Cinnamon is considered by some to be a super food impacting both diabetes and blood pressure. You can sprinkle it on toast, add it to oatmeal or use it on desserts. Make cinnamon tea by pouring one to two cups (250 to 500 millilitres) of boiling water over one- to 1-1/2-inch sticks; steep for 10 minutes. Caution: Ingesting four tablespoons (60 mL) of cinnamon oil has been linked to serious side-effects.
In a study conducted in Pakistan, participants with Type 2 diabetes who consumed less than half a teaspoon of cinnamon daily for 40 days reduced their blood sugar, cholesterol and triglyceride levels by 20 percent. The blood sugar benefits likely resulted from cinnamon’s ability to mimic the activity of insulin. In animal studies, researchers have demonstrated that cinnamon can prevent insulin resistance even with the consumption of a high-fructose diet. Eating cinnamon with high carbohydrate foods can mitigate the subsequent spike in blood sugar. Thus, in addition to impacting Type 2 diabetes, the spice can stave off the sugar metabolism impairments that are precursors to the disease.
Cinnamon certainly packs a nutritional punch. It is an excellent source of the trace mineral manganese. Just one teaspoon has 28 mg of calcium, 1 mg of iron and 1 g of fiber. This consortium of nutrients may account for cinnamon’s cholesterol-lowering properties. Cinnamon’s calcium and fiber can bind together to remove compounds known as bile salts. When this occurs, the body breaks down cholesterol to produce new bile, thereby decreasing cholesterol levels in the body. A recent USDA study found that cinnamon stemmed the growth of leukemia and lymphoma cancer cells.
One of the essential oils found in cinnamon bark, cinnamaldehyde, which gives cinnamon its characteristically warm flavor, is also a natural blood thinner and anti-inflammatory. Cinnamon’s anti-clotting action has proven so significant that individuals taking prescription blood thinners should not consume it in therapeutic doses. The anti-inflammatory properties of the spice may account for its benefit to arthritis sufferers; a study conducted at Copenhagen University showed that consuming half a teaspoon of cinnamon with one tablespoon of honey every morning before breakfast relieves arthritis pain.
Never, ever, self-diagnose. Research and share your information (health claims, etc.) so you can make sound health decisions with your doctor.