The Power of Cinnamon
Author: Stacey Rogers, Strength Coach & Nutritionist
Cinnamon has been used medicinally around the world for thousands of years, so what is it about this powerful spice that sets it apart? With its unique smell, colour and flavor, cinnamon is host to an array of health benefits, one being its antioxidant properties which sees it rank number 1 amongst twenty-six of the most popular herbs and medicinal spices used throughout the world.
Cinnamon is available in several different forms ranging from pure cinnamon bark, essential oils, the ground spice or in the extract form with all providing the following health benefits associated with this amazing spice.
- High source of antioxidants
- Anti-inflammatory properties
- Blood glucose management
- Protects heart health
- Helps boost brain function
- Fights infections by boosting the immune system
These are all amazing benefits, but the one I think is most interesting is cinnamon’s ability to help in the management of blood sugar levels. With the growing obesity epidemic currently having an impact in many parts of the world and the incidence of diabetes 2 on the rise it seems fitting to look for possible solutions to assist in the management of such conditions.
Diabetes occurs when an individual is unable to sufficiently manage their blood sugar levels because their body does not respond appropriately to the hormone insulin, which functions to balance blood sugar levels.
So, what role does cinnamon have in managing blood sugar levels? Think of this. You are driving your car and you come to a set of road works with a traffic controller standing there with a ‘STOP’ and ‘GO’ sign. He is only going to allow a certain number of vehicles through at one time so he can control the flow of the traffic through the road works. How does this relate to cinnamon?
Well, cinnamon acts like a traffic controller in your body. By blocking certain enzymes, it is able to control the amount of sugar (glucose) that is absorbed into the blood. Studies have shown that a regular consumption of cinnamon may decrease the amount of glucose entering the bloodstream after a high carbohydrate meal.
This is extremely positive for individuals with chronically high blood sugar levels and supplementing with cinnamon on a regular basis may be beneficial for these individuals.
With numerous associated health benefits, cinnamon is definitely a spice I would encourage you to include in your diet. Even if you are not diabetic, this little spice does so many great things it definitely deserves a chance!
- Antioxidant capacity of 26 spice extracts and characterization of their phenolic constituents – J Agric Food Chem (2005) - Shan B, Cai YZ, Sun M, Corke H.
- Health Benefits of Cinnamon & Nutrition Facts – Dr. Axe
- The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth – Dr Jonny Bowden
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