Diabetes is a major risk factor for heart disease, and researchers are finding that curcumin, the main substance in the Indian spice turmeric, may help prevent it.
Studies have shown that turmeric has healthy properties, including helping to lower inflammation and oxidative stress, which can contribute to diabetes.
Researchers in Thailand recruited 240 adults with prediabetes, and divided them into two groups. They gave one group curcumin supplements to take six times a day, and the other group was given capsules filled with an inactive ingredient.
After nine months, 19 out of the 116-member control group had developed diabetes, but no one in the curcumin-taking group did.
The researchers cautioned that this was a small study, and more research needs to be done. However, turmeric is a popular spice that can easily be added to the diet. Use it in Indian curry, or use small amounts (1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon) to season soups, beans, brown rice, quinoa, or couscous.