What is Cinnamon?
Сinnamon and diabetes. Cinnamon is an ancient spice collected from the inner bark of the Cinnamomum genus tree species. This spice, popularly used as a seasoning or condiment, is native to China and Sri Lanka. Europe, North America, and other parts of Asia also cultivate this aromatic spice.
What makes cinnamon unique is its rich aroma. But its health benefits set this spice above other spices available today. However, do people with diabetes benefit from it? The answer is YES!
How does cinnamon help people with diabetes?
Aside from following daily medications like insulin injections, managing diabetes also involves eating foods that have beneficial effects on blood sugar. One of these foods is cinnamon, a common food seasoning across the globe.
Here are factors that best explain cinnamon’s role in keeping blood sugar levels healthy and stable:
Cinnamon increases insulin sensitivity.
In type 2 diabetes, the pancreas does not produce enough insulin to respond well to the glucose that enters the body. However, foods like cinnamon have unique properties that help lower blood sugar levels. How? Cinnamon imitates insulin’s effects by stimulating the movement of glucose into the cell. This process enables insulin sensitivity, a phenomenon key to Type 2 diabetes management.
Cinnamon helps lower blood sugar after meals.
After eating, our blood sugar levels increase a bit because of the addition of carbohydrates. This spike is not favorable for type 2 diabetes. If not controlled properly, a series of diabetes attacks can happen.
According to studies, cinnamon can lower blood sugar by preventing certain digestive enzymes from breaking down carbohydrates. This process avoids blood sugar spikes.
Cinnamon lowers the risk of diabetes complications.
Although studies are still ongoing concerning the effectiveness of cinnamon in preventing diabetes-related complications, several reviews have stated that the spice can prevent stroke and heart disease. A study says that cinnamon is likely to reduce triglycerides and harmful cholesterol levels. Both can trigger cardiovascular conditions.
The nutritional profile of cinnamon
One teaspoon of ground cinnamon contains:
- Carbohydrates – 21 grams
- Calcium – 26.1 milligrams
- Magnesium – 1.56 milligrams
- Vitamin A – 0.39 micrograms
- Phosphorus – 1.66 milligrams
- Energy – 6.42 calories
- Potassium – 11.2 milligrams
- Iron – 0.21 milligrams
Although cinnamon is safe for diabetes, it is best to consume it in moderation. Some people use cinnamon supplements; however, a doctor’s approval is necessary if people with diabetes want to follow this routine.
There are several ways you can add cinnamon to your diet. You can mix it with your salad, pasta or tea. However, before adding it to your diet, consult your healthcare provider to be sure of the following:
- It does not affect other underlying health conditions
- You are not allergic to cinnamon.