Health Benefits: Balances Blood Sugar
Study after study has shown that cinnamon can play a role in the everyday management of blood sugar levels and other cardiovascular disease risk factors.
In a recent U.S. study, published in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine, 109 people with type 2 diabetes were divided into two groups, with one receiving 1 gram of cinnamon a day and one receiving a placebo. After three months, those taking the cinnamon had a 0.83 percent decrease in their A1C, a measure of blood sugar. (Seven percent or less means the diabetes is controlled, and a decrease between 0.5 and 1.0 percent is considered a significant improvement.) Those taking the placebo had only a 0.37 percent decrease in A1C blood-sugar levels.
The theory is that the spice mimics the action of insulin, the hormone that regulates blood sugar. It may stimulate insulin receptors on fat and muscle cells the same way insulin does, allowing excess sugar to move out of the blood and into the cells.
May also help prevent and treat:
Cancer, cholesterol problems, food poisoning, heart disease, hypertension, insulin resistance, polycystic ovarian syndrome, stroke, ulcer, vaginal yeast infection, wounds.
How to buy cinnamon:
Ground cinnamon begins to fade in flavor after a few months, so it’s best to buy whole cinnamon quills (or sticks) and grind as needed.
If your only option is to buy ground cinnamon, try to find good stuff buy Ceylon or Saigon cinnamon, which comes from Sri Lanka and is widely considered to be the best in the world.
How to Use:
- Simmer a whole cinnamon quill in soups or stews.
- Sprinkle cinnamon on apples, bananas, melons
- Put cinnamon in plain or vanilla yogurt
- Combine equal parts cinnamon, cardamom and black pepper, and use as a rub for meats.
- Mix cinnamon into rice pilaf.
- Make spiced tea: Put a quart of brewed tea into a pot, add 2 cups of apple juice, and gently simmer with a sliced lemon and two cinnamon sticks for 10 minutes.