If you get nothing else from this article, get that it is wise to add cinnamon to your sweet and savoury foods and drinks! If you dont enjoy reading about the science, whip to the bottom where there are suggestions of how to eat more cinnamon daily!
I first came across the science about cinnamon while I was researching natural methods to balance blood sugars in people living with Type 2 Diabetes (T2D). I was looking for helpful things to share with my Grandad. I likely found the information in a book called “Foods that Harm, Foods that Heal” (Rosemary Stanton).
Since then, I have discovered cinnamon can help with:
Cinnamon for blood sugars and insulin
A pivotal 2003 study published in the Journal of American Diabetes Care (Khan et al., 2003), showed that when people living with T2D were given capsules of 1g-6g of cinnamon a day for 40 days, glucose, triglycerides, LDL cholesterol, and total cholesterol all reduced!
These are all things that your doctor keeps an eye on because they are associated with obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and ‘premature death’…Yikes!! You will be given medication if they go too far out of ‘healthy’ range!
Twenty days after the experiment and cinnamon had stopped, levels had started to rise again. This tells us that for everyday benefits, cinnamon should be used on a daily basis. Whether or not you have any problems with blood sugar, use it daily now (in food and drinks) to help prevent future problems. In fact, the scientists said: “intake of less than 1 g daily is likely to be beneficial in controlling blood glucose and lipid levels” (p. 3218).
Cinnamon for Mood
A recent study (Parisa et al., 2020) gave mice either :
I'm not saying cinnamon is a cure for depression – humans are way too complex for anything to be that simple! But I am suggesting that anybody could start adding cinnamon to their foods and drinks today to support healthy levels of serotonin and lower inflammation.
Cinnamon for Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome
A recent review into the benefits of cinnamon for women living with PCOS (an insulin and sex hormone imbalance), found that can help reduce a measure called "HOMA-IR" (Heshmati et al., 2021) HOMA-IR is fasting glucose multiplied by fasting insulin; lower is better. Why does this matter? Insulin imbalance in PCOS is associated with weight gain; women with PCOS have a hard time losing weight, so the use of cinnamon could contribute to achieving a healthy weight. Women with PCOS are also more prone to depressive symptoms, so cinnamon may help mood too.
Experience of Pain
I wont list all the studies here, but there is science to show that cinnamon helps with arthritic pain and inflammation (2g a day; Shishehbor et al., 2018), post-surgical procedure pain (4ml of ointment a day; Mohammadi et al., 2014), migraine (1.8g a day; Zareie et al. 2020), and period pain (1.26g a day).
The graph below (Jaafarpour et al., 2015) shows that whilst 1.26g a day of cinnamon is not quite as effective as 1200mg of ibuprofen at relieving period pain, it does work better than placebo. This makes me wonder if a higher dose of cinnamon would have been as effective as ibuprofen?
Remember, omega 3 fish oils also help to lower pain and inflammation. If pain is a feature in your life (whether its back, arthritic, period pain, or something else) then regular consumption of cinnamon and omega 3, either as food sources or supplementation, could help you. (Do not get me started on turmeric!).
Ways to get more Cinnamon in your life!
30g of organic cinnamon costs $3NZD ; non-organic $2.00. 30g of cinnamon could last one person 1-2 months. When continued year in, year out, cinnamon could buffer feelings of low mood, pain, inflammation, and help to control blood sugars and cholesterol.
For me, it’s a no-brainer! Here’s where I use it:
That's all folks! Have I convinced you?
Articles like this take a half a day to research, write, and publish; so If you found this helpful, please like the Awakening Wellbeing FB page, like some posts, and leave a comment about how you already use cinnamon or will do in the future
Disclaimer: Too much of any good thing can go bad. I am recommending you add cinnamon daily to foods and drinks. If you are considering therapeutic dose supplementation, then check in with an experienced health practitioner for guidance.