Cinnamon has been revealed as the new diabetes superfood, with the potential to significantly stabilize blood sugar. It is not a cure, of course, nor is it a replacement for proper diet, exercise and lifestyle changes that are so important for proper diabetes treatment and maintenance. As a dietary supplement, however, cinnamon is one of the easiest and tastiest ways to control blood sugar. Cinnamon makes it much easier to manage diabetes through diet, something that is particularly helpful with children. When it comes to superfoods, cinnamon is a very special spice.
An Oldie but a Goodie
Cinnamon is one of the oldest known spices, used throughout ancient history. A natural substance, cinnamon comes from the bark of the cinnamon tree, native to India, Brazil, Egypt and a number of other countries. It was a popular trade item, prized as highly as gold. Pliny the Elder valued cinnamon as worth 15 times more than silver.
One of the earliest mentions was in 4000 B.C. as an import from China to Egypt. Egyptians used it for embalming, and cinnamon has been used throughout history as both a food supplement and as a treatment method. In Ayurvedic medicine in China and Japan, women use it to treat infertility. Combined with the anti-bacterial properties of honey, cinnamon is used externally as an analgesic to reduce the pain of a toothache and treat the pain and itching of insect bites. It has been used to treat bladder infections, indigestion, and skin infections such as eczema. In South America it is gargled to combat bad breath. A honey and cinnamon paste is even recommended as pimple treatment.
In recent years scientists have learned more about the superfood qualities of cinnamon. It is known as an efficient antioxidant, and the essential oils derived from cinnamon are effective against various microorganisms. Cinnamon’s potential for diabetes treatment was recognized early on, and researchers have been looking into how cinnamon can help stabilize blood sugar and improve blood glucose control. As little as half a teaspoon daily can significantly lower serum glucose, triglyceride, and cholesterol levels in individuals with type 2 diabetes. This also has the effect of reducing a number of diabetes risk factors and risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Research has shown that cinnamon increases transporter mechanisms that remove glucose from the blood stream.
Cinnamon has also been found to be an effective mimetic of insulin, meaning it acts in a similar way on the body. This has potential for possible use in cases where cells have become resistant to insulin.
Cinnamon is also helpful in treating many of the side effects associated with diabetes. For example, Cinnamon helps with weight loss, and may contribute to reductions in obesity among diabetics. Its antioxidant properties are important in reducing incidence of diabetic retinopathy, a common disease that leads to vision loss and blindness. Cinnamon is used to improve insulin functioning in women with polycystic ovary syndrome, which in turn impacts hormones that interfere with getting pregnant.
Cinnamon’s amazing properties are not limited to diabetes treatment, either. It inhibits development of Alzheimer’s, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. Scientists are considering ways to use it in treatment of arthritis and kidney disease. Some research is even being conducted into cinnamon as a mosquito repellent.
Studies continue to be conducted, and much remains to be learned about the potential of cinnamon. Long-term effects and safety concerns are among the considerations still being studied. For example, there are potential questions related to one variety of cinnamon which contains coumarin, which can interfere with blood clotting. The existing body of research, however, along with a long history of traditional medicinal usage, highlights cinnamon as an important factor in diabetes treatment. The many health benefits of cinnamon also make it part of a healthy, well-balanced diet.
Cinnamon: Not Just a Breakfast TreatThe active components of cinnamon that exert an effect on blood glucose and cholesterol are contained in the water-soluble portion of cinnamon, not in the cinnamon oil.
Cinnamon can be consumed in powder form, or as a stick. Eating large quantities of cinnamon straight out of the can is not recommended, since the parts of cinnamon that are not water soluble can build up in the body. Overuse can also lead to allergic reactions.
There are some indications that saliva might neutralize some of the qualities of cinnamon, so taking it in capsule form is an option. In diabetes treatment studies, dosages of between 1 and 1.5 grams daily were used, which is only about 1/3 of a teaspoon, so large quantities are not needed in order to achieve results.
Cinnamon can be consumed directly or brewed in a tea. Cinnamon sticks can be used in almost any hot drink, since the active components are not impacted by heat. Sprinkle it in your morning coffee and oatmeal, or enjoy a cinnamon bun. Try sprinkling it on cottage cheese, or on any piece of fresh fruit – apples, bananas, peaches. Cinnamon works with almost any dessert, say baked apples with cinnamon or pumpkin pie or carrot cake. Chew a cinnamon stick for fresh breath, or try cinnamon toothpaste.
Cinnamon adds a bit of exotic flavor to almost any meat – fish and prawns in particular. Sprinkle it directly on the meat or use it mixed in a marinade. Use cinnamon in soups, on scrambled eggs, and in rice, either long-grain or wild rice or mixed with honey in rice pudding. The cinnamon-honey combination is not only tasty, but adds the health benefits of honey, a natural sweetener that most diabetics can use without significantly impacting glucose levels.
Here are a few more ways to use cinnamon:
- in a glaze for roast duck
- in a mushroom pilaf
- cinnamon butter on a slice of bread
- with cabbage salad
- in chili-masala chicken
- mixed into salad dressing
- mixed into a stir fry
Cinnamon is a common ingredient in Middle Eastern cuisine and in food of other cultures. Explore some of these and find new and creative ways to add cinnamon to your diet every day.
Cinnamon Best Buys
There are several different varieties of cinnamon. Most common are the Korintje, or Indonesian, which comes from the cassia tree, and has a bitter, citrus tone; the Vietnamese, also from the cassia, but stronger and spicier; and Ceylon, which comes from the cinnamon tree and has a mild, sweet flavor.
There are also different grades, with Grade A having the sweetest and most mellow flavor and aroma. Top grade is usually available in gourmet and specialty shops. Most grocery stores sell Grades B and C, which is purchased in bulk and is more bitter. The volatile oil content is also a factor, as the oil is what gives cinnamon its flavor. The ideal cinnamon has at least two percent volatile oil.
It’s a good idea to try different varieties and experiment with how they best blend in your favorite recipes. Ground cinnamon should be purchased in small quantities to ensure freshness, and flavor often deteriorates if stored for a long time. You can grind your own from sticks, but this requires some work. The redder the stick, the stronger the flavor. Both ground cinnamon and cinnamon sticks can be purchased at spice markets, specialty stores, grocery stores, or ordered online. Cinnamon bark capsules are available at grocery stores, drug stores, and online.
Let’s Get PersonalDo you remember what it was like to be diagnosed with diabetes?
I bet you do.
If you’re like most people, you probably felt a little numb at first… like you weren’t sure exactly what was going on, and what it would mean for your life.
It’s crazy how big events don’t seem to really impact us, in the moment itself.
It’s only later, when we realize the implications, that it hits us.
It’s when we suddenly have to monitor our blood sugar levels constantly.
It’s when we have to take painful shots every day.
It’s when we have to watch extremely carefully what we eat.
It’s when we can’t eat the foods we love as much as we could before. And when we do, we have to be so careful.
Of course… diabetes is an incurable disease.
You’re stuck with it for life.
At least, that’s what they say.
But some people aren’t satisfied with that answer.
Because how the medical industry treats diabetes, is how it treats a lot of diseases.
Mainly… fixing the symptoms, not the problem itself.
With diabetes, they’ve got your symptoms on lock.
You take insulin. You track and monitor your blood sugar.
You alter your life just to deal with these symptoms.
Meanwhile, the actual REASON why diabetes is happening, is never addressed!
Most people assume this is because it’s incurable.
Today, I want to introduce the idea of diabetes reversal to you.
If you’re skeptical, I absolutely understand.
If diabetes could really be cured… why is this the first time you’re hearing about it?
And yet, thousands have already, and others are currently reversing their diabetes successfully!
I don’t know where you’re at, but most people get to the point where they can manage their diabetes.
But they certainly don’t like having to.
Most people would take a cure any day of the week.
When it was first discovered exactly what the PROBLEM behind diabetes is… and how it can be reversed, it was only known by very few people.
They figured they didn’t have much to lose, so they put it in action.
I’m going to get into more detail in another article.
But suffice to say, the results have been remarkable.
One of my friends currently doing it, told me his doctor is stunned.
His doctor said… “whatever it is you’re doing, keep doing it.”
Again, I’m going to explain all about diabetes reversal in another article.
Today, I just wanted to introduce the idea to you, and hopefully pique your interest.
I don’t want to leave you hanging, though.
If you want more information on diabetes reversal, click here to get it now.
I know this will be a game changer for you.
It certainly has been for thousands of diabetics (and counting) so far.