There is nothing more mouth-watering than the aroma of baking apfel strudel in the oven on a cold, snowy day in January. Mind you, I am no baking expert so I must confess that the apfel strudel is the frozen type from the supermarket.
Apfel strudel is the apple pie in the Alpine regions of Europe and its wonderful smell comes from the combination of apples and cinnamon. Such a healthy combination, I would say.
Cinnamon is an essential ingredient of many pastries and recipes, including apple pies, pumpkin pies, rice pudding and of course ginger bread. However, aside from being a yummy condiment, cinnamon has some medicinal benefits. Especially against diabetes.
Cinnamon comes from the bark of a tree Cinnamomum zeylanicum. I had the pleasure of meeting a cinnamon tree in Brazil about 10 years. According to WedMD, there are 2 varieties of cinnamon, the Ceylon and the Cassia and the latter is the one that we commonly use in our kitchen.
Several studies have shown cinnamon to be an effective antiglycemic agent, e.g. a compound for lowering blood sugar. And it does this in a very effective and sustainable way – by decreasing insulin resistance.
Diabetes is a chronic progressive disease. There are many drugs out there which are used to treat diabetes by controlling sugar levels. However, as the diseases progresses, these medications lose their efficacy because of increasing insulin resistance. This leads to use of add-on medications that will also eventually lose their efficacy. Cinnamon, on the other hand, control sugar levels by improving insulin resistance.
Aside from improving sugar levels, some studies also reported that cinnamon may have cardiovascular benefits by lowering cholesterol levels.
Cinnamon is available as a herbal supplements and can be purchased without prescription.
However, before launching on a cinnamon supplementation therapy, patients should be aware that cinnamon is counterindicated in patients with liver problems. It can also interact with other herbal supplements such as:
- alpha lipoic acid
- bitter melon
- devil’s claw
- horse chestnut
- Siberian ginseng
In addition, cinnamon may also interact with other medications. Interactions can cause toxicity that may be potentially life-threatening. Therefore, CHECK WITH YOUR DIABETES EXPERT BEFORE STARTING ON A SPECIAL THERAPY!!!
The table below was taken from www.whfoods.com.
Nutritional info for ground cinnamon, 2 tsp = 4.52 grams = 11.84 calories
|Nutrient Density||WHF Rating|
|dietary fiber||2.48 g||
|calcium 5||5.68 mg||5.6||8.5||very good|