Cinnamon is a spice gathered from trees of the Cinnamomum genus, being used to add flavor to both sweet and spicy dishes. The two varieties of cinnamon most widely in use are the Ceylon cinnamon and the cassia cinnamon. Both these variants can be used to prevent and cure certain ailments, including diabetes mellitus type 2, which is one of the most widespread diseases in the world today.
Is cinnamon good for diabetes and lowering blood sugar
While there is not enough evidence to suggest that cinnamon does indeed keep blood sugar levels in control, a recent research published in a journal called ‘Diabetes Care’ pointed to the fact that people who take 1 gram or about half a teaspoon of cinnamon daily for a period of 40 days, have had their blood sugar levels reduced by 24%. Additionally, it is also noteworthy that these levels were helped to be within acceptable realms for the next 20 days, during which period, no further cinnamon had been administered to the diabetics.
The negative part of the findings of the same study was the fact that subjects that were given 3 gm and 6 gm of cinnamon did not show any particular improvement, and additionally whatever improvement there was, got negated when they were taken off cinnamon.
In spite of this, it may be safe to conclude that taking moderate quantities (1 gm) of cinnamon daily may help you in keeping your diabetes under control.
How to use cinnamon to treat diabetes
Since it is basically the bark of the Cinnamomum tree, its primordial appearance is in the form of sticks. These can be used in a variety of ways that can help you get cinnamon into your system:
- Te de Canela or cinnamon tea is a traditional Mexican beverage that is internationally renowned. It has zero sugar but incredibly sweet on its own, with a unique flavor, devoid of any bitterness.
- Adding a stick of cinnamon when you cook rice will ensure that you have your daily dose of cinnamon; it also adds a beautiful fragrance to the preparation.
- Boil a few sticks of cinnamon, cool the water off and add an orange slice to it. You can put the liquid in a water bottle and take to work and sip on it all day.
- Adding a stick of cinnamon in Asian curries can turn out to be the most tasteful delivery method for putting cinnamon in your system.
Cinnamon powder in honey with ginger
Pour half a teaspoon of cinnamon powder in a glass of hot water, mix it well and then let it cool. Mix one teaspoon of honey in the cinnamon water and drink in the morning. Put half a teaspoon of grated ginger into the mix for added health benefits.
Cinnamon bark oil
As the name suggests, this essential oil is extracted from the bark of the cinnamon tree. A drop or two into a beverage or food item will not only add to the taste but also will be beneficial to you, health-wise.
Cinnamon supplement tablets and capsules
Cinnamon supplementary pills and capsules are not approved by the FDA. So make sure to consult with your doctor before you start popping cinnamon pills.
Things to keep in mind
- Moderation is a must when you take cinnamon, as abundant quantities can lead to unwanted side effects, including damaging your liver in the long run.
- Cinnamon is safe to be taken during pregnancy for gestational diabetes as long as it is taken in minimal amounts.
- Although both varieties are effective for the purpose, try to avoid the cassia variety of cinnamon, as it has higher amounts of coumarin, a carcinogenic chemical compound that does damage to your liver by way of inflammation.
- The best way to ensure that you are extracting all the advantageous aspects of cinnamon is to lay-off of it after a certain period. Ideally, you should take the spice for about 12 days at a stretch, stop for a couple of days before you start off again.