would be something of an understatement. It’s no wonder the superfood has been shown to help treat conditions ranging from arthritis and headaches to morning sickness and flu.
Recent studies suggest that Ginger may offer some incredible benefits for preventing and managing diabetes. One study conducted by Shahid Shadoughi University of Medical Sciences confirmed the incredible potential of this superfood root.
Researchers studies 88 people with Type 2 diabetes, all of whom had been living with diabetes for at least a decade. The participants were all given either three daily capsules of dried Ginger, or a placebo.
After eight weeks, researchers found that those treated with the Ginger capsules showed a significant decrease in blood sugar levels compared to the placebo group.
So how exactly does Ginger work to lower blood sugar? While nobody has an exact answer, scientists think the spice inhibits hepatic phosphorylase – an enzyme that breaks down glucose storage molecules, in turn triggering an increase in blood sugar levels.
Get hold of your diabetes-busting superfood Ginger
With studies suggesting that Ginger can help control blood sugar levels, it may well be worth adding both fresh and dried Ginger to your daily diet. And luckily, introducing this tasty root couldn’t be easier – simply add it to your favourite teas, smoothies, juices, curries and stir-fries.
Want to hear more about Ginger’s incredible benefits? Find out about how this superfood spice can help boost your digestion here.