Are you a diabetic who feels like you can't find any joy in food since your diagnosis? Sometimes it feels like being diagnosed with diabetes means you can't eat any delicious foods anymore. Everything from sweet juice and lollies to savoury fried foods and potato dishes may be off the menu.

However, it is possible to continue eating tasty meals as a diabetic if you employ the use of seasonings. Spices, herbs, and flavourings can easily turn a bland dish into a gastronomical delight. Best of all, some seasonings even offer additional benefits to diabetics. One such spice is crushed chilli, also known as pepper flakes. Beyond its great, hot taste, here are 3 reasons why you should consider adding crushed chilli to your spice cabinet.

It Reduces High Insulin Levels

An abnormally high level of insulin in the body, known medically as hyperinsulinaemia, is a common early symptom of diabetes. It's caused by insulin resistance; when your cells don't respond properly to insulin, your body tries to make more and more insulin to compensate. One way that researchers say high insulin levels could be combated is through a diet enriched with crushed chilli. An Australian study published in 2006 showed that the body needed to produce less insulin after eating a meal containing chilli than it did after eating a bland meal. The effects were even greater when chilli was included regularly in a long-term diet.

It Helps Control Weight

Diabetes and weight gain can often seem like a vicious cycle. Some diabetes medications can make it harder to stay at a healthy weight, but being overweight can make your diabetes symptoms and prognosis worse. Alongside eating a low-calorie diet, one trick that might help you keep your weight at a healthy level is to season your food with crushed chilli. A research project at the University of Wyoming found that capsaicin, the active component in chilli that makes it taste 'hot', stimulated energy burning and turned hard-to-burn white fat into fast-burning brown fat. As an added bonus, studies have also shown that brown fat is better at controlling your blood glucose levels and insulin sensitivity, further improving your diabetes management.

It Combats Heart Disease Risk

According to scientific evidence, having diabetes puts you at greater risk of getting heart disease and other cardiovascular disorders like stroke. Eating crushed chilli could help you lower that risk. Chili peppers can reduce high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Capsaicin has also been shown to reduce the risk of blood flow blockages caused by contracting arteries. Such problems can lead to cardiovascular diseases, so reducing them with crushed chilli will help keep your heart healthy and your lifespan long.