Cinnamon is far more than a simple spice with a wonderful aroma. It’s a powerful workhorse in the diabetes pantry because it keeps glucose “low and slow.” At the same time, it cools arteries inflamed by high blood sugar levels. That helps protect your cardiovascular system from complications of diabetes. A daily sprinkling of cinnamon in your coffee or on top of your oatmeal or yogurt can produce dramatic healing effects, so put your cinnamon shaker next to your salt and pepper. You’ll want to reach for it often.
1. Cinnamon curbs glucose and helps transform it into energy. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that adding cinnamon to rice pudding significantly lowered after-meal blood sugar levels. A study conducted by US Agricultural Research Service found that less than half a teaspoon of cinnamon daily reduced blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetics. And, according to researchers at the USDA, cinnamon contains a compound called MHCP that helps improve your body’s response to insulin by stimulating insulin receptors, accelerating the conversion of glucose into energy.
2. Soothe your arteries with cinnamon. Cinnamon acts as an anti-inflammatory in the body. Evidence suggests that it inhibits the release of arachidonic acid, a highly inflammatory fatty acid that contributes to the buildup of plaque in the blood vessels and leads to cardiovascular disease. This eases the near-constant inflammation of arteries, tissues and nerves caused by high blood sugar.
3. Purchase health-promoting cinnamon. Cinnamomum zeylanicum from Ceylon is the best type of cinnamon for lowering blood sugar. It’s also known as sweet cinnamon, true cinnamon, and Ceylon cinnamon. Both cinnamomum zeylanicum and cinnamomum cassia appear to lower blood sugar, but the cassia also contains blood thinners known as coumarins that are hard on your liver and possibly carcinogenic.
Your grocer should be able to tell you which type of cinnamon the store carries, if it is not labeled. You can also order it online from Rose Mountain Herbs, where it is listed as sweet cinnamon, or Frontier Herbs, where it is listed as Ceylon cinnamon . Fortunately this little powerhouse comes from a tree bark, not a pharmaceutical company, so it’s extremely affordable. Start sprinkling today! Shake it on coffee, breakfast cereals, yogurt, popcorn and rice puddings. Work your way up to half a teaspoon per day or more to get the most benefit.
Check out our diabetes-healing onion recipes at myhealingkitchen.com.
We’re especially fond of Cinnamon Popcorn, which we sneak into the movies.
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