Most people have cinnamon in their spice cupboard. This aromatic and delicious spice has been used medicinally in ancient Egypt, China and India and boasts some very important health promoting benefits, including blood sugar regulation and cardiovascular health.
Cinnamon has been shown to help lower blood glucose levels in people with Type 2 diabetes by regulating the amount of insulin produced in the body, and improving the ability to respond to insulin, thereby normalizing blood sugar levels. Studies have shown that compounds in cinnamon stimulate insulin receptors, as well as inhibiting an enzyme that inactivates glucose receptors, therefore significantly increasing the cells ability to use glucose. A study published in the journal ‘Diabetes Care’ in 2003 looked at 60 men and women with Type 2 diabetes on prescription medication. The participants took either 1, 3, or 6 grams of cassia cinnamon or a placebo, in capsule form, for 40 days. After this time, blood glucose levels dropped between 18% and 29% in all of the three groups that received cinnamon as compared to the placebo.
Including cinnamon to a daily diet is easy – a decent sprinkle on porridge, muesli, in smoothies, in a cup of tea, over fresh fruit and yogurt…orange slices with a sprinkle of cinnamon is delicious!