Cinnamon is a wonderful spice. When I make my homemade apple sauce for my better half, I put tons in. Not bad for tree bark. Those of a certain age will remember that Jerry Seinfeld is big on the cinnamon too:
But it’s not just the taste that makes cinnamon so great in puddings (desserts) and stews, it also has many potential health benefits for diabetics and non-diabetics alike:
- It’s full of antioxidants like polyphenols
- Purported anti-inflammatory properties
- Improves circulation
- May improve insulin sensitivity
- May lower blood glucose
- May have anti-cancer properties
- May help prevent cognitive degeneration
- Cinnamon is an antifungal and antibacterial
Of course, most of the above benefits can’t really be felt or observed on an individual level. Blood glucose is the only real exception here. My experience, and I’ve been taking cinnamon for years, is that it has a marginally positive effect on my blood glucose levels. In my case, we’re talking about a few decimal points being knocked off the mmol/L. I suspect it has a positive effect on my blood pressure too, but again, I can’t prove this. The last time I took my blood pressure it was 115/75 with 55 bpm. Not bad for a 45 year old diabetic. Of course, my healthy lifestyle is going to be the main cause of my solid blood pressure.
True Cinnamon v Cassia
There are two types of cinnamon commonly sold. Ceylon or true cinnamon and cassia cinnamon. The latter contains high amounts of coumarin which is believed to be harmful in high quantities. I stick with Ceylon cinnamon.
Like with a lot of spices, there has been limited research conducted with cinnamon. Of course, there are many scientists who will pooh pooh cinnamon and deride it as folk medicine or whatnot. For me, it is a no brainer. As long as it’s true cinnamon, I see no harm and only potential upsides here. If it has not effect, then I’m wasting about ten or fifteen pounds a year. Big deal.