People living with diabetes probably have Facebook and Twitter feeds that are inundated with posts about ways to cure diabetes. As if curing diabetes were as simple as shaking a little cinnamon on your cereal or eating a few slices of dragon fruit for lunch. Most of these remedies are geared towards type 2 diabetes and herbal remedies can help a bit, but is there any validity to these kitchen counter diabetes cures?
Cinnamon. Some evidence suggests that adding as little as ½ teaspoon of cinnamon to your yogurt, oatmeal, or coffee (which also lowers the risk for developing type 2 diabetes) can substantially lower HbA1c levels. In turn, a lower HabA1C means a lower risk for developing other complications from diabetes such as retinopathy, kidney problems, and heart disease. But before you go and take the cinnamon challenge, take it with a grain of salt. Other studies have shown no added value and too much cinnamon can increase the chance of liver damage and is risky for people taking blood-thinning medications.
Okra. Delicately referred to as ‘lady fingers’, okra is a green pod veggie popular in Indian, Caribbean, and Middle Eastern dishes. It is also known to be a bit on the slimy side. The claim to fame for okra and diabetes stems from the assertion that if you soak okra overnight in a glass of water and drink it the following morning it can help regulate and lower your overall blood sugar levels. Some people swear by it, but it sounds kind of yucky to me. The research conducted so far about okra and diabetes has only been on rats; there are no known human studies to-date. Okra is good for you in general as it is high in fiber and antioxidants, but be careful how much you consume if you are also taking metformin. Okra can affect the absorption of metformin in the blood stream and decrease effectiveness.
Pitaya or Dragon Fruit. This exotic fruit harvested from cactus in Central America and Mexico is tasty and filled with fiber which can help to stabilize blood sugar levels. Snacking on a dragon fruit can also help you to avoid spikes in your sugar after munching on meals high up on the glycemic index. However the study this was based on was also only tested our little rodent friends and not on humans.
Fenugreek. A spice found in India and commonly used to flavor curry dishes, these tiny seeds have been studied to lower glucose levels, improve blood sugar range maintenance, and a lower insulin resistance. You can mix the Fenugreek seeds with coffee or tea or add it in a powder form to baked goods and stir-fry. More research is needed, but it is not recommended to be consumed during pregnancy as it can cause uterine contractions.
Wine! A cure for diabetes or not, this stuff is good. Red wine, white wine, or blush there are many benefits to wine drinking in moderation. A recent study found that in woman who had one glass of wine per day had a decreased risk of developing diabetes. Stick to dry wines has they tend have less carbohydrate than compared to sweeter, dessert wines and make sure to log what every carbs you consume to your Dario app.
While there continues to be many advancements in the treatment of diabetes, there is still no proven cure. Seeing there may be something as simple as adding a superfood or spice to your diet to stop your diabetes can be enticing, especially during those moments when you are feeling the pangs of diabetes burnout. Whatever you try to do, discuss it with your healthcare provider to understand the risks, benefits, and medication interactions of adding supplements to your diet and diabetes treatment.