May Boost Brain Function
Research has found that cinnamon is not only important for the body but may also be for the mind. Particularly in older generations, cinnamon is thought to improve cognitive;speed, boost concentration and focus, and even stimulate the growth of new neural pathways. According to the Journal of Alzheimers Disease, further studies are needed to provide clinical evidence for the beneficial effects of cinnamon in Alzheimers and other degenerative neural conditions.
Ceylon Vs Cassia: Which Is Better
Cinnamon is typically grouped into two different types Ceylon and Cassia.
Cassia cinnamon can be derived from a few different species of Cinnamomum trees. Its generally inexpensive and is found in most food products and the spice aisle of your grocery store.
Ceylon cinnamon, on the other hand, is specifically derived from the Cinnamomum verum tree. Its typically more expensive and is less common than Cassia, but studies have shown that Ceylon cinnamon contains more antioxidants .
Because it contains more antioxidants, its possible that Ceylon cinnamon may provide more health benefits.
Nevertheless, although several animal and test-tube studies have highlighted the benefits of Ceylon cinnamon, most studies demonstrating health benefits in humans have used the Cassia variety .
Both varieties of cinnamon likely lower blood sugar and fight diabetes, but studies in humans are still needed to confirm that Ceylon provides more benefits than Cassia.
Wait Why Is Your Blood Sugar Up In The Morning
Why is it that your blood sugar levels will rise overnight? You dont eat anything, so how can you possibly add any glucose to your system?
Well, those who suffer from type II diabetes will find this is most problematic. The body still creates glucose throughout the night. It needs to, whether youve eaten something or not. This natural process is called gluconeogenesis, and there is nothing you can do to stop it nor would you want to. In a healthy person, this process doesnt cause a major problem.
Those with diabetes will find the gluconeogenesis process is increased. That means your body produces more glucose naturally than it would if you were healthy.
Lets not forget that the stress hormone cortisol also plays a part. This increases slowly on a morning until it reaches a peak early in the morning. The cortisol will elevate the blood sugar levels, so you end up with naturally higher levels on a morning.
To keep your blood sugar levels down, you need to keep your cortisol and gluconeogenesis levels down. Theres no need for extra medication when you follow the seven tips that will follow.
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Some Should Be Cautious With Cinnamon
Cassia cinnamon is not only lower in antioxidants, its also high in a potentially harmful substance called coumarin, an organic substance found in many plants.
Several studies in rats have shown coumarin can be toxic to the liver, leading to concern that it can cause liver damage in humans as well (
European Food Safety Authority has set the tolerable daily intake for coumarin at 0.045 mg per pound .
Using average coumarin levels for Cassia cinnamon, this would be equivalent to about a half teaspoon of Cassia cinnamon per day for a 165-pound individual.
As you can see, Cassia cinnamon is particularly high in coumarin, and you can easily consume more than the upper limit by taking Cassia cinnamon supplements or even eating large amounts of it in foods.
However, Ceylon cinnamon contains much lower amounts of coumarin, and it would be difficult to consume more than the recommended amount of coumarin with this type .
Additionally, people with diabetes who take medications or insulin should be careful when adding cinnamon to their daily routine.
The addition of cinnamon on top of your current treatment may put you at risk of low blood sugar, which is known as hypoglycemia.
Hypoglycemia is a potentially life-threatening condition, and it is recommended to talk to your doctor about incorporating cinnamon into your diabetes management.
Cinnamon And Diabetes Dosage
A study published in the journal Diabetes Care in 2003 looked at 60 men and women with Type 2 diabetes who were taking diabetes pills. 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 three groups that received cinnamon. However, only the participants who had taken the smallest amount of cinnamon continued to have improved blood glucose levels 20 days after they stopped taking it, for reasons the researchers didnt quite understand.
No significant changes in blood glucose or blood lipid levels occurred in the placebo group.
So, should you start shaking cinnamon on everything or start popping cinnamon capsules? First, keep in mind that this was a small study with only 60 subjects. Second, it was a short-term study, and the effects of taking cinnamon on a long-term basis arent known. Third, theres no evidence that cinnamon helps people with Type 1 diabetes.
On the other hand, cinnamon is relatively safe. Keep in mind, though, that, some people may be allergic to cinnamon, and that cinnamon in large amounts may cause mouth sores or burn the skin. Also, as with any kind of supplement, its important to discuss its use with your health-care provider.
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The Great Debate: Does Cinnamon Actually Help People With Diabetes
While numerous small studies have explored cinnamons effect on blood sugar, the results have been mixed.
A 2013 study of 70 people with type 2 diabetes found that people who took 1 gram of cinnamon a day for 60 days in addition to their regular diabetes treatment saw no improvements in blood sugar compared to participants in a placebo group.
And according to the nutrition guidelines of the American Diabetes Association , theres no good evidence that the spice or any other supplement or herb can treat diabetes.
But a 2016 review published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics reached a different conclusion.
The researchers looked at 11 existing studies on cinnamon and diabetes management and found that all of them showed a small but statistically significant reduction in fasting blood sugar levels.
They also noted modest improvements in hemoglobin A1C , a longer-term measurement of blood sugar.
In most of the studies, the spice was used in conjunction with the participants diabetes medication. Doses varied widely among the studies, from 120 milligrams to 6,000 milligrams per day.
Its also important to note that only four of the studies showed reductions in fasting blood glucose and HbA1C that met the ADAs treatment goals.
So what does that mean? Cinnamon appears to contain compounds that activate insulin receptors in your body and improve insulin sensitivity, though were not really sure how they work.
It Contains Antioxidants That Provide Many Health Benefits
A quick glance at cinnamons nutrition facts may not lead you to believe that its a superfood .
But while it doesnt contain a lot of vitamins or minerals, it does contain large amounts of antioxidants, which give it its health benefits.
In fact, one group of scientists compared the antioxidant content of 26 different herbs and spices and concluded that cinnamon had the second highest amount of antioxidants among them .
Antioxidants are important because they help the body reduce oxidative stress, a type of damage to cells, which is caused by free radicals.
One study showed that consuming 500 mg of cinnamon extract daily for 12 weeks decreased a marker of oxidative stress by 14% in adults with prediabetes .
This is significant, since oxidative stress has been implicated in the development of nearly every chronic disease, including type 2 diabetes .
Cinnamon does not contain many vitamins or minerals, but it is loaded with antioxidants that decrease oxidative stress. This may potentially protect against diabetes.
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Is Chromium Bad For Your Body
There have been some reports of chromium causing occasional irregular heartbeats, sleep disturbances, headaches, mood changes, and allergic reactions. Chromium may increase the risk of kidney or liver damage. If you have kidney or liver disease, do not take chromium without talking to your doctor first.
How Can I Incorporate Cinnamon Into My Diet
Theres no official recommended dose of cinnamon for healthy people who want to take advantage of its benefits. However, most of the existing research has found effects at doses between one and six grams. This lines up with the 2003 USDA study mentioned earlier, which found benefits of taking even just half a teaspoon, or a little more than a gram.;
Here are our three favorite ways to incorporate cinnamon into meals:
- Add 1-2 teaspoons to a smoothie
- Put it in your coffee. Dont just dump a big spoonful in your joe or you could end up with a sludgy mess. Here are tips for incorporating cinnamon into your coffee. And heres a recipe for a cinnamon coconut latte made with cinnamon and slow-digesting fat .;
- Add it to a rub for meat or tofu. Cinnamon is one of the spices in Chinese Five Spice, a great addition to veggie or tofu dishes. If you eat meat, add cinnamon to your rub.;;
If youre not a fan of the taste, taking cinnamon supplements might be a viable option. Although researchers havent compared the effects of raw cinnamon and cinnamon capsules, both have been used in studies and produced similar outcomes.
What Variety Of Cinnamon For Diabetes
As I explain in our article on how to lose weight with cinnamon, there are two varieties, which come from the bark of two very similar but different tree species:
- Cinnamomum Verum, known as Ceylon cinnamon, also known as real cinnamon,
Cinnamomum aromaticum or Cinnamomum cassia, known as cinnamon from Indonesia or China, also known as false cinnamon.
Lets be clear: when it comes to lowering blood sugar and cholesterol, variety doesnt matter, they have the same effect. That said, for long term use, we still recommend Ceylon cinnamon.
Indeed, their health benefits are the same, with one exception that makes all the difference: coumarin. It is the coumarin concentration that differs in the two species.
Ceylon cinnamon bark hardly contains any, but on the other hand, Chinese cinnamon bark is rich in it.
Except that coumarin is potentially toxic to the liver because it has hepatotoxic properties. So for long term consumption, prefer Ceylon cinnamon.
Putting It All Together Into One Blood
Eating these ten foods on a daily basis will help you lower your blood sugar levels faster than the participants of the studies we spoke of earlier. But how do you fit these foods into your day?
Picture this A big baby spinach salad with shredded red cabbage, capers, onions, high-fat 100% grass-fed cheese, broccoli sprouts, and a handful of blueberries tossed with keto 5-minute Caesar dressing. Have that with some 100% grass-fed beef or lamb. Delicious!
And for dessert a cacao-based fat bomb with a sprinkle of cinnamon. Finish it off with a curcumin supplement, and youve just combined all ten blood sugar lowering foods into one delicious meal.
However, you dont have to rely on these foods to lower your blood sugar. In fact, the quickest and easiest way to improve your blood sugar levels is free.
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How Does Cinnamon Affect Diabetes
Results from a clinical study published in the Diabetes Care journal in 2003 suggest that cassia cinnamon improves blood glucose and cholesterol levels in people with type 2 diabetes, and may reduce risk factors associated with diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
A daily intake of just 1, 3, or 6 grams was shown to reduce serum glucose, triglyceride, LDL or bad cholesterol and total cholesterol after 40 days among 60 middle-aged diabetics.
Another study reported in the July 2000 edition of Agricultural Research Magazine found that consuming just 1g of cinnamon per day can increase insulin sensitivity and help manage or reverse type 2 diabetes
In addition, more recent analysis published in 2007 in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that 6g of cinnamon slows stomach emptying and significantly reduces hyperglycemia after meals without affecting satiety.
As a result of the scientific evidence available, many health experts claim that cinnamon contains properties that are beneficial for blood sugar regulation and treatment of type 2 diabetes.
However, bear in mind that like many natural compounds cinnamon is yet to be medically approved for prevention or treatment of any disease.
May Regulate Blood Sugar
Research has shown that regular cinnamon supplementation may result in lower levels of blood sugar, believed to be caused by reduced insulin sensitivity. For those suffering from Type 2 diabetes, this can be important, as high blood sugar must be constantly monitored. A study conducted by researchers from the University of Burmingham, UK, and published in the Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism Journal,;showed that 7 men taking cinnamon regularly experience increased insulin sensitivity for at least 12 hours.
In another;study conducted by a team of French researchers and published in the Journal of American College of Nutrition, a consumption of 500 mg of cinnamon powder daily for not less than 12 weeks might have led to a 14 percent drop in the oxidative stress levels among those with insulin resistance. This is important, as a study published in the Recent Patents on Inflammation and Allergy Drug Discovery Journal, has called oxidative stress as the potential reason for people developing various kinds of chronic diseases, that include Type 2 diabetes.
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Get Trendy With Apple Cider Vinegar
If you do a quick Google search, youll see that apple cider vinegar is good for pretty much everything. You can use it to tone your skin, clean your pipes, and possibly lower your blood sugar!
A clinical review found that taking ACV daily could reduce blood glucose levels. Unfortunately, most of the trials were very small and some had mixed results.
But since youve probably got it in your house anyway, try taking a swig or two before meals, testing yourself, and seeing if a little ACV shot works for you .
Manage Your Carb Intake
Your body breaks carbs down into sugars , and then insulin helps your body use and store sugar for energy.
When you eat too many carbs or have insulin-function problems, this process fails, and blood glucose levels can rise.
However, there are several things you can do about this.
The American Diabetes Association recommends managing carb intake by counting carbs and being aware of how many you need .
Some studies find that these methods can also help you plan your meals appropriately, further improving blood sugar management (
The recommended daily intake of fiber is about 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men. Thats about 14 grams for every 1,000 calories .
Eating plenty of fiber can help with blood sugar management. Soluble dietary fiber is the most effective.
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May Lower Cholesterol Levels
Cinnamon may have a proven effect on glycemia. Reviews are mixed with regards to whether or not cinnamon has a significant impact on cholesterol. One study shows it may help in lowering LDL cholesterol levels and increasing HDL cholesterol levels, thereby decreasing your chances of developing;atherosclerosis or having a heart attack or a stroke. Lower cholesterol levels are also important for preventing coronary heart diseases.
Cinnamon tea is a tisane, or herbal tea, made by brewing cinnamon bark in hot water. Photo Credit: Shutterstock
Cinnamon For The Blood Sugar: Ceylon Vs Cassia
Cinnamon is known for its healing wonders, particularly on Type 2 Diabetes and Cinnamon contains Cinnamaldehyde. This compound is able to imitate insulin as well as its function. Insulin produced by your pancreas. What it does is that it brings glucose from the bloodstream and transports them to your cell. If you have Diabetes, the insulin in your body is not enough to transport the glucose from your bloodstream. This results in a high blood glucose level.;
Cinnamaldehyde has the power to imitate the insulins function, which is to transport the glucose from your blood into your cells. Basically, it assists the insulin in your body to help it cope with the amount of glucose within your bloodstream.;
Now, as stated earlier, there are two types of Cinnamon, which both contain Cinnamaldehyde. However, Cassia Cinnamon has a high Coumarin content which can kill your liver and kidney, when taken in excess amounts. Doctors strongly suggest that Cassia shouldnt be taken daily, or your liver may suffer. Ceylon Cinnamon for blood sugar , on the other hand, has very low coumarin content and is safe for daily use.;
Overall, Ceylon Cinnamon for blood sugar is the ideal type of Cinnamon for diabetes.
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What Is Cinnamon Tea
Cinnamon Tea is a healthy beverage prepared with cinnamon sticks. Cinnamomum cassia might be the most common and popular variety but there are a number of other species within the genus that can have similar effects when used as an herbal tea.
Cinnamaldehyde is the active ingredient in all cinnamon species, and this bioactive compound may have a number of beneficial effects on the body. This particular compound is complemented by coumarin, linalool, cinnamic acid, proanthocyanidins, catechins, and other powerful substances that can be accessed through a cup of this delicious tea.