Cinnamon, a superfood and a spice which is aromatic and made from bark several species. While cinnamon may only be associated with rolls or breakfast cereals or as topping on smoothies and pancakes but it is a fact that it has been used for thousands of years in traditional medicine and food preservation.
Studies show cinnamon helps lower blood sugar and fights diabetes because it imitates the effects of insulin and increasing glucose transport into cells. It helps increase insulin sensitivity, making insulin more efficient at moving glucose into cells.
Cinnamon is excellent at reducing fasting blood sugar. Blood sugar level gradually rises as it depends on the size of the meal and how many carbs you consume. People who have diabetes are more vulnerable to heart diseases and cinnamon reduces the risk of common cardiovascular diseases and Alzheimer’s diseases. Due to increased levels of oxidative stress and inflammation, the increased blood sugar fluctuations tend to create damage to your body’s cells and put you at risk of chronic diseases. It also helps in decreasing blood sugar spikes following meals.
There are two varieties of cinnamon- Ceylon and Cassia.
Ceylon variety of cinnamon contains more antioxidants and is derived from the Cinnamomumverum tree. This variety is more expensive and less common.
Cassia variety of cinnamon is derived from a few different species of Cinnamomum trees. This type is more common and hence, less expensive and may even be available at grocery stores near you.
To reap maximum benefits of cinnamon, you can consume 1 to 5 grams of cinnamon. You can either incorporate into your food or may consume its tea by adding it to hot water and giving it a boil and drinking after its slightly lukewarm. It is advisable to limit your daily consumption of cinnamon to 0.5 grams to 1 gram per day of Cassia cinnamon. It is wise to go for Ceylon variety instead of Cassia.
Excess of anything is not recommended and so is with cinnamon. It contains a harmful substance called coumarin, in high quantity. This organic substance is also found to be toxic to liver and so raises concerns like damaging the liver.
Also, people with diabetes who take insulin and medications should be careful if you are planning to include cinnamon to your daily meal and routine. Though further research is going on and around cinnamon but it is advisable to recommend a doctor and dietitian before consuming cinnamon regularly.