Is Ginger Good for Diabetics?

Let me admit upfront that this is the second time I am writing about ginger. Later in the article, I will give you a link to the first article. There are a few reasons why I excitedly write about ginger and diabetes. It works! That’s the simplest way to tell this truth. Ginger helps with a number of issues.

People are also still writing about ginger and I believe they will do so for years to come. You will smile at the final reason for writing this article. Teaching is my profession, so this means that I know that a refresher course is always of benefit. Yes, smile, it is true. Please continue to read as I give one more refresher lesson on the basics of type 2 diabetes. Lighten up. Smile.

Introducing Type 2 Diabetes

To be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes simple means that our blood sugar level is higher than what has been accepted as the norm. Type 2 diabetes signifies that our body is struggling to use the produced insulin. This is known as insulin resistance. The pancreas responds to the situation by creating extra insulin. Truth be told after a while the pancreas just cannot produce enough insulin to make our blood sugar fall within societies normal range.

The all-important question at this time should be, “then, what is insulin and what role/s does it play in the body?” Insulin is a hormone which helps to regulate blood glucose levels in our bodies. I am using blood glucose and blood sugar interchangeably. Yes, they are the same. Now I am sure you understand why the big fuss about insulin and the connection with type 2 diabetes.

When our blood sugar is too high it can make us very sick and causes a lot of complications which could eventually cause us to die. For more information about the symptoms and complications of diabetes, please click and read this promised article entitled “Introduction to Diabetes – The Facts.”

Know your Roots – What is Ginger?

When we speak about ginger, we are referring to the root of the ginger plant which is used as a spice and for flavorings in a number of countries. It is also used as a tea. This hot spice which comes with a delightfully pleasant fragrance can be chopped or made into a powder, dependent on its use.

Ginger has been used as a powder which can be added to our meats, mixed in our tea and juices. It is also used in sweets (candy), which has the reputation of helping with sore throats and the common flu. Ginger has a brownish color on the outside and a slightly creamier color on the inside. Here is a picture of this root called ginger.Ginger

Ginger grows easily in the Caribbean and it is also grown in other places. Africa, India, and China are also known as places where ginger is grown. The plant itself looks somewhat like bamboo. You may be interested in knowing that you can easily grow this root at home, even in a pot. Before we go to the following section, if you haven’t yet done so, please take a few minutes to read the first blog I did about ginger and diabetes. I’m sure you’ll see why I owed you a second article, smile.

The Connection Between Ginger and Diabetes

Here we finally are, and, alas we are going to talk about ginger and diabetes. I will answer the question, “Is ginger good for diabetics?” I am not going to beat around the bush. Yes, ginger is good for the author of this blog and I was diagnosed with diabetes. I was using ginger before and it was always a pleasant spice I loved consuming. I must however confess that initially, I used ginger for an upset stomach or a tummy ache.

Very little was known by me about this root, but, one thing is for sure, my mother included it in her delicious vegetable drink all the time. It was also not uncommon to witness mommy and daddy sipping a cup of ginger tea some mornings. My mommy was a coffee person, and it would appear that we acquired that taste early as children. For my mommy, ginger tea mostly came somewhere later in the day. It was not nice to have anything else to drink first thing in the morning. Yes, I am speaking about coffee. If the dead had power, then mommy would agree with me at this moment.

A lot of us, unfortunately, grew consuming sugary drink, and so we have not only acquired the taste, we sometimes feel we must have these drinks. The result is that our blood sugar rises above the normal range and before you know it we are struggling with diabetes. I love to have some ginger drink with a little lime. This I find refreshing with a few cubes of ice. Okay, so do I sweeten my beverages? Sorry I don’t. Try it, there is no need for the sugar.

Allow me to be frank with you. Reducing our sugar in-take can seem cruel and difficult in the beginning. Let me liken our long-lived relationship with sugar as being in the company of abusive people, whether verbally, or physically. Because of how confused we are in our heads, and maybe because we saw people around us remaining in these abusive relationships, we may assume that it is the only way to go and that “better does not exist.” That’s a lie. There is always better and we deserve more than we settle for in life.

So it is with sugar. I do have some sugar in my diet, but, I strive for moderation. I realized that the minute I came off the sugar in my tea for a few days and reduced my intake of highly processed foods, the taste, and craving for a number of “foods” changed. Oh how wonderfully we were created!

Ginger is low in carbohydrate and so it is less likely to cause a spike in our blood glucose. Thanks to the zinc content of ginger, which helps us to secrete more insulin. Just a reminder here, we need insulin to help in the regulation of our blood glucose and sometimes, we have issues producing enough to deal with the excess sugars in our bodies. Isn’t it amazing and exciting to know that God has given us a root, which can be grown at home and serves many purposes including to help in the secretion of insulin? Ginger also contains potassium and is known for its fiber content.

A little note here about potassium and fiber. Is has been said on many occasions that those of us diagnosed with diabetes, unfortunately, winds up with high blood pressure as well. Potassium has a reputation to be of benefit to people who are hypersensitive. It cannot be overemphasized that diabetics need a fiber-rich diet in order to lower the numbers. Hey, we just looked at another two (2) good reasons to make ginger a regular part of our diet.

With all this said, let us take a brief look at some other health benefits of the ginger root. Please continue reading to learn about these other health benefits.

Other Health Benefits of Ginger

Please see below for a screen print from the first blog I wrote about ginger and its many health benefits for those of us, with or, without diabetes. It has been said that a picture is worth a thousand words, so go ahead and click the screen print to be taken to the article, if you are interested in reading the entire document. If not, then try to read the screen print.

Other health benefits of ginger

A 2015 study also showed that people had lower levels of the following after being treated with ginger for twelve weeks; Hemoglobin A1c, Apolipoprotein B and A-1, and, Malondialdehyde. Hemoglobin A1c is a test for diabetes. Have you ever heard the term “bad cholesterol?” then that’s what we are talking about when we mention Apolipoprotein B. Apolipoprotein BA-1, on the other hand, looks at our “good cholesterol,” in an effort to determine our risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Malondialdehyde is often used as a marker for oxidative stress.

Diabetes does not walk alone and brings with her numerous complications. Ginger helps us to keep at bay some of those complications, namely; heart problems, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and inflammation. Sounds like a win-win situation to me. I had my coffee with cumin at about 3:30 am, just before I started writing this paper and at 6:09 am, I am going to do some ginger tea.

For my students especially, I took breaks in between writing. I have been teaching you to rest your eyes from the computer and not to work straight, so, please note that I did some house chores during my four (4) ten (10) minutes break. Yes, I am hinting that you should also consider including some chores into your days and give the technology a break.

A Word of Caution

I always emphasize the need for moderation. I never encourage excess in any way, form or fashion. The same is true as it relates to ginger. Some people have stomach issues when they consume more than 4 grams of ginger for the day. The irony is that I drink warm ginger for stomach issues. To be honest, I may even be a little irresponsible here as I confess that I have no clue what four (4) grams of ginger look like. I just break about an inch of ginger, grate, and boil. Okay, most times I just cut in into smaller pieces, boil, strain, and drink.

It has been said that if you are pregnant, you should not consume more than one (1) gram of ginger for the day. I would suggest that you do the research and also that you speak with your doctor.

Having thinner blood, especially at an older age and especially if we have high cholesterol can be a good thing. But, if we are already on a blood thinner, then ginger can make this situation a nightmare. Yes, I am talking about excessive bleeding. If I were you, I would see my doctor on this one too.

Ginger has been known to lower blood pressure. Whereas this is good news for some, like me, it can be bad news for those with normal blood pressure or, low blood pressure. I try daily to understand my body and I ask my doctor a lot of questions. I use my ginger and take less and sometimes zero (0) medication for high blood pressure. I am also not taking high doses of blood sugar medication.

Let me hasten to add here that my lifestyle changes control my blood pressure, and blood sugar beautifully. I do not eat a lot of highly processed foods. I consume a wide variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, peas, beans, legumes, nuts and seeds, and as a result, things are just falling into place. This includes my weight. Yes, I am losing weight.

Thank you, Jesus. I give God the glory. I am still struggling with exercising, but, I have a very active life, which includes over-cleaning my house and fixing the yard. Smile, I am not perfect and I am human. Yes, I also love a clean house. You got me, I love everything clean and in place. Ginger can’t help that “sickness.”

Sneaking It In – Ginger

I try to find ways to include ginger and other herbs and spices into the foods I eat on a daily basis. Ginger can be had as a warm beverage in the morning. This can be very soothing on the stomach, and anything that will help me to control my blood sugar throughout the day, or at least, for a part of the day is a must for me.

Please see below for a screen print from this website which shows how I do my ginger tea. I drink this any time of the day or night. Enjoy. If you go ahead and click it, you will be taken to the post.

Ginger Tea Recipe

Ginger is sometimes added to my meats, bean, peas, sauteed vegetables, and rice and beans. Please click the picture below to be taken to a recipe which includes the use of ginger.

Recipe with ginger

Conclusion

Ginger can be a nice addition to our diet in order to help in the control of our blood glucose level. This too should be done with caution in mind. We always need to exercise caution and make moderation our goal.

The added benefits from consuming ginger are that we also avoid some heart issues and will see lower cholesterol and generally walk in better health, but, this must be combined with other measures.

Interesting Reads

Controlling Diabetes Naturally-Ginger Cure

Spices for Diabetes – Cumin

Moist Cooking Methods-Stewing to Control Diabetes

Reference

  1. Controlling Diabetes Naturally-Ginger Cure.
  2. Ginger Water For Diabetes: Here’s How You Can Use the Herbal Potion To Manage Blood Sugar.
  3. Can You Eat Ginger If You Have Diabetes?

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Medical Disclaimer

10 Comments


  1. // Reply

    Hi Josephine
    This article is so interesting. I must hasten to add that this must be done in addition to doctor’s advice as not every one is in the same boat. Actually a diabetic person’s diet should be include mainly natural ingredients such as fruits and vegetables in the diet and ginger should be one of them because of its added medicinal uses again use with caution.
    Best wishes


    1. // Reply

      Charlene, your addition to the discussion is appreciated. Definitely yes to the visit to the doctor. Most times people have to remain on medication and the doctor will reduce as the need arises. What I absolutely love about using foods to heal my body is that it does a complete job and so I wind up with more than I was hoping to achieve. Hence, when I eat to become diabetic-free, my blood pressure gets into the normal range and I lose weight. Blessings my child. It all makes sense. Cheers.


  2. // Reply

    Thank you for this information. I really appreciate the knowledge you have about diabetes.
    I have heard others talk about the health benefits of Ginger as well as many other herbs and spices.
    I think it is important to research which herbs will assist us with any health issue we may have.
    This to me seems to be a much safer route than to take medications that can cause side effects.
    Information like you have provided here is definitely what we need. Especially the fact that you are letting us know who shouldn’t use ginger like those who are on blood thinners.
    This will be very useful to me and I am sure to others as well.


    1. // Reply

      Lee Ann, thanks for dropping by and I agree with you that the side-effects from the medications can cost us a lot and so I too love the idea of using the herbs and spices, along with other foods to heal my body. All the best.


  3. // Reply

    Beautifully written. I like your writing flow. I too have Type-2 diabetes and on medications. I will surely try this ginger medication and see if it helps. I know there are the traditional spices that help 🙂 Will read more of your articles.


    1. // Reply

      Thank you for your kind words, Rudolph. Please take care of yourself. Diabetic complications can be devastating, so, do make the necessary adjustments to be healthier and truly happy. Cheers.


  4. // Reply

    Hey my dad at age 63 was diagnosed with diabetes. It’s been a life changing experience for him.

    He has had to completely revamp his entire diet. It was really hard for him in the beginning. He pretty much grew up eating pizza and lots of bread. However, that is big no-no with diabetes.

    I do love ginger root and I use it with teas about 3 times a week. It has a lot of antioxidants, which is the main reason I use it.

    I am going to have to try out your ginger tea recipe. I wasn’t aware that you could use it with honey. Do you think getting organic honey is the way to go, though?

    Have you ever heard that diabetes is hereditary though? I’m 34, but I was wondering what my risk of developing diabetes is?


    1. // Reply

      Garen, your addition to the discussion is intriguing, for which I thank you. Sorry to hear about your dad, but I am even happier that he has made the changes to not only be free of diabetes but, he will see that there are other health benefits.

      I would prefer organic honey, but the truth be told, I sometimes wonder if organic is really organic. We have to look at the prices, our wallets/purses and make the decision. I can’t always afford organic. So, I do the best I can and bless my food before I eat.

      Here is my take on the heredity story. We learn in a family how and what to eat and whether or not to lead an active lifestyle. This means that most, if not all the family members will develop the same lifestyle illnesses. My friend, make the necessary changes now and stop worrying. That will not help. All the best.


  5. // Reply

    This is perfect for my friend who suffers with diabetes. I always stress diet to her, and I’m going to direct her to your website. With all the variations you’ve presented to consume ginger, if this can help her, she needs to try at least one of them! LOL! I’m so glad I was looking around for her and came across your diabetes control website. It looks like she can really get some good info here.

    Thanks, alot.

    Babsie


    1. // Reply

      Babsie, I appreciate the visit. Sorry to hear about your friend, but she can do a number of things to control her blood sugar. A lifestyle change where we eat fruits, vegetables and other plant-based foods, coupled with an active lifestyle is working for me. Feel free to share the link with her and she can contact me at josephine@howtocontroldiabeteswithdiet.com. Remember that you can have ginger too. Be blessed.

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