Is turmeric the go-to spice for managing diabetes?https://indianexpress.com/article/lifestyle/health/turmeric-spice-diabetes-management-5922958/

Is turmeric the go-to spice for managing diabetes?

According to a World Health Organisation (WHO) estimate, 1.6 million deaths were directly caused by diabetes in 2016.

turmeric, diabetes, Indian Express
Turmeric is the got-to spice when it comes to managing diabetes (Source: Express Archives)

Diabetes is a condition that affects the body’s ability to process blood sugar, and if not kept under control can lead to an increased risk of stroke and/or a heart attack. A person is said to be diabetic when their blood sugar is excessively high and the insulin hormone produced in the pancreas — that breaks down the glucose — is either not made by the body or utilised well. The condition, if not managed well, can severely damage one’s eyes, kidneys and the overall health.

According to a World Health Organisation (WHO) estimate, 1.6 million deaths were directly caused by diabetes in 2016. It was the seventh-leading cause of death that year. But, it’s not all grim. The good news is that diabetes can be managed though a disciplined diet, regular screening and exercising.

ALSO READ | Diabetes overtreatment seriously endangers health, says study

Straight from the kitchen

When we talk about diet, we do not need to look beyond culinary wonders found in our own kitchen! Not many know that a dash of turmeric can actually do wonders in managing diabetes. A 2013 review of studies suggests that curcumin can decrease the level of glucose in blood, as well as other diabetes-related complications.

Benefits of turmeric, diabetes, Indian Express
Not many know that a dash of turmeric can do wonders (Source: Express Archives)

Made from the root curcuma longa, turmeric is the spice that towers above all other spices, as it has medical properties. Studies suggest that curcumin can decrease the glucose level in blood, improving the insulin function. Once the process begins, excess glucose in blood is able to reach the cells.

Consumption

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Turmeric can be taken as a supplement, but it is always advisable to consult with your doctor first. To keep your blood sugar levels in check, take a pinch of ginger powder along with turmeric milk. This will help in improving your fasting blood sugar levels.

Additionally, various researches suggest that adding a pinch of cinnamon powder to turmeric milk can help lower insulin levels. The combination of spices can lower the insulin and triglycerides that are triggered by high-fat meals.

amla, indian gooseberry, health benefits of amla, indian express
Amla is known to have anti-diabetic properties as it improves cholesterol levels in diabetics. (Photo: Getty Images/Thinkstock)

One can also mix a pinch of turmeric in two tablespoons of gooseberry (amla) juice and have it in the morning. Gooseberry is known to have anti-diabetic properties as it improves cholesterol levels in diabetes patients.

Piperine aka black pepper is a good accompaniment to turmeric.

Side effects and disadvantages 

While turmeric is safe for consumption, it should be noted that curcumin, which is the active component of turmeric, is slightly difficult to absorb. Though most people can tolerate turmeric, some might find that it doesn’t agree with their stomach. Others could have allergies. Its advised to start with a smaller dosage, after consulting an expert.