Healthy Nutrition Secrets
  Candida Khan
FEATURES
November 2014

Cinnamon: The Spice in Diabetes Control

According to research, there are two types of cinnamon, they being Cassia and Ceylon cinnamon. Ceylon is said to be the true cinnamon and Cassia is known as the untrue cinnamon. There is evidence to show that cinnamon may be effective in lowering blood glucose levels and that that those with Type 2 Diabetes can cheat on their glucose test by taking cinnamon the night before a ‘Fasting Blood Sugar’ test. However, it can be toxic in large amounts and it is therefore recommended by some experts to take no more than 1/3 tsp of cinnamon powder daily. This can help to reduce any health risk that can occur for cinnamon consumers.

Where does cinnamon come from?

Both types of cinnamon grow in different areas. Ceylon cinnamon is said to grow in Sir Lanka and South India. It is a type of tree with a soft bark. This bark is said to be thinner and can have more layers.

Cassia cinnamon comes from a different plant located in Southeast Asia and can be found in Vietnam and China.

 

Which cinnamon is better?

The true cinnamon is said to be less harmful and toxic than the Cassia cinnamon and is therefore preferred, but it is more expensive. It is said that most cinnamon sold is not the true cinnamon and that because of the cheaper cost, the Cassia cinnamon is more commonly sold than the Ceylon. Sometimes, the composition of the cinnamon can be a mixture of both Ceylon and Cassia when in powdered form.

 

Cassia is said to be more harmful because it is said to contain more coumarin, which is a strong anticoagulant. It can thin the blood and pose health problems in large amounts. Ceylon is said to be associated with a lower health risk than Cassia.

Ways in which you can include cinnamon in your diet:

  • Add a sprinkle to cereal, for example granola cereal.

  • Include cinnamon as a spice in unsweetened tea

  • Baked into food

  • Sprinkled on snacks, for example cookies and cakes.

  • Include in fruit juices

  • Sprinkle on fruits

  • Use cinnamon in meat as a type of seasoning

  • Choose foods that contain cinnamon

This spice is used in medicine for its benefits, for example, in type 2 diabetes. However, if you overdose, it can be harmful to your liver and negatively impact your body.

It is said to be more beneficial in powdered form because you have more control over the amount used. Powdered form is also easier to use when flavouring foods.

Different forms of cinnamon

 

Apart from the powdered form, cinnamon can appear in stick form. Cinnamon can also be used in supplement form.

The two types of cinnamon can be differentiated based on their appearances. Cassia cinnamon is brighter in colour and has a reddish appearance. The bark is lightly folded with an empty cavity, while Ceylon cinnamon bark is darker in colour and has several layers. Powdered form is also available and can be preferred since the amount used can be easily measured. This is to ensure that the right amount of cinnamon is taken daily to prevent overdosing.

 

Overall benefits of cinnamon
  • Control of Glucose Levels

Cinnamon can be used to reduce glucose levels in the blood. It may be effective in controlling blood sugar spikes.

  • Brain function

Cinnamon can be used to help increase brain function. It may give a boost in cognitive processing and may also improve memory.

  • Blood Pressure control

Cinnamon may help to control and reduce blood pressure levels.

  • High Antioxidant properties

This spice is a powerful antioxidant. It may help to reduce free radical damage caused by reactions in the body. It can also be used to help fight the common cold.

  • Source of Calcium and Fibre

Cinnamon may help to reduce osteoporosis which is the breakdown of bones. It is rich in fibre which has a positive impact since it can help to remove cholesterol from the blood.

  • Lowers blood cholesterol levels

Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) and triglycerides, which are bad cholesterols, may be reduced significantly by including cinnamon in the diet.

  • Weight loss, headaches and migraines

It has the ability to help with weight loss if combined with honey. It is also a natural remedy for reducing headaches as well as providing migraine relief.

 

The information provided in this column is for general educational purposes only and is not meant to provide professional assistance or to diagnose or treat any medical complaint. If you are suffering from a serious medical condition, you are strongly advised to schedule an appointment and visit with a qualified medical practitioner. 

 

 

 

 

 

By: Candida Khan | FEATURES | November 2014


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