Whether you have diabetes or not, keeping your blood sugar under control is important for your overall health. Blood sugar comes from the food we eat, and it’s transported throughout the body to be used as energy. Any excess sugar that doesn’t get used typically gets stored as fat and can cause issues for your liver, pancreas, kidneys, heart, and more. Not to mention, excess fat tends to accumulate on our waistlines and increases our risk of obesity — ugh. Luckily, the beloved Indian spice turmeric has shown to be a promising all-natural remedy for blood-sugar management and diabetes-related conditions.
The bright orange spice is ground from the root of the turmeric plant which is related to ginger root, and it's been used in traditional Indian cooking and medicine for thousands of years. Its most popular medicinal uses include pain relief and disease prevention because of its anti-inflammatory properties. Most notably, a compound called curcumin packs a powerful healing punch that could even help with diabetes and blood sugar management.
Curcumin, the main active chemical compound in turmeric, is responsible for the spices bright orangey color. In Ayurveda, the Indian traditional science of medicine, turmeric is believed to be an effective treatment for blood glucose issues and the like because of its curcumin content. Now, modern research suggests that incorporating curcumin into your diet could help control blood sugar.
Findings from one review of studies show that curcumin helped lower blood glucose levels and reduced markers for other diabetes-related complications like vascular disease and pancreatic disorders. The researchers from this study concluded that curcumin could have a significant role in diabetes prevention as turmeric extract also showed to stabilize blood sugar in subjects with diabetes. Other research also showed that curcumin helped to lower risk of diabetes-related kidney abnormalities and even slowed the progression of diabetes-induced cataracts — wow!
So if you think it’s time to stop dreading your blood sugar tests, you may want to start with a turmeric supplement. Some things to note first: turmeric can cause some digestive discomfort like gas, bloating, or even nausea if you start with too much right away, so slow-and-steady is the way to go as you get used to it. Be sure to read your packaging labels and follow dosing instructions carefully. Doses of 1,000 to 2,000 milligrams are said to be effective, but again, start slow. As always, get your doctors OK to try any new supplement. We love this one from Vimerson Health ($22.97, Amazon). And if you’re looking for other great ways to take control of your blood glucose levels, check out some more of our tips here!