(NaturalNews) Studies have shown that cinnamon, the common kitchen spice frequently sprinkled on breakfast oatmeal and included in sweet potato pie, lowers blood glucose levels. Along with the benefits that it brings to this area, additional testing and folklore say that cinnamon also has fat-burning properties that will aid in weight loss. Cinnamon use dates back to ancient history and is well respected across cultures.
Published in 2003 in the journal Diabetes Care, a study concluded that in people with Type 2 diabetes, consuming daily low levels of cinnamon that is between 1 to 6 grams (or approximately 1 to 2 teaspoons) reduced blood sugar levels. How cinnamon effects this result is still to be determined but the study also showed that the results lasted in the individuals even as long as twenty days after ceasing to use cinnamon. In 2009, a Scandinavian study showed that in healthy individuals 3 grams of cinnamon per day lowered blood sugar levels after eating a meal. Higher insulin levels lead to less use of excess blood sugar (and sugar is stored in the body as fat), so a reduction in insulin after a meal is significant. If cinnamon can help control the level of blood sugar and, by offshoot, fat levels, then that is corroboration of what some have said regarding its weight loss potential.
Regarded as even more precious than gold in the Middle Ages, cinnamon was so highly prized that the Dutch-Portuguese war of the 17th century was fought in part to control the nation of Ceylon, now the country of Sri Lanka, for its abundant and sweet variety that grew there. Ceylon cinnamon or "real cinnamon" still carries its ancient name today. Cassia cinnamon is another main variety and it is often called "bastard cinnamon." It is not as highly prized but it is certainly more commonly used and easier to obtain than "real cinnamon," which is more expensive. Ceylon and cassia are both ancient. Cassia is mentioned in the Bible to Moses in a command of ingredients to mix for anointing oil. The Egyptians used cinnamon in the embalming process and as a food flavoring.
Cinnamon grows in many varieties all with varying flavors of sweetness and boldness. It has been used for its antiseptic properties to cure athlete's foot, has been inhaled to improve memory, and has been used as a tea to soothe stomach ailments and indigestion. It should be noted that cinnamon also creates excess heat when it is ingested. The body will then counter this heat by creating heat of its own to balance homeostasis in a process called thermogenics. During this process fat is burned.
One of the most pleasant spices to use, cinnamon can enhance of a variety of foods: teas, pies, cakes, ice creams, soups, dumplings. It can even be used to cure raw meats. Important to note, you can inhale your cinnamon choice to test it. A pungent and sweet aroma will indicate its freshness. However, if the flavor is not somewhat bitter or if it is very easy on the tongue, throw it out because this means it is weak and will not yield desired weight-regulation results. Mixing cinnamon with other foods is what helps to bring out its aroma, so freshness is important in preventing the spice from being overpowered by other ingredients.
Overuse of cinnamon has not, so far, shown any lasting harmful effects. However, contraindication advice from a physician is necessary for those already on a diabetic or cholesterol medication protocol. Otherwise, cinnamon has tested to be a viable alternative weight loss aid and aid in blood sugar control.
Alex Malinsky aka RawGuru is an award winning chef and one of the leading experts in the field of raw food. He started to learn about raw foods at the early at of 15. After 10 years on the raw food diet he continues to be on the cutting edge of nutritional research and product development. Visit Alex's website at: www.RawGuru.com for more information.