Yet another reason why ginger is a must-have on the supermarket shopping list. Not only does its fragrance transform a stir fry, this Asian root could have the power to help manage our sugar levels, say Australian researchers.
Scientists at the University of Sydney, investigated the active constituents of the rhizome of Zingiber officinale, Roscoe (aka ginger), to determine their relationships with glucose uptake in the body.
According to News Medical, extracts from an Australian-grown ginger were able to increase the uptake of glucose into muscle cells independently of insulin.
Professor Roufogalis, Professor of Pharmaceutical Chemistry Basil Roufogalis said: “This assists in the management of high levels of blood sugar that create complications for long-term diabetic patients, and may allow cells to operate independently of insulin.”
There are 2.9m people diagnosed with diabetes in the UK and an estimated 850,000 people who have the condition but don’t know it, according to Diabetes UK.
Diabetes is a condition where the amount of glucose in your blood is too high because the body cannot use it properly.
This is because your pancreas does not produce any insulin, or not enough, to help glucose enter your body’s cells – or the insulin that is produced does not work properly (known as insulin resistance).
"The components responsible for the increase in glucose were gingerols, the major phenolic components of the ginger rhizome," said Professor Roufogalis, said to Medical Daily.
"It is hoped that these promising results for managing blood glucose levels can be examined further in human clinical trials," he added.
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Since the advent of low-carb diet fads, the reputation of the humble potato has taken a serious dive among the health-conscious. But while the simple spud might not count as one of your five-a-day, it is packed with potassium, which helps to counteract the negative effects of salt. It was also found in a recent study that eating a portion of potato twice a day can lower blood pressure, while a separate study identified 60 different types of phytochemicals and vitamins in potato skins.
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