Cinnamon: Great for Candles, Desserts… and Fighting Diabetes!

Here’s some good news for the day:

According to nutritionist Dr. Keith Pearson, there is ample evidence that cinnamon helps to lower blood sugar and fight diabetes!

Let’s go over the main highlights Dr. Pearson outlined in his article.

  1. Know the difference between ceylon and cassia cinnamon.

Ever wondered where cinnamon comes from? If you have, you’re in luck! Cinnamon is derived from the bark of Cinnamomum trees, and largely categorized under two types: ceylon and cassia.

Ceylon cinnamon is made from the cinnamomum verum tree, and boasts more antioxidants than cassia. Ceylon is often called “true cinnamon” and is traditionally more expensive.

Cassia cinnamon is made from the cinnamomum cassia tree, and is the most common form of cinnamon. This is the cinnamon you find in your local grocery store aisle. Not only does this form of cinnamon have less antioxidants, but it also has a high amount of the substance coumarin which studies have shown can be harmful to the liver if a large amount is consumed.

So while both forms of cinnamon can help with blood sugar and diabetes (more on that in a second!) – ceylon cinnamon is the better choice.

2. Cinnamon can emulate insulin

As a quick refresher – diabetes is often a byproduct of rare disease treatment and it’s a condition where the body’s ability to produce insulin is impaired. And insulin is a hormone that allows the body to use glucose (or sugar) from carbohydrates in the food we consume for energy. Insulin helps keep blood sugar levels from getting too high or too low.

So those with diabetes have a hard time maintaining balanced levels of blood sugar because their body isn’t producing the right amounts of insulin. But cinnamon may actually help here by imitating the effects of insulin and increasing glucose transport into cells.

According to Dr. Pearson, one study even showed that taking cinnamon increased insulin sensitivity immediately after consumption, with the effect lasting at least 12 hours!

2. Cinnamon can be an after-meal blood sugar check

It should come to no surprise that after any meal where carbs are consumed, our blood sugar can rise. But Dr. Pearson points to another study showing that consuming cinnamon can help lower blood sugar levels after a meal, by slowing how quickly food empties out of the stomach.

In this study, consuming 1.2 teaspoons of cinnamon with a serving of rice pudding led to slower stomach emptying and lower blood sugar elevations vs. eating the rice pudding sans cinnamon. And other studies have shown how cinnamon may actually lower blood sugar after a meal by blocking certain enzymes that break down carbs.

3. Cinnamon May Lower the Risk of Common Diabetes Complications

Nearly 30 million people in the US have been diagnosed with diabetes – so according to projections, that number will continue to rise. Those with diabetes have higher risks of heart disease, blood pressure trouble, and high cholesterol.

So it’s promising that cinnamon consumption has been shown to reduce some of these risk factors in a significant away.

One study showed that people with type 2 diabetes taking cinnamon was saw an average decrease in “bad” LDL cholesterol of 9.4 mg/dL and an average increase of “good” HDL cholesterol of 1.7 mg/dL (0.044 mmol/L).

And yet another study found that consuming two grams of cinnamon for 12 weeks significantly lowered both systolic and diastolic blood pressure!

I’ve always heard of people carrying around hot sauce with them at all times – but maybe soon we’ll see people carrying a travel sized bottle of cinnamon around with them! It certainly would help.

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