The normal blood pressure of a healthy adult individual is 120 mmHg systolic and 80 mmHg diastolic. But when the pressure of the blood in the arteries is elevated, it is known as hypertension. If the condition is not addressed at the right time, it can lead to serious health conditions such as stroke, impaired vision, kidney damage, heart attack, congestive heart failure, vascular dementia, peripheral blood vessel disease and aortic aneurysm among others.
Similarly, diabetes, which leads to uncontrolled level of blood sugar in the body too can lead to various conditions if not kept under control. Which is why it becomes extremely important to keep a tab on one’s diet.
To help keep you fit and healthy, Avni Kaul, nutritionist, wellness coach and certified diabetic educator, shares a few herbs that will help keep the conditions in check.
Holy basil (tulsi)
Basil or tulsi is a wonderful herb which can help lower your blood pressure. The chemical eugenol which is present in tulsi is known to fight certain substances that tighten blood vessels, which can lead to a decrease in blood pressure. Adding fresh basil to your diet is simple and certainly won’t hurt.
Cinnamon is a tasty seasoning that is extremely easy to include in your daily diet. The spice is extremely helpful in lowering blood pressure. According to a study, rodents showed that cinnamon extract lowered both sudden-onset and prolonged high blood pressure. However, the extract was given intravenously.
This pungent spice can do way more than just flavour your food. Garlic has the ability to lower your blood pressure by assisting to increase a substance in the body called nitric oxide, which can cause your blood vessels to relax and dilate. This allows blood to flow more freely and reduces blood pressure.
The compound curcumin, found in the turmeric, has been shown to control blood sugar and help prevent the the onset of diabetes. In a nine-month study of 240 adults having pre-diabetes, those who took curcumin capsules completely avoided developing diabetes.
Fenugreek has been used as a medicine and as a spice for thousands of years. The benefits of fenugreek for diabetes have been shown in both animal and human trials. In one study of 25 people having type 2 diabetes, fenugreek was found to have a remarkable effect on controlling blood sugar. A 2015 study published in the International Journal For Vitamin and Nutrition Research, found that a daily dose of 10 grams of fenugreek seeds soaked in hot water may help control Type-2 diabetes. It mentioned that ‘methi dana (seeds)’ water has the ability to lower blood sugar in people with diabetes.
A herb that is popular for soothing your stomach and help in digestion, ginger also has the ability to stabilise blood sugar levels. Multiple studies done on rats show that ginger
extract can have a great anti-hyperglycaemic effect. It decreases serum total cholesterol, triglycerides and increases the HDL-cholesterol levels. Diabetics often have issues with acid reflux. Ginger soothes the entire digestive tract, giving diabetics another point to add ginger to their supplement regimen.