Diabetes being a condition that you can either be born with or develop it over time affects how our body cells respond to the effects of insulin and in the process affect the blood glucose levels.
Every diabetic will attest to the fact that one has to be cautious about what they eat to avoid a spike in the blood sugar levels. Ginger is a famous spice whose unique taste cannot be mistaken for anything else. Ginger is suitable for the diabetic due to it’s the fact that it is low in carbs and calories. In particular, in a single teaspoon, there are only 1.3g or carbs.
Glycemic index of ginger
In a study that was published back in 2012 in the month of August, the lead researchers came up with a conclusion that consuming ginger helps improve blood sugar levels for people living with type 2 diabetes in the long-term.
In yet another study done by the University of Sydney back in Australia, it was found that locally grown ginger contains gingerols which is the major component in ginger rhizome. This component helps in the intake of glucose in the muscle cells not necessarily with the help of insulin. This in return helps in controlling blood glucose levels.
Secretion of insulin
According to a research published in December 2009, two types of ginger extracts that are oil and spissum were found to work with serotonin receptors in helping reverse cells insulin resistance.
In the test subjects a notable drop in the blood sugar levels was amounting up to 35% was detected and also an increase in insulin levels in the plasma by 10%
Most diabetic people are prone to a variety of diseases with cataract being one of them. According to a published in August 2012, people who consume ginger every day in small doses have a high chance of delaying the onset of cataracts and if you already have it, its progression.
On a glycemic index, ginger ranks low. Food substances with a low glycemic index break down to glucose slowly and this in return ensures that you will not have a post-meal spike in the blood sugar levels.
There have been reported cases of diabetes making some people impotent. In a study that was published in 2010 October, there is a significant correlation between consuming ginger and the quality of sperm and overall sexual health. In these study male rats with diabetes were used as test subjects. Most of these rats had a low sperm count. However, rats that consumed ginger had an increase in sperm count and a reduction in testicular lesions and that’s not all, there was an increase in the weight of the sexual organs. This study was only performed on rats and not humans.
Risk facts in consuming ginger
As much as ginger is flagged as safe to consume irrespective of whether you are diabetic or not! You should ensure that you consume no more than 4g in a day. It is rare to get any side effect when you consume ginger but there have been reported incidences of stomach upset, diarrhea and heartburn after consuming large portions of ginger.
Pregnant women should be extra careful when consuming ginger. Most people only recommend 1g of ginger in a day, however, take caution and first consult your doctor.
If by any chance you are on blood thinning medication make sure you consult your doctor before consuming ginger. This is due to the simple fact that ginger has blood thinning properties and if taken with some of these meds can lead to excessive bleeding.
There have been reported cases where ginger lower blood pressure so if you are on blood pressure meds consult with your doctor before including ginger in your day to day diet.
How to make ginger part of your diet
There has not been enough research conducted to prove this but preliminary studies show that ginger plays a major role in lowering levels of bad cholesterol in the body as well and helping reduce the risk of contracting a cardiovascular disease. So, how can you safely include ginger in your day to day meal plan?
What you need to know before adding ginger to your dad-day diet
- Go for natural and organic ginger roots and not one that has been processed lacks some nutrients and the additional flavors can affect your blood sugar levels as a diabetic.
- For effective results, you should ensure that you eat ginger consistently.
- Ginger works better if you take small doses over a long period of time and not a higher in amounts.
- Use it in things you like such as making lemonade.
It is important to know that you cannot consume ginger as a complete substitute for meds. Continue taking any meds you have and if you notice something unusual don’t hesitate to contact your doctor.
Frequently asked questions about consuming ginger as a diabetic
Should I take ginger when I am on metformin meds?
Both ginger and metformin reduce blood glucose levels and this can lead to hypoglycemia which is life-threatening. To be safe ensure that you consult your doctor before consuming ginger if you are on any diabetes meds and in particular metformin.
Can you take ginger beer as a diabetic?
Ginger beer being an alcoholic is not fit for consumption by a diabetic. Despite the fact that this is considered as ginger beer there is very little ginger in it meaning that its effect is not even felt. If you consume it once in blue moon you can get away with it but if you overdo it then you will be putting your health on the line.
Is it safe to consume ginger as a diabetic?
Ginger plays a major role in helping reduce blood glucose levels, increasing insulin secretion and reverse insulin resistance. However, you need to be extra cautious if you are on any other meds.
If you consume it in small doses it is possible to reverse the effects of diabetes. The recommendation is 4g of ginger in a day you should also ensure that you consult your doctor if you are on any meds. By so doing you will arrive at an appropriate dose and he shall shed the light on potential side effects.