Cinnamon: the blood sugar stabilizer
By Joan McDaniel July 21, 2012
(NaturalNews) Cinnamon is one of the most anti-oxidant rich herbs on the planet. It has been revered by nearly every culture for centuries for its sweet taste and pleasant aroma. Cinnamon has been shown to have remarkable medicinal qualities that enhance blood sugar signaling, reduce inflammation, stimulate immunity and promote neurological health.
Cinnamon is naturally attained from the inner bark of a specialized family of trees with the genus name Cinnamomum. It is available in a dried tubular form known as a quill. Cinnamon has a long history as a spice and as a medicine.. The two varieties of cinnamon, Chinese and Ceylon, have similar flavor, however the cinnamon from Ceylon is slightly sweeter, more refined and more difficult to find in local markets.
Cinnamon is one of the oldest and most revered spices in the world. It was mentioned in the Bible several times as a component Moses used in anointing oil and it is in the perfume in the Song of Solomon among other areas. Cinnamon was so highly esteemed that it was considered more precious than gold.
An anti-Oxidant powerhouse
Cinnamon has the 2nd highest ranked anti-oxidant rich spice with an incredible ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbency Capacity) score of 267,536. Cinnamon’s powerful essential oils are known for their “anti-microbial” factors. Studies have shown this spice to be highly effective at halting the growth of bacteria as well as fungi, including the commonly problematic yeast Candida.
Cinnamon also helps to balance blood sugar by stimulating insulin receptors, giving them a stronger affinity for the blood-sugar lowering hormone. In response, the body needs to produce less insulin in order to create the desired effect. This creates less pancreatic stress, improved metabolic rate, and decreased inflammation. Cinnamon is also very high in Vitamin C.
Cinnamon has three major oils that contain active compoenets called cinnamaldehyde, cinnamyl acetate and cinnamyl alcohol. Cinnamaldehyde have been studied to block the release of inflammatory agents on the cell membrane.
Cinnamaldehyde (also called cinnamic aldehyde) has been well-researched for its effects on blood platelets. It helps to stop bleeding.
Cinnamon’s essential oils also qualify it as an “anti-microbial” food, and cinnamon has been studied for its ability to help stop the growth of bacteria as well as fungi, including the commonly problematic yeast Candida. In laboratory tests, growth of yeasts that were resistant to the commonly used anti-fungal medication fluconazole was often (though not always) stopped by cinnamon extracts.
If this isn’t enough, the mere scent of cinnamon has been shown to powerfully stimulate regions of the brain allowing for greater attention span & memory. Sprinkle lots of this amazing spice on sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie, fruit, pastries, ice cream, egg nog and more.
I use cinnamon in the morning sprinkled over my Oatmeal. Or for a snack, I spread Cinnamon and Stevia Sugar Substitute on High Fiber (8 Grain) Toast. I have found McCann’s Irish Oatmeal to be low in sugar, and good with the Carbohydrate/Fiber relationship.
From McCann’s web site
The finest oatmeal in the world
The temperate, humid climate of Ireland promotes the slow ripening of the grain. It enables the oats to draw the goodness from the soil and yield up nature’s bounty. More on Irish oats
McCann’s Steel Cut Irish Oats – From the Family Farm to Your Table
If you are looking for great tasting oats, then go no further than McCann’s Steel Cut Irish Oatmeal. Imagine taking the best oats, removing the outer husk (which is inedible) and then cutting them into smaller pieces – that’s all we do! Now you can see why McCann’s Steel Cut Irish Oats are so rich and wholesome, with their unique, nutty taste – there is no processing, no additions, nothing artificial.
I love my “Ready in 5 Minutes Steel Cut Oatmeal” in the Morning, with walnuts, pecans (or any nut for fat), cinnamon and cranberries or blueberries.
Carbohydrates are the bad guys in nutrition. They are converted to sugar by the body. You might just as well take a tablespoon on sugar when you eat carbohydrates unless you mix it with fiber. Consuming the oatmeal with fiber and fat slows the digestion and prevents insulin resistance.
If you take a look at the back of the package and the Nutrition Label, you will find what combination justifies having carbs in the morning.
Total Carbohydrate 27g Dietary Fiber 3g Sugar less than 1g. You can find better Carbohydrate to Fiber numbers but this is pretty good. Also note the low sugar. I discuss nutrition labels in another post.
Cinnamon should be kept in a cool, dark area with a tight seal to reduce oxidation of its powerful nutrients. Ground cinnamon will stay good for six months in the proper conditions while cinnamon sticks will last about a year. Refrigeration helps extend this lifespan. If the cinnamon does not smell sweet than it is no longer fresh and should be thrown away. Old cinnamon smells somewhat rusty and has a reduced aromatic component.
Types of cinnamon
Two major types of cinnamon commonly found on the market include Ceylon cinnamon and Cassia. These are from the same family but only the Ceylon variety is considered true cinnamon. Ceylon is more expensive and nutrient dense but also harder to come by. Both types have been shown to have powerful anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory and blood sugar regulating abilities.