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.
Did you know these food were good for your health?
Surprise Healthy Foods
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 <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2011/09/01/is-the-humble-potato-the-new-superfood_n_945208.html" target="_hplink">eating a portion of potato twice a day can lower blood pressure</a>, while a separate study identified 60 different types of phytochemicals and vitamins in potato skins.
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/02/06/red-wine-health-pros-and-cons_n_1257409.html" target="_hplink">From protecting your heart health and lowering breast cancer risk to fending off colds and treating gum disease, barely a week goes by without news of a study hailing a new health benefit of red wine</a>. But that daily glass (or half-bottle) could be causing more harm than good. A recent statement by the Royal College of Physicians advised drinkers to limit their alcohol consumption to four days a week.
We're not suggesting gorging yourself on family-sized bars of Dairy Milk but when eaten regularly, a small quantity of dark chocolate (with a minimum of 70% cocoa solids) can benefit your health in a number of ways. As well as being packed with antioxidants, it can reduce blood pressure and is a rich source of magnesium, which may help reduce the risk of chronic illnesses, such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease. It also contains iron and potassium, linked to a reduced risk of blood pressure and stroke. Hello Green & Blacks...
Peanut ButterFrom decreasing depression in women and lowering prostate risk in men to protecting against skin cancer and reducing stroke risk, your daily latte might not be as guilty a pleasure as you think.
It may have a higher fat content than your average spread, but peanut butter is rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and low in saturated fat. Harvard Medical School researchers found that regularly snacking on peanut butter could nearly halve the risk of a heart attack. The spread is also high in protein, fibre and folate.
From <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/03/02/starbucks-stronger-coffee-british-latte_n_1315815.html#s747405&title=5_Health_Benefits" target="_hplink">decreasing depression in women and lowering prostate risk in men to protecting against skin cancer and reducing stroke risk</a>, your daily latte might not be as guilty a pleasure as you think.
The fiery condiment and Sunday roast staple is thought to improve digestion and boost liver function. It is also a rich source of iron and magnesium for energy production and calcium for healthy teeth and bones.