Herbs are widely used in the kitchen to enhance the flavor of food, adding freshness and a pleasant aroma to your meals. Previously, health experts have claimed that fresh herbs pack a number of health benefits and can ward off heart disease, diabetes, obesity and a lot of other health problems. A new study supports their theory and shows that herbs like oregano and rosemary contain diabetes-fighting compounds.
The study was published in American Chemical Society's Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. According to it, herbs are rich in anti-oxidants and essential enzymes like polyphenols and their regular consumption can be a natural way to lower glucose levels in the blood. Therefore, they can help in regulating high blood sugar levels in diabetics.
Experts are of the opinion that these herbs could work as effectively as any prescribed anti-diabetic medication would. Interestingly, how the herbs are grown also makes a difference. With an aim to take a closer look at the miraculous properties these herbs, Elvira Gonzalez de Mejia and her colleagues at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign carried out an experiment where they tested four different herbs, either greenhouse-grown or dried commercial versions.
The result showed that greenhouse herbs contained more polyphenols and flavonoids as compared to their commercially grown counterparts. Irrespective of the findings the researchers maintained that such a difference doesn't really affect the concentration required to inhibit the diabetes enzyme. On the other hand, the commercial extracts of Greek oregano, Mexican oregano and rosemary were better inhibitors of the enzyme, required to reduce risk of type-2 diabetes, than greenhouse-grown herbs.
The researchers concluded that more studies are needed to understand the role of these compounds in reducing the risk of type-2 diabetes in humans.