Cinnamon is a spice that we have come to have a love/hate relationship with. Especially around the holidays because it’s in EVERYTHING! It might not really be, but it sure seems like it. Sometimes we hate to love it – and by the end of December we might love to hate it. Not only is it a seasonal treat – cinnamon has health benefits that work all year long.
Cinnamon: The Skinny–
Cinnamon helps the body function in so many different ways – it helps digestion as well as curbs appetite naturally, helps boost metabolism, and is a natural anti-inflammatory – achy, swollen joints? No more! Not only is it an anti-inflammatory – it also helps fight infection and repair tissue damage. Cinnamon might be a superhero.
Cinnamon is really a super spice with all of the antioxidants that its loaded with – move over acai berry – cinnamon is moving in! Interesting fact: Cinnamon is such a powerful antioxidant that it can actually be used as a natural food preservative!
According to Authority Nutrition, “Cinnamon has been linked with reduced risk of heart disease, the world’s most common cause of premature death. In people with type 2 diabetes, 1 gram of cinnamon per day has beneficial effects on blood markers. More recently, a big review study concluded that a cinnamon dose of just 120 milligrams per day can have these effects. In this study, cinnamon also increased HDL (the “good”) cholesterol. In animal studies, cinnamon has been shown to reduce blood pressure.”
The Science –
How does cinnamon work so well on so many things? Brain chemistry. Cinnamon actually works on hormone receptors in the brain that are able to increase glucose metabolism as well as lower the serum lipids and blood glucose levels (where they get the numbers from the labs).
How can this help someone with diabetes?
Promotes insulin release
Enhances insulin sensitivity
Increases insulin disposal
Basically – it makes your body work better. If you are someone who doesn’t take meds (because they aren’t prescribed – this is NOT a way to avoid taking meds that are prescribed – ALWAYS follow your doctor’s care plan) – cinnamon is a great tool to help manage your blood sugar levels.
The Flavor –
It’s the holidays so cinnamon is going to be covering everything from now until January – but even past the holidays you can reap the benefits of cinnamon just by adding it to things you already eat and drink.
Try adding cinnamon to your morning coffee, your oatmeal for breakfast or have an afternoon herbal tea with cinnamon.
Cider is a great way to get fruit juice as well as cinnamon in a delightful holiday drink.
Using cinnamon in your diet is a great way to get a handle on glycemic control as well as taking advantage of the many other health benefits such as weight loss and heart health – which are both important for not only diabetics but ALL people.