If you happen to be diabetic, then you should be aware that your body is not able to produce enough insulin or use the one it does produce efficiently.
This, unfortunately, can have a negative effect on your blood sugar levels.
That’s why it’s of such crucial importance to keep track of what you eat. That way, you are also keeping a watchful eye on your blood glucose levels. Keeping them as steady as you can is the main goal here, after all.
One method to do this is to check the glycemic index score of each food. This score informs you how much a certain food can affect aka increase your blood glucose levels.
In other words, the GI is great for helping you in daily meal planning as well as making sure you avoid any foods which are overly high on carbs. What is a low GI and what is a high one, you may ask? A low GI is anywhere between 1-55, and a high one is anywhere starting from 70.
An important piece of information that everyone should know, not just those of you with diabetes, is that garlic and other natural foods can have an influence on your blood sugars. Yes, even though they are not high in carb content.
Benefits of Eating Garlic
Most adult people have no issue consuming garlic. In the case of some individuals, however, they may find a problem with its odor, taste, or level of spiciness. Which means they wouldn’t reach out for it by themselves.
Rather, they might need some ‘encouraging’. And believe us, there is plenty of ‘encouragement material’. Just read on to learn more.
It is by no means novelty news that Eat This not That has recommended garlic as an excellent natural aid in reducing not just one’s high blood pressure, but their high cholesterol levels as well.
Furthermore, consuming garlic on a regular basis has been shown to reduce one’s risk of heart disease, which is very common in those already diagnosed with diabetes. In fact, as much as 80% of diabetics suffer from this condition.
Another study back in 2006 witnessed the beneficial effects which raw garlic might have when it comes to reducing one’s blood sugar levels. It can even decrease one’s risk of atherosclerosis!
And this is also very crucial information since those with diabetes also have an increased risk of inflammation connected to atherosclerosis.
A review of studies back in 2014 also concluded that the consumption of garlic regularly enough may indeed help in naturally stabilizing one’s blood sugar. Though we should mention that this is still being investigated.
On top of all this, garlic is very abundant in vitamin C and B6. Vitamin C has also shown potential in maintaining blood sugar levels, while vitamin B6 plays a role in carb metabolism.
Another study discovered that garlic is able to:
- Reduce the LDL bad cholesterol, blood lipids, and triglycerides. This means it can improve your cardiovascular health;
- Lower your blood pressure;
- Offer an anti-tumor effect;
- Prevent the growth of cancer cells;
- Present strong antibacterial and antifungal properties.
Warnings and Risks
However, nothing is ideal, and even this superfood may bring about some unwanted effects. Granted, none of them are considered major, and not everyone has to experience them. They can be:
Researchers also discovered that one is more likely to experience any and all of these side effects if one eats garlic in its raw form.
It also happens to be a natural blood-thinner, so you may want to avoid it if you’re taking blood-thinning medications. Or, at the very least, seek advice from your doctor.
Adding Garlic to One’s Diet
You can add garlic to any salad of your choice, but it goes particularly well in potato salads. Feel free to add as much as you want, there are plenty of recipes that include this ingredient. You can try them all and see what best ‘tickles your fancy.
Still, if you’re one of those individuals who simply cannot stand the potent odor and taste garlic provides, we have an alternative for you too!
Look for garlic scapes and garlic greens. You should easily be able to find them during the spring season at local produce stores and farmers’ markets. They have a milder taste to them, and go great with not just salads, but spreads and dips as well.
Another tip we feel you’ll find useful is to let your garlic sit for 5 minutes after you’ve chopped it up. This is because its main component, allicin, takes this long to achieve its highest concentration. Which, in turn, may augment garlic’s numerous health benefits.
Perhaps a Garlic Supplement?
This is particularly welcomed by all those who find garlic’s taste and aroma too pungent. Here are a few things to keep in mind, though:
- Before purchasing any supplements (not just this one) and integrating them into your daily routine, it’s always wise to consult with your doctor.
- Be sure to look for aged garlic extract or other extracts that contain allicin.
- Make sure to buy from a manufacturer who doesn’t use heat processing, as this destroys the active compounds in garlic and its health benefits along it.
- While odorless products might seem like the best option, avoid them as this is usually an indicator that they’ve been stripped of the sulfur compounds which give it some of its health benefits in the first place!
Consuming garlic is a good idea both for those with or without diabetes. Be sure to consume moderate amounts of it on a regular basis for optimal results.
Also, cooking garlic may lower its potential benefits, so always best to eat it raw and fresh. Stay healthy, dear readers.