As more and more people all over the world are diagnosed with diabetes, finding natural treatments to help manage with chronic condition becomes more important than ever. While many herbal and natural therapies have been tried to help alleviate this condition – and many are still under study – one of the “silver bullets” of the natural world has come to the foreground in the search for alternative diabetic therapies: garlic. Read on to find out more about what this super food can do not only for the general health, but for the management of diabetes in particular.
Garlic and General Health
Garlic as a health food gets a lot of media attention – and rightly so. This member of the allium family has proven itself capable of treating a whole variety of diseases and conditions. Allicin, its active ingredient, has proven in many studies to have anti-bacterial, anti-oxidant, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties: in other words, it can help the body fight off disease-causing pathogens and can also protect the body’s tissues from damage caused by free radicals. It also contains other compounds like ajoene and allin which have been touted as wonderful tonics for the heart, gastrointestinal tract and immune system. Garlic has been proven to help reduce high blood pressure and cholesterol levels, decrease the chance of developing a cold or the flu and regulate the functions of the thyroid gland. In addition to all of this, garlic is also a rich source of important minerals like selenium and sulfur, which can also have positive effects upon overall health and well-being.
Garlic as a Treatment for Diabetes
While garlic has been shown to be able to improve overall health and well-being, it can specifically help with those who are struggling to manage their diabetes. Garlic is beneficial to diabetics because it can stimulate the production of insulin from the pancreas, and increased insulin levels have a moderating effect upon the blood sugar. Recent research from the Journal of Medicinal Food found that regular use of garlic was linked to an increase in insulin content and also to an improvement in the body’s ability to tolerate glucose. Garlic has also been proven to be effective for weight loss, and since being overweight or obese is a major risk factor for diabetes, these properties can help indirectly to treat this condition.
Diabetes is a serious disease and can lead, if untreated or poorly controlled, to severe consequences such as blindness from diabetic retinopathy or to the amputation of a non-healing wound. However, good control of this condition can greatly reduce the risk of these serious complications and daily ingestions of garlic can be part of the diabetic-friendly lifestyle. It is a simple ingredient to add to casseroles, pasta dishes, soup, stews or crockpot dinners, but its health benefits are large.
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