Type 2 diabetes: The best spice to add to your diet to help lower blood sugar
Type 2 diabetes is a condition in which the level of sugar in the blood is too high.
This happens when the pancreas fails to produce enough insulin, or the insulin produced doesn’t work properly.
Insulin is necessary to control the level of sugar in the blood, so if it can’t do its job properly sugar levels will be too high.
This can then lead to complications with the heart, nerves, eyes, kidneys and feet.
Medication can be taken to manage type 2 diabetes, but it’s also essential for diabetic people to follow a healthy lifestyle and eat a balanced diet that is low in saturated fat, salt and sugar.
Certain foods can also help lower blood sugar levels and may be recommended to be included in a diabetic person’s diet.
According to Diabetes.co.uk, cinnamon is one spice which is increasingly being linked to improvements of conditions like diabetes.
This is because research has suggested cinnamon can help improve blood glucose levels and increase insulin sensitivity.
One clinical study in 2003 showed cinnamon bark improves both blood glucose and cholesterol levels in people with type 2 diabetes, and may also reduce risk factors associated with both diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
A daily intake of one, three of six grammes of cinnamon bark was shown to reduce serum glucose, triglyceride and bad cholesterol after 40 days among 60 middle-aged diabetics.
Another earlier study in 2000 found consuming one gramme of cinnamon per day can increase insulin sensitivity and help manage or even reverse type 2 diabetes.
A later study in 2007 revealed eating six grammes of cinnamon slowed stomach emptying and significantly reduced hyperglycaemia after meals.
“As a result of the scientific evidence available, many health experts claim that cinnamon contains properties that are beneficial for blood sugar regulation and treatment of type 2 diabetes,” said Diabetes.co.uk.
“However, bear in mind that like many natural compounds cinnamon is yet to be medically approved for prevention or treatment of any disease.”
Cinnamon is sold in many forms, including cinnamon sticks, powder, tea, oil and tablet supplements, which can be found in most health shops and larger supermarkets.
Diabetes.co.uk advises consulting with a doctor first if you plan to take cinnamon supplements or make dietary changes.
Other studies have also shown cinnamon to have an anti-clotting effect on the blood, relieve pain in arthritis sufferers, boost the body’s immune system and stop medication-resistant yeast infections.
Other health benefits of cinnamon include helping relieve indigestion and reducing the proliferation of leukaemia and lymphoma cancer cells.
The majority of these health benefits are associated with Ceylon cinnamon as opposed to cassia bark cinnamon, which is the species involved in most diabetes research.
Cinnamon is also a great source of vital nutrients including calcium, fibre, manganese and iron.