The main feature of diabetes is a blood sugar level, which is higher than normal.
It has negative consequences for kidney damage, heart health, and nerve impairment.
Insulin shots and prescribed medication are typical ways of treating this illness. However, interest in using food to maintain lower blood sugar levels is growing in popularity.
An example of this trend is the use of cinnamon, which is an aromatic spice typically used in savory and sweet baking and cooking throughout the world.
Cinnamon has been given credit for improving many health conditions and lowering of blood sugar levels in the management of diabetes is one of these.
In this article, all the information about cinnamon and how it works to control blood sugar levels in diabetes will be outlined.
The Facts about Cinnamon
The bark of different types of the Cinnamom tree is used to produce the spice we know as cinnamon. Many people think of cereals or bread rolls when they hear the word cinnamon but it actually has much wider uses and a long history in the preservation of food and traditional medicine.
Removing the inner bark of the Cinnamomum tree is the first step in producing cinnamon.
A process of drying the bark is then undertaken which produce the cinnamon sticks, also known as quills, which we are all familiar with.
These sticks can then be further processed by crushing them into cinnamon powder.
The Benefits of Cinnamon in Diabetes
A short perusal of the facts about cinnamon is unlikely to make you consider it as a superfood because it actually doesn’t contain a lot of minerals and vitamins. However, it is packed with antioxidants which have many benefits for health.
A research study conducted by a number of health experts outlined the antioxidant properties of 26 spices and herbs. Their findings were that cinnamon was the second highest in the group for antioxidant content, second only to cloves.
Antioxidants play a vital role in decreasing the stress caused by oxidation, a form of cell damage as a result of the action of free radicals.
Further research demonstrated that the daily consumption of 500mg of cinnamon over a 12 week period resulted in a 14% decrease in oxidative stress in those adults who presented with prediabetes.
The relevance of this is that stress from oxidation is significant in the progress of almost all chronic illnesses, which includes type 2 diabetes.
Two factors are significant in diabetes, i.e. the inability of the pancreas to produce sufficient insulin and/or the cells in the body do not respond efficiently to the presence of insulin. Both of these factors are significant in causing raised levels of blood sugar.
The way in which cinnamon ca lower levels of blood sugar is by mimicking the action of insulin and improving the transport of glucose into cells.
It has the added benefit of improving sensitivity to insulin, making it better at the transport of glucose into the cells of the body.
Lowering of Blood Sugar after Eating
The amount of carbohydrates in a meal and the size of the portion are directly related to an increase in blood sugar levels after eating.
Fluctuation in blood sugar levels in this way can lead to inflammation as well as oxidative stress which in turn can lead to cell damage and a higher risk of developing chronic illnesses.
By reducing the rate at which food leaves the stomach, cinnamon can keep these spikes in blood sugar after meals under control.
Reducing the Risks of Complications from Diabetes
As well as reducing blood sugar spikes after eating and decreasing fasting blood sugar levels, cinnamon has a role to play in reducing other health complications from diabetes.
For example, the risk of heart disease is doubled in those with diabetes.
This risk can be lowered using cinnamon, by decreasing the risk factors associated with heart disease.
A lot of research has shown that lowering blood sugar and management of many other complications from diabetes can be achieved using cinnamon. These are in the context of its many other benefits for health in general.