Slowly and secretively, your blood-sugar levels can creep up.
When that happens, you might notice that you feel sluggish, hungrier than usual or have blurred vision. Or maybe you don’t realize it until after a blood test reveals that your glucose levels have spiked.
High blood sugar, known as hyperglycemia, can result from a diet rich in carbohydrates and sugar. A sedentary lifestyle with little exercise is also a culprit.
However, even people who try to eat healthily and stay active can see their blood sugar levels spike because of stress, an infection or other medical reasons.
Many people’s blood sugar levels increase as they get older. That’s because aging is associated with a potentially hazardous decline in how efficiently our body regulates our blood sugar levels.
If left unchecked, high blood sugar could lead to some of the most-undesirable diseases known to man, such as diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
A healthy diet and active lifestyle are the two most important factors in keeping your blood sugar at a healthy level. But there are ways to bolster this process even further, my favorite being cinnamon.
A Half-Teaspoon a Day …
Not only is cinnamon delicious, but it’s proven to be one of the best natural ways to effectively manage blood sugar levels.
For example, just half a teaspoon of cinnamon a day has been shown to significantly reduce blood sugar levels and triglycerides.
Another study found that the spice increased glucose metabolism by about 20 times, which would significantly improve your ability to regulate 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.
This spice can also lower your blood sugar by acting in several different ways in the body.
Image Credit: cinnamonvogue.com
How Cinnamon Can Control Blood Sugar
It slows the emptying of your stomach to reduce sharp rises in blood sugar following meals, and 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 that 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.
Here in the Uncommon Wisdom Daily office, many of us like to add cinnamon to our coffee. It’s a delicious way to start the day, and a healthy one.
Related story: Why You Should Drink More Coffee
Other health benefits of cinnamon include:
- Supporting digestive function
- Clearing up congestion
- Alleviating pain and stiffness of muscles and joints
- Potentially relieving inflammation
- Helping to prevent urinary tract infections, tooth decay and gum disease
- Easing menstrual discomfort
- Stimulating circulation with blood-thinning compounds
How to Choose
In order to reap all the benefits of cinnamon, it’s crucial you buy the right kind.
The kind of cinnamon you find in most grocery stores is a variety called cassia cinnamon.
But cassia can contain high levels of coumarin. This naturally occurring ingredient could, when eaten in large enough amounts, cause reversible liver toxicity.
Some experts suggest investing instead in Ceylon cinnamon, a milder — and pricier — variety of the spice that comes from a tree distinct from, but related to, cassia.
Ceylon cinnamon can provide all the incredible benefits we talked about above, but without the risk of consuming too much coumarin.
Happy and Healthy Investing,
Uncommon Wisdom Daily