Diabetes has grown exponentially in the last generation, and there are more sufferers than ever. At the same time, research and new breakthroughs have helped find ways for diabetics to live long and healthy lives-- as long as a diabetic follows certain guidelines and treatments, aiming for a healthy, balanced lifestyle, this disease no longer have to be an early death sentence.

If you're a diabetic looking for some healthy additions to your diet, look no further than the garden (or perhaps the produce department at your local supermarket). Start incorporating more of these herbs into your daily food plan.

Bitter Melon

This is actually a juice you can find at your health food store. While it is bitter, you can mix it into your other drinks and juices. All it takes is about 4 or 5 tablespoons per day, and you can begin reaping the benefits. Bitter melon has been successfully proven in clinical studies to lower blood sugar in comparison to test subjects who were taking a placebo. Start bitter melon gradually, though-- it can cause upset stomach.

If you're a diabetic looking for some healthy additions to your diet, look no further than the garden.

Fenugreek

Fenugreek is popular in Indian and Ethiopian cuisine. In Ethiopia, it's been long used for treatment of diabetes. Fenugreek lowers the blood sugar and also lowers insulin resistance, which is particularly great for type 2 diabetics. As an added bonus, it is believed to lower cholesterol. It's even better to use the seeds than it is the leaves, but taking less than 30 grams per day of this herb (or spice, if using seeds) has been connected to better blood sugar control and fewer blood sugar spikes.

Ginseng

Ginseng is an herb you hear of more and more for a variety of health benefits, such as lowering blood sugar and boosting the immune system. This ancient Chinese herb has also been found effective for diabetics, as it slows down the body's absorption of simple carbohydrates. This prevents blood sugar spikes after meals. It's also been shown to aid cells in using glucose, and helps the pancreas produce more natural insulin. You can take ginseng as a tea or in capsule form.

Cinnamon

If you love the warm, spicy flavor of cinnamon, you can go ahead and sprinkle it on your food guilt-free. It's actually one of the best spices that a diabetic can eat because it contains polyphenols that stimulate the insulin receptors in the cell membranes. This will ultimately lead to lower blood sugar levels. Cinnamon has also been shown to have an effect on triglycerides and LDL cholesterol. Put cinnamon on your sweet potatoes, breakfast toast or take to drinking cinnamon tea if you prefer.

Chili Pepper

Yes, chili pepper is technically an herb. And to top it off, that spicy goodness can be very beneficial to diabetics. Chemicals in the pepper helps to fight fatigue prevent dizzy spells, lower blood sugar and cholesterol. It's not just good for taking internally-- look for diabetic creams and patches that include capsaicin, as they've been found to decrease diabetic neuropathy symptoms, which can cause numbness.

Mango Leaves

No, not the fruit, but the leaves, so get yourself some mango leaf tea for your morning routine. These leaves are among the sweetest, most tasty way to lower blood glucose levels. Don't like tea? That's okay... you can take it in capsule form.