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Fight High Blood Sugar With Herbs and Spices

Reading Time: 6 minutes

If you have Type 2 diabetes or have been diagnosed as pre-diabetic, cooking with garden herbs and flavorful spices can help you lower your blood sugar and improve your overall health. The benefits to you go beyond making your food simply taste better. Here’s why.

Recipes that use herbs and spices make your taste buds and smell receptors come alive.

This is especially true if you fill up on grains and grain flour products at mealtimes—like bread, pasta, potatoes, rice, and corn—you are eating rather bland foods that have little taste without adding butter, mayonnaise, or other condiments. Using a variety of herbs and spices, your food can become more attractive and enticing. Savory flavors and a variety of spices from around the world will encourage you to chew every bite more thoroughly. Recall a dinner party or a meal at a restaurant where the unique tastes of the cuisine surprised you so much that the food literally made everyone smile. When you experience such enjoyment, you and those eating with you are less prone to just gulp down the food in a few short minutes.

Use herbs and spices to create tasty and healthy recipes to become more conscious of your food consumption.

Does it really matter how fast you eat? Yes, a great deal. Chewing and eating slowly helps break down the nutrients in each bite of food. Your taste buds and smell receptors literally send signals to your brain about the incoming nutrients. Not only does this data help your brain track what nutrients your cells are about to receive, but it also helps the brain determine when you have eaten enough. This point in time is called the “satiation signal,” when your brain tells you to stop eating. You know this because each bite of food no longer tastes as good as the first few bites. I am sure you have noticed that when you start to feel full, the food just no longer tastes great.

Eating less is important for diabetics and pre-diabetics because weight gain and obesity can lead to high blood sugar or prevent you from controlling and even reversing Type 2 diabetes. Many people, diabetic or not, tend to eat until their stomach feels full, if not uncomfortable. That feeling of fullness often comes from overeating grain and grain flour products, such as those cited above. In my past articles and blogs, I explain the causal link between grains and diabetes leading to the “fatty acid burn switch” in which your muscle cells burn fatty acids rather than glucose, leaving glucose in your bloodstream and thus high blood sugar.

Cooking with a variety of herbs and spices is a great way to capture more health benefits.

Herbs and spices supply humans with a wide assortment of micronutrients needed by the body. For example, antioxidants in spices such as saffron, turmeric, and oregano can counter some of the negative health effects of additives and preservatives that you may not be able to avoid completely. Another benefit of using spices is they help you reduce the quantity of salt used, which today is being consumed in much higher quantities than recommended for human beings.

Spices are mostly fat soluble, which means they dissolve better in fat or oil.

When food is agitated and warmed in the mouth during chewing, those volatile fat molecules move into the nasal cavity to stimulate your smell receptors. This allows you to appreciate the full flavor of the meal, similar to appreciating the fragrance of a perfume sprayed in the air. Some spices also contain compounds that can have a beneficial effect on mood, cognition, digestion, and more.

Here are some spices you can start adding to your meals today:

• Cinnamon may be able to help lower blood sugar and support healthy cholesterol levels. There are two kinds: cassia and Ceylon cinnamon. Cassia contains more coumarin which has been shown to damage the liver in high doses, so check your labels and choose Ceylon cinnamon for regular use. Saigon or Vietnamese cinnamon has a stronger flavor and aroma than other varieties so I do like to use it for special treats, but it is a species of cassia cinnamon, so usage should not exceed 1 teaspoon per day. Cinnamon can influence brain function by boosting concentration and attention.

 

• Spicy pepper aids digestion, stimulates blood circulation, and has antibacterial properties.

• Ginger can help with gastrointestinal distress, contains anti-inflammatory and analgesic agents, and adds amazing olfactory and taste benefits.

• Turmeric contains curcumin, which has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits. These benefits can be particularly helpful in delaying aging and fighting some chronic diseases as well as being good for your brain. It also stimulates the release of serotonin, a natural mood enhancer.

I want to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving! Feel free to use herbs like these with any dish. Instead of adding extra salt and butter, use spices to bring out the best in your foods!

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See my new Diabetes-Free Cookbook & Exercise Guide for more than 80 delicious recipes that can help you start experimenting with a greater variety of herbs and spices to create tasty and filling dishes that can help you lower your blood sugar.

 

As a best-selling author and Nationally Syndicated Columnist, Dr. John Poothullil, advocates for patients struggling with the effects of adverse lifestyle conditions.

Dr. John’s books, available on Amazon, have educated and inspired readers to take charge of their own health. There are many steps you can take to make changes in your own health, but Dr. John also empowers us that we must demand certain changes in our healthcare system as well.

As a best-selling author and Nationally Syndicated Columnist, Dr. John Poothullil, advocates for patients struggling with the effects of adverse lifestyle conditions.

Dr. John’s books, available on Amazon, have educated and inspired readers to take charge of their own health. There are many steps you can take to make changes in your own health, but Dr. John also empowers us that we must demand certain changes in our healthcare system as well.

His latest book, “The Diabetes-Free Cookbook and Exercise Guide” presents over 80 delicious recipes. A must-have for anyone looking to take control of their health and transform their relationship with food.

Follow or contact Dr. John at drjohnonhealth.com.

 

John Poothullill practiced medicine as a pediatrician and allergist for more than 30 years, with 27 of those years in the state of Texas. He received his medical degree from the University of Kerala, India in 1968, after which he did two years of medical residency in Washington, DC and Phoenix, AZ and two years of fellowship, one in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and the other in Ontario, Canada. He began his practice in 1974 and retired in 2008. He holds certifications from the American Board of Pediatrics, The American Board of Allergy & Immunology, and the Canadian Board of Pediatrics.During his medical practice, John became interested in understanding the causes of and interconnections between hunger, satiation, and weight gain. His interest turned into a passion and a multi-decade personal study and research project that led him to read many medical journal articles, medical textbooks, and other scholarly works in biology, biochemistry, physiology, endocrinology, and cellular metabolic functions. This eventually guided Dr. Poothullil to investigate the theory of insulin resistance as it relates to diabetes. Recognizing that this theory was illogical, he spent a few years rethinking the biology behind high blood sugar and finally developed the fatty acid burn switch as the real cause of diabetes.Dr. Poothullil has written articles on hunger and satiation, weight loss, diabetes, and the senses of taste and smell. His articles have been published in medical journals such as Physiology and Behavior, Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, Journal of Women’s Health, Journal of Applied Research, Nutrition, and Nutritional Neuroscience. His work has been quoted in Woman’s Day, Fitness, Red Book and Woman’s World.Dr. Poothullil resides in Portland, OR and is available for phone and live interviews.

To learn more buy the books at: amazon.com/author/drjohnpoothullil

Visit drjohnonhealth.com to learn more. You can also contact him at john@drhohnonhealth.com.

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