Chances are you have cinnamon in your spice cupboard. And chances are you never thought of cinnamon as medicine. However, cinnamon has been used medicinally since ancient times.
This popular spice was used in ancient Egypt, China, and India for culinary and medicinal purposes. Cinnamon has been shown to help lower blood glucose levels in people with Type 2 diabetes and even increase the amount of insulin produced in the body.
A study published in the journal Diabetes Care in 2003 looked at 60 men and women with Type 2 diabetes who were taking diabetes pills. The participants took either 1, 3, or 6 grams of cassia cinnamon or a placebo, in capsule form, for 40 days. After this time, blood glucose levels dropped between 18% and 29% in all three groups that received cinnamon.
Also, the participants who had taken the smallest amount of cinnamon (1 gram) continued to have improved blood glucose levels 20 days after they stopped taking it.
4. Dark Green Leafy Vegetables
Dark green leafy vegetables are very low in calories and carbohydrates and contain a good amount of vitamin C, insoluble fiber, magnesium and lots of calcium. All these nutrients are helpful for diabetics as they have virtually no impact on your blood sugar level.
Studies show that leafy veggies lower the risk of Type 2 diabetes. To prevent or help manage diabetes, be sure to eat two servings of dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, chard, collard greens, mustard greens and other leafy greens daily.
These little diabetes-busters are bursting with healthy fats, vitamins, and lots of minerals. If you’re prediabetic, or want to avoid Type 2, eating nuts will cut down your risk. If you already have diabetes, nuts help you manage your blood sugar and weight.
Almonds are particularly beneficial because they’re high in protein and antioxidants, and have a low glycemic index (GI). According to a study published in Metabolism, eating almonds with a meal reduces the GI load of the entire meal!
Nuts contain monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), which reverse insulin resistance. And remember the diabetes-heart disease connection? Nuts are another weapon in your heart-healthy arsenal, as studies show that daily consumption of nuts cuts the risk of heart attack by 35%.
In another study, women who ate peanut butter more than five times a week were 20% less likely to develop Type 2 diabetes or cardiovascular disease. BONUS: None of the women who ate nuts had any significant change in their weight. In fact, those who ate the most nuts tended to weigh a little less!
A study published in the International Journal of Obesity found that those who ate almonds as part of a low-calorie diet for 6 months reduced their need for diabetes medication.
Try a small handful of unsalted nuts as a midday snack. Just be conservative. Author Tim Ferris in his new book, The Four-Hour Body, describes nuts as a “domino food” because eating a few easily leads to munching a bunch of these high-calories treats.
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Another option: Spread almond or peanut butter on raw celery sticks or apple slices for a hunger-quashing snack.
The absolute best way to eat nuts is after they have been soaked over night to release their enzyme inhibitors. All you do is take a hand full of nuts and place them in a bowl of water, leave them to sit over night and in the morning discard the water and the nuts are ready to eat.