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A dash of cinnamon on your daily dessert could help keep your blood sugar under check.
The worldâ€™s oldest spice, that was once considered a gift fit for kings, has been found to be highly effective against post-meal blood sugar rise.
Researchers from the Malmo University Hospital in Sweden have found that adding one teaspoon of cinnamon to a bowl of rice pudding helped lower blood sugar rise in a team of healthy volunteers.
The findings, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition on Thursday, add to evidence from past studies that cinnamon may aid in diabetes, a disorder in which blood sugar levels soar because the body cannot properly use the sugar-regulating hormone insulin.
The team led by Dr Joanna Hlebowicz based its findings on 14 healthy volunteers, each of whom had their blood sugar measured before and after eating a bowl of rice pudding having cinnamon.
Post-pudding blood tests, which were taken at intervals of two hours, showed that the volunteersâ€™ blood sugar rose much lesser after consuming cinnamon dessert.
According to Hlebowiczâ€™s team, this could be because cinnamon slows the rate at which food passes from the stomach to the intestines.
Using ultrasound scans, they found that the volunteers showed a slower rate of gastric emptying when they ate the cinnamon rice pudding.
Hlebowicz said previous studies found that when people with type 2 diabetes added cinnamon to their diets for 40 days, their blood sugar and cholesterol levels tended to dip. On the other hand, a recent study found no such benefits among people with type 1 diabetes.
Cinnamon, which has a long history both as a spice and a medicine, is also known to lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels.
A quarter teaspoon of cinnamon powder added to desserts or sprinkled on hot cereals or buttered toast twice daily is known to be beneficial.
Cinnamon has unique anti-clotting actions and also qualifies as an anti-microbial food that stops the growth of bacteria as well as fungi.
Cinnamonâ€™s unique scent is known to boost brain activity and is also an excellent source of manganese, dietary fibre, iron and calcium.
Calcium and fibre bind bile salts and thereby reduce the risk of colon cancer.
A recent study published by researchers from the US department of agriculture said cinnamon reduced the proliferation of leukemia and lymphoma cancer cells.
In a study at Copenhagen University, patients given half a teaspoon of cinnamon powder combined with one tablespoon of honey every morning before breakfast had significant relief in arthritis pain after one week.
Further studies focusing on people with diabetes are still needed, Hlebowicz and her colleagues concluded.
Click to see also:->Cinnamon and Diabetes
Source:The Times Of India