A Sprinkle of Cinnamon
Research published in the journal Diabetes Care (2003, vol. 26., no. 12) suggests that cinnamon may help prevent heart disease and may also provide health benefits for individuals with type 2 diabetes. After adding cinnamon to their diets, participants in the study showed an improvement in their blood glucose levels, triglycerides, and their LDL cholesterol.
Says lead researcher Richard Anderson, PhD, "cinnamon makes the insulin that we have more efficient, therefore less insulin [is] needed." While the study's participants consumed 1/2 to 3 teaspoons of cinnamon per day, Anderson recommends 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon, two times per day to experience health benefits. As for whether cinnamon will benefit those with type 1 diabetes, more studies need to be done. But in the meantime, researchers and nutritionists alike recommend adding cinnamon to your diet.
However, Elizabeth Somer, R.D. warns, "there are no adverse side effects from adding cinnamon to the diet, as long as you don't add it to cinnamon rolls and other sweets that pack on the pounds."