ARS chemist Richard A. Anderson and co-workers at the Beltsville (Maryland) Human Nutrition Research Center assayed plants and spices used in folk medicine. They found that a few spicesâ€”especially cinnamonâ€”made fat cells much more responsive to insulin, the hormone that regulates sugar metabolism and thus controls the level of glucose in the blood.
If it seems like you are hungry every two hours or if you constantly crave sugar or bread, you might have insulin resistance. It has been said that a dose of a 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon a day can help reduce your cravings and correct your body’s reaction to sugar.
Several studies have shown improved insulin sensitivity and blood glucose control by taking as little as 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon per day. Improving insulin resistance can help in weight control as well as decreasing the risk for heart disease, so this has a lot of people interested. Although the results of preliminary studies are somewhat mixed, the majority of the research seems to be pointing in the direction of cinnamon being beneficial.
But watch out, it’s possible to eat too much cinnamon. Here are some of the common negative reactions:
- Skin rashes
- Irritation to the tissues of the mouth or stomach
- Mild anti-clotting effect in the blood
- Stimulating effects on the uterus (not recommended for pregnant women)
In an effort to increase my cinnamon intake, I created this cinnamon tea, which I’m rather fond of.
- 7 ounces of boiling water
- 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon of heavy whipping cream
Pour the boiling water into a coffee cup. Add the 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and mix well. This takes quite a bit of time since cinnamon isn’t easily soluble in water, but if you keep stirring, it will eventually mix into the hot water. Add the cream and continue mixing.
I keep the spoon in the cup and keep stirring between sips because the cinnamon will sink to the bottom otherwise.
Calories: 50 Carbohydrates: 0 WW Points: 1
This treat has replaced my evening sugar-free cocoa. Strangely, it tastes a little sweet, even though you don’t add any sweetener. It’s perfect for people following Weight Watchers and Atkins, since it’s low-calorie AND low-carb.
You could substitute 6 ounces of heated skim milk for the cream and boiling water to make a low-fat version with the same amount of calories. I haven’t tried this, so I don’t know how well the cinnamon would mix with milk. If you try it, leave a comment telling me how it is.