Cinnamon shines bright in the medical and naturopathic world due to its wonderful actions, specifically on blood sugar levels http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3943007/#!po=22.7273. If you have type II diabetes, this spice is for you. Even if you don’t have diabetes, it’s a blood sugar stabiliser so can help with weight loss and healthy metabolism. Although studies are mostly ‘in vitro’ (a la petri dish) or animal studies, there is also promising research for cinnamon as an anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, cholesterol-lowering and an immunomodulatory medicine.
How does it work? Cinnamon improves insulin sensitivity. It helps insulin attach to your cell so glucose can enter. I was thinking it’s a ‘lock and key’ method but really it’s more like a very kind person (insulin) opening the door for a granny (glucose) to enter the room (the cell). This gets the granny (glucose) off the street (bloodstream) and away from trouble (damaged systems such as peripheral injury due to glucose causing inflammation of nerves). Glucose is required in the cell for energy and if we don’t use it efficiently we will become fatigued. If you’ve followed this so far, you would then say that cinnamon is the kind person’s hand, opening the door.
How much do we need? To have an effect on fasting blood sugar levels, about 3 grams of cinnamon per day is required. This is only a small teaspoon, so it’s not out of the question to get this from your diet. Cinnamon is amazing is smoothies in summer, or curries in winter. For an added effect on blood glucose stabilisation, mix it with organic cocoa in water and drink every morning.