Cinnamon is a delicious spice that lowers blood sugar and helps control diabetes. When people with diabetes consume cinnamon on a regular basis, they lower their requirements for diabetes medications and insulin.

What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a condition in which glucose (blood sugar) cannot get into the cells where it is needed to fuel the body. Insulin is a molecule produced in the pancreas that allows glucose to enter the cells where it belongs. Diabetes is caused by an inadequate amount of insulin (type 1 diabetes) or resistance to insulin (type 2 diabetes). In both cases, the glucose accumulates in the blood, which leads to fatigue, thirst, excess urination, and dehydration.

Best diet for diabetes

Diabetic individuals can succeed in maintaining optimal control over their blood sugars when they exercise and eat a low fat, plant-based diet. When people with diabetes follow a low fat, plant-based diet, they experience more success losing weight and lowering their blood sugars than those who follow the American Diabetes Association guidelines.

Health benefits of cinnamon

Cinnamon has been shown in clinical trials to lower the blood sugar in diabetics. The cinnamon you eat is actually the bark of the cinnamon tree. It works by mimicking insulin and also by making the cells more sensitive to insulin, so glucose can enter the cells rather than sitting in the blood.

Other benefits of cinnamon include its high antioxidant content, anti-inflammatory abilities and cholesterol-lowering functions. Furthermore, it does not need to be consumed in abnormally high amounts, just the typically small amounts used for cooking and seasoning food.

Diet and diabetes: Recipes for Success. Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine Website. http://www.pcrm.org/health/health-topics/diet-and-diabetes-recipes-for-success. Accessed December 4, 2015.

Khan et al. Cinnamon improves glucose and lipids of people with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care. 2003 Dec; 26 (12): 3215-8.