I’m Lizzy, the registered dietitian for Scott’s Protein Balls, and I’m taking over the blog today with an important message about cinnamon health benefits.
Cinnamon comes from the bark of the cinnamon tree. In addition to being a popular spice, cinnamon has medicinal properties. And I’m all about using food as medicine!
Because cinnamon is rich in antioxidants and polyphenols, cinnamon is warming, supports healthy circulation, pain management, and is neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory.
I love cinnamon and want you to love it too! Keep reading to find out why as I cover the benefits of cinnamon, including:
- Does cinnamon lower blood sugar?
- Cinnamon insulin resistance
- Is cinnamon good for diabetes?
- Does cinnamon boost metabolism?
- Cinnamon benefits for gut health
- Cinnamon benefits for women
- Cinnamon for PCOS
- How to incorporate cinnamon into healthy snacking
Does Cinnamon Lower Blood Sugar?
Research indicates that cinnamon spice can act like insulin and lower blood sugar. Let me break this down.
When you eat carbohydrates, your digestive system breaks the carbs down into sugar (glucose), which is absorbed into the bloodstream. Then, the hormone insulin helps move the sugar from the blood into cells, where it’s turned into energy.
Too many carbohydrates, especially refined ones, can cause high blood sugar. Elevated blood sugar over time leads to insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes.
Insulin resistance occurs when your cells become resistant to the messages from glucose, and glucose has a harder time getting from the blood into the cells. This could mean high blood sugar, low energy, weight gain, a sluggish metabolism, and an increased risk for diabetes and other metabolic diseases.
Is Cinnamon Good for Diabetes
The use of cinnamon for glucose regulation is well-studied in people with diabetes. Incorporating cinnamon into the diet is supportive. You’ll also find cinnamon in many supplement formulas for blood sugar control and diabetes management.
The main active constituent in cinnamon is an oil called cinnamaldehyde. Initial research suggests this oil improves metabolism in fat cells (i.e., your fat cells burn more calories). We need more research on cinnamon supplementation as a metabolism booster. Still, there is little risk with adding whole cinnamon spice to your diet to support a healthy weight and body composition.
Improves Gut Health
Cinnamaldehyde is also antimicrobial. Test tube studies show it prevents the growth of pathogenic bacteria, including Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus (staph). These anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties support overall gut health and balance.
Cinnamon Benefits for Women
Because cinnamon is high in antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, helps regulate blood sugar, and improves circulation, it’s benefits women’s health.
Reduce PMS and Cramps
Cinnamon is an herbal remedy for cramping and painful periods. One study compared women who took cinnamon powder to a placebo group and found those taking the cinnamon experienced less pain, cramping, and PMS symptoms.
Cinnamon for menstrual cramps is effective for pain management, especially when the pain is mild to moderate. It can be used as a powder or a tea.
Menstrual Cycles for PCOS
Polycystic ovarian syndrome is the most common endocrine (hormone) disorder affecting women. Many women with PCOS have fertility, weight, hormone balance, and metabolic health challenges.
Cinnamon contains antioxidants to protect cells from free radical damage. This protection extends to the ovaries and developing eggs. In addition, cinnamon can be beneficial for blood sugar, metabolic health, and body weight, as I’ve discussed, making it an excellent food-as-medicine approach for women with PCOS.
A helpful way to increase cinnamon in your diet is to focus on cinnamon snacks. Here are some ideas:
- Homemade energy balls with nuts, dried fruit, and cinnamon
- Cinnamon tea – hot or iced
- Overnight oats with protein powder and cinnamon
- Almonds roasted with sea salt and cinnamon
- A banana, cacao, and cinnamon smoothie
- Hot chocolate with coconut milk and cinnamon
- Scott’s Protein Balls Cinnamon Bun
Packed with cinnamon and real food ingredients, the Cinnamon Bun balls will satisfy your sweet tooth while helping you balance blood sugar, fight inflammation, and support overall wellness. It’s a convenient way to reap the benefits of cinnamon while on the go.