One day, you may wake up and not feel like your normal self.
Suddenly, you start to experience headaches, trouble concentrating, blurred vision, fatigue and unexpected weight loss.
Without warning, you’ve developed high blood sugar.
Most people who develop high blood sugar report a few things in common leading up to the diagnosis. A diet rich in carbohydrates, uncontrolled sugar intake, and a general lack of exercise.
And if you ignore everything we just mentioned, you could end up with bigger health problems.
Over time, if left unchecked, high blood sugar levels will leave you with some of the most undesirable diseases known to man. These include diabetes, which causes elevated glucose levels in the blood, and metabolic syndrome. That’s when conditions like high blood sugar, excess stomach fat, high blood pressure and more converge. Together, they raise your risk for diabetes, heart disease, stroke and other health problems.
Even people who pay careful attention to what they eat may see their blood sugar levels increase as they get older.
Likewise, aging is associated with a potentially hazardous decline in how efficiently our body regulates our blood sugar levels.
A healthy diet and active lifestyle are the two most important factors to keeping healthy blood sugar levels. But there are ways to bolster this process even further, my favorite being cinnamon.
Not only is cinnamon delicious, it’s proven to be one of the best natural ways to effectively manage blood sugar levels.
Just half a teaspoon of cinnamon a day could help keep the diabetes away.
For example, just half a teaspoon of cinnamon a day has been shown to significantly reduce blood sugar levels and triglycerides. (Your body uses triglycerides for energy. But having too much of this fat in the blood can lead to stroke, heart disease and metabolic syndrome.)
Another study found that this spice increased glucose metabolism by about 20 times. This would significantly improve your ability to regulate your blood sugar.
Cinnamon has even previously been indicated as a potential insulin substitute for those with Type 2 diabetes due to a bioactive component with "insulin-like" effects.
Cinnamon lowers your blood sugar by acting in several different ways in the body …
It slows the emptying of your stomach to reduce sharp rises in blood sugar following meals. Cinnamon improves the effectiveness, or sensitivity, of insulin.
It also enhances your antioxidant defenses. One study states that "polyphenols from cinnamon could be of special interest in people (who) are overweight with impaired fasting glucose, since they might act both as insulin sensitizers and antioxidants."
Researchers have suggested people may see improvements in their blood sugar levels by adding 1/4 to 1 teaspoon of cinnamon to their food.
Other health benefits of cinnamon include:
Supporting digestive function
Relieving pain and stiffness of muscles and joints
Anti-inflammatory compounds that may relieve arthritis
Helping to prevent urinary tract infections, tooth decay and gum disease
Relieving menstrual discomfort
Blood-thinning compounds that stimulate circulation
Choosing the best cinnamon
In order to reap all the benefits of cinnamon, it’s crucial you buy the right variety.
The kind of cinnamon you find in most grocery stores is a variety called cassia cinnamon. But cassia can contain high levels of coumarin — a naturally occurring ingredient that, when eaten in large enough amounts, can cause reversible liver toxicity.
Some experts suggest investing instead in Ceylon cinnamon. This is a milder — and pricier — variety of the spice that comes from a tree distinct from but related to cassia.
Ceylon cinnamon provides all the incredible benefits we talked about above, but without the risks that accompany consuming too much coumarin.
To consume the cinnamon, you can add it to hot water and drink it. Several members of my team swear by adding cinnamon to their coffee. Not only does it provide an energy boost, but this spice can even increase circulation … which can help you to focus better throughout the day.
Keep in mind that Ceylon cinnamon can be a great natural way to help you manage your blood sugar levels. But it can work even better if you limit carbs, keep your sugar consumption in check and add some physical activity to your day. (To get more fit, consider reading our recent article on how to boost your metabolism and burn more fat.)
Happy and healthy investing,