Tame blood sugar spikes with this wild weed
You feel hungry, even though you've eaten plenty... thirsty, even though you've had enough to drink... and tired, even though you've slept through the night.
When your blood sugar is soaring -- because either you're diabetic or you're headed that way -- it feels like you can never eat, drink, or sleep enough!
Of course, your body isn't ACTUALLY insatiable. That's just its way of telling you that your blood sugar levels are out of whack.
You might feel like reaching for a candy bar for a quick pick-me-up... or wetting your whistle with a soda... but that would only set you up for more sugar spikes and subsequent crashes, not to mention diabetic complications down the line.
It's a vicious cycle.
But according to a new study, you can satisfy your rumbling tummy AND keep blood sugar in check -- with fiber!
The study out of the UK found that special fibers in the wild-growing chicory root can keep your blood sugar from spiking... even AFTER you eat a sugary snack.
You might know chicory by its nickname, "coffeeweed" -- because it was brewed as a coffee-like substitute when the real deal was scarce during the Second World War.
But more recently, chicory's been prized for its high content of fibers that make you feel full yet don't elevate your blood sugar.
In the "gold standard" trial, replacing sucrose with two of those fibers -- either oligofructose or inulin -- lowered the glycemic index of "sweet" snacks that participants had eaten (specifically, a sweetened yogurt drink and a jelly).
Glycemic index measures how quickly the food raises your blood sugar -- so, a "lower" score means blood sugar will rise more slowly and steadily. That means the fibers in chicory can tame blood sugar spikes that happen after you eat a meal or snack (a.k.a. "postprandial").
At the same time, the study showed that those chicory fibers also lowered the participants' insulin response to sugary foods -- because with less of a blood sugar jump, your body needs less insulin to deal with it.
Now, Big Food of course has tried to jump on the fructans bandwagon by adding inulin and oligofructose to their processed ice creams, chocolate bars, and other junk -- but that doesn't mean they're OK to eat.
Instead, you might want to try having your coffee "New Orleans style": mixed with chicory, like they've been doing at the famous Café du Monde since the 1800s. Just skip the sugary beignets!
Aside from chicory inulin's blood sugar benefits, it's also a prebiotic that feeds the "good" bacteria in your gut and supports healthy digestion. You can get it by taking prebiotic supplements that you'll find at your local health food store.
Just be careful to add it into your diet slowly, since some people have difficulty tolerating inulin. Considered a FODMAP -- short for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides And Polyols -- it can set off irritable bowel symptoms in those who can't stomach certain kinds of carbohydrates.