Obesity is on the rise and holding on to our current weight or probably getting rid of those extra pounds may seem daunting at the beginning. The biggest challenge we face at the very beginning of any weight- loss program, is how to stay away from those mouth watering cakes, chocolates and sweets!
Somehow our sweet cravings kick in and off goes the diet! *snob*
This is when Cinnamon comes into the picture. It is naturally very sweet, adds lots of flavor to food and can be used as a replacement in place of sugar.
What is it?It is derived from the dried bark of the Cinnamomum zeylanicum (Ceylon cinnamon) or Cinnamomum cassia (Chinese cinnamon) tree.
How cinnamon works in controlling Blood Sugar Levels?1. High-carbohydrate meals increase blood sugar quickly because they are emptied rapidly by the stomach. Cinnamon reduces the rise in blood sugar after eating because it slows the rate at which the stomach empties after meals. (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition)- This makes us feel full for a longer period of time- eat less, lose weight!
2. Cinnamon may work in another way to help lower glucose levels. It affects the way blood sugar is processed in the body, thereby preventing the conversion of excess blood sugar to fat. This occurs due to the ability of compounds in cinnamon to stimulate insulin receptors. In addition, these compounds inhibit an enzyme that inactivates insulin receptors, so cells are better able to use glucose effectively. (Insulin converts sugars-->fat!)
3. Certain studies find that abdominal fats react more to cinnamon than other fats and this also promotes weight loss.
Other Benefits: (US. National Library of Medicine)
- "consuming up to 6 grams of cinnamon per day "reduces serum glucose, triglyceride, LDL cholesterol, and total cholesterol in people with type 2 diabetes." and that "the inclusion of cinnamon in the diet of people with type 2 diabetes will reduce risk factors associated with diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. " Diabetic Care Journal
- aid in digestion and relieve bloating
- cinnamaldehyde - a chemical found in Cassia cinnamon - can help fight against bacterial and fungal infections
- prevent Alzheimers Disease, help reduce the destructive process of Multiple Sclerosis
- Cinnamon is also surprisingly high in the nutrients- iron, manganese and vitamin K.
How Cinnamon can be Used:
- Mixture of cinnamon (stick or ground) and honey in warm water before breakfast and before sleeping at night.
- Cinnamon can be sprinkled on oatmeal, toast, breakfast cereal or even added to a cup of morning coffee.
- Low- Fat Cinnamon Rolls (Recipe Coming soon!)
- Cinnamon Ginger Detox Tea : 1 red tea bag/powder, 2sticks of cinnamon , 1/4tsp grated ginger, 3crushed mint leaves, 1/4 tsp lemon juice, honey (optional). Brew this mixture for 5 minutes and have it early in the morning. Detoxes and cleanses your bowels!
Nutritional Profile (from Medical news today)According to US Department of Agriculture, 10g of ground Cinnamon contains:
- Energy: 24 kcal
- Protein :0.4g
Dose:Natural - no established dose. 1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon /day is said to have a dramatic effect on the Blood sugar levels.
Very high doses may be toxic.
- Usually no side effects.
- Sensitive people can have mild irritation of the mouth or even allergic reactions.
- Skin irritation on contact with skin. Irritation is caused by cinnamaldehyde.
- Avoid in pregnant and breast-feeding women.
- Cassia cinnamon contains coumarin could cause liver problems.
- Hormone- dependent Cancers patients e.g. Breast Cancer should not take cinnamon.
- Drug interaction with antibiotics, diabetes drugs, blood thinners, heart medicines, and others. Consult your doctor before using high- dose Cinnamon.
What are your thoughts on this amazing Spice? How have you guys used this/ incorporated this into your diet?
*First Image is from Google images, can be removed upon request! *