If you’re diabetic, there’s one simple (and delicious) change you can make to your routine that could improve your blood sugar control: Eat more cinnamon.
That alone could make the difference in how well you manage your blood sugar.
In fact, a study published in the journal Diabetic Medicine found that cinnamon can significantly improve blood sugar in just 12 weeks.
Plus, it appears to improve blood pressure in diabetics who take it every day!
World’s oldest spice has many health benefits
Cinnamon is one of the oldest spices known to man and has been used medicinally for thousands of years.
Cinnamon contains powerful polyphenols, which have been shown to:
- Boost brain function
- Thwart infections
- Zap bacteria
- Speed healing
- Relieve menstrual pain
- Improve circulation
- Soothe gastrointestinal discomfort
Cinnamon is also beneficial to anyone at risk for heart disease or stroke… and that covers just about everyone!
This delicious spice contains oils that naturally thin blood. In fact, these compounds help prevent platelets from clumping together in your arteries, so unwanted blood clots don’t tend to form.
Cinnamon also contains compounds that effectively reduce inflammation, lower cholesterol, and slash triglycerides.
Cinnamon is widely regarded in medical circles — even among conventional docs — for its role in regulating blood sugar. The spice helps to slow down how quickly your stomach empties after eating a meal.
This means that — even if you’ve eaten a meal with a high-glycemic load — not all of the sugar gets dumped into your blood stream at once. Instead, the sugar enters your blood a little bit at a time.
This gives your body adequate time to respond and produce insulin.
Cinnamon also appears to re-activate the body’s worn-out insulin receptors. And also blocks the enzyme that damaged the insulin receptors in the first place.
A surprisingly small amount is all it takes
For this study, researchers recruited 58 men and women with diabetes and randomly divided them into two groups.
One group received about ¼ a teaspoon of cinnamon each day for 12 weeks. To be more specific, they took 2 grams of cinnamomum cassia, the common variety cinnamon found on your grocery store shelf. But they took it as a capsule. The other group received a placebo.
After the 12 weeks, the blood sugar levels of those taking the cinnamon fell a healthy eight percent. Plus, the lucky volunteers who got the cinnamon saw their systolic blood pressure drop about 3 ½ points and their diastolic number fall about 5 points.
Not too shabby for something as simple as adding a sprinkle of cinnamon to your morning oatmeal or even your coffee.
The placebo group didn’t fair nearly as well. In fact, they didn’t see any blood pressure improvements during the course of the study. In addition, their blood sugar actually rose 8 ½ percent over the 12 weeks!
The USDA has even jumped on the cinnamon bandwagon!
Government scientists found that diabetics who took cinnamon for just 40 days:
- Lowered their fasting blood glucose levels by 18 to 29 percent
- Slashed triglycerides by 23 to 30 percent
- And cut total cholesterol 12 to 26 percent
And that was just by taking ¼ to ½ of a teaspoon of cinnamon each day.
When study participants stopped taking the cinnamon, all their improvements disappeared.
Get control of your blood sugar one sprinkle at a time
I realize that making major health overhauls can be tough. But that’s why cinnamon is such a great place to start.
You can do this: Sprinkle cinnamon on your apples, oatmeal, yogurt or coffee.
Strive to get at least ¼ a teaspoon each day if you’re prone to blood sugar issues.
There’s nothing special to know about buying good cinnamon. Any variety off your grocer’s shelf will do the trick. Though, I’d always go for “organic” cinnamon if it’s available.
Keep it in a sealed glass container in your cabinet. Ground cinnamon will stay fresh this way for about six months, and cinnamon sticks will last about a year. You can extend cinnamon’s shelf life by keeping it in the refrigerator.
To check for freshness, smell the cinnamon. It should smell sweet. If it doesn’t smell sweet, throw it out. Its time has come to an end.
Dr. Allan Spreen
Nationally acclaimed as America’s “Nutrition Physician,” Dr. Spreen has been helping people stay healthy and disease-free as a private doctor, published author, and noted researcher.
In addition to his role as a Senior Member of the prestigious Health Sciences Institute Advisory Panel in Baltimore, MD, Dr. Spreen also coaches diving at the international and Olympic levels. NorthStar Nutritionals is proud to have Dr. Spreen as their Chief Research Advisor.
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