Wish Upon A Dish: Do Herbs and Spices Lower Glucose Levels?

August 9, 2012

Do Herbs and Spices Lower Glucose Levels?

About one year ago a friend of mine, whose wife has Type II diabetes, also started getting a high sugar reading. His was probably only hovering at 100 but because he knew all too well about the problems of this disease, he started eating cinnamon. He would make cinnamon sugar toast (remember our Mom's doing that?) every morning and at night he would eat a cinnamon sprinkled apple and now his sugar is back to normal levels. His wife, on the other hand, also did this, but with no results.

Tuesday morning on the CBS This Morning Show did a segment on diabetes and cinnamon.

This was part of the write-up......
"Hargrove and colleagues found that ground clove had the most
inflammation-calming polyphenols of any of the spice and herb extracts they

Cinnamon came in second, but because it is used more in cooking and in
larger amounts than ground cloves it has more potential to positively affect
health, he says.

So much has been written about the benefits of cinnamon for lowering blood
sugar that many diabetes patients now take cinnamon supplements.

But the research on cinnamon's effect on diabetes has been mixed."

It seems the same thing that happened to my friend and wife has happened to studies. Some get benefits and some do not.

I am not a medical doctor, a endocrinologist or a Diabetes Doctor but I have an opinion on this.....

I think that people that suffer from Insulin Resistance get something from these spices (clove, cinnamon) and those with standard basic Type II do not.

The article goes on to say that the tests done with people taking cinnamon supplements and placebos showed no improvement.

There is an excellent article here, although technical, that goes into detail, if you are interested. I read the whole article and it also implies the same thoughts about resistant insulin and cinnamon.

While each one has pros and cons on their health benefits, eating all three will certainly cover every benefit cinnamon has to offer as long as you do not exceed the doctors suggested amount of 1 teaspoon a day per person.

We all know that herbs have been used as medicinal remedies for centuries. Most of our drugs today were derived from plants in the world's rain forests, and still continue to provide biologists with natural healing properties.

Most popular is turmeric for GI disorders and inflammation. Chili peppers for pain management. Ginger for diarrhea. These aren’t just exaggerated cases of “folk medicine” or “old wives’ tales,” either. Current research has confirmed that many common spices do indeed have medicinal properties.

In the end, it all boils down to this, use more herbs and spices then salt & pepper for flavoring your foods.

The following recipe is the perfect way to get started.

Spicy Chicken Breasts with Pepper Peach Relish
4 Servings
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon each ground cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg
* 4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (6 ounces each)

* 1/4 cup peach preserves
* 2 tablespoons lemon juice
* 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

* 2 medium peaches, peeled and finely chopped
* 1/3 cup finely chopped sweet red pepper
* 1/3 cup finely chopped green pepper
* 1 green onion, finely chopped
* 2 tablespoons minced fresh mint

Combine the salt, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg; rub over chicken.
In a small bowl, combine the glaze ingredients; set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the peaches, peppers, onion, mint and 2 tablespoons glaze; set aside.
Moisten a paper towel with cooking oil; using long-handled tongs, lightly coat the grill rack. Grill chicken, covered, over medium heat or broil 4 in. from the heat for 6-8 minutes on each side or until a thermometer reads 170°, basting frequently with reserved glaze. Serve with reserved relish.

Nutrition Facts: 1 chicken breast half with 1/2 cup relish
263 calories, 4 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 94 mg cholesterol, 379 mg sodium, 20 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 35 g protein.
Diabetic Exchanges: 5 lean meat, 1 starch, 1/2 fruit.

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