Day 40: Sinfully Good Cinnamon

I’ve begun to notice cinnamon supplements at GNC, Vitamin World and even Target. This sparked my interest because I love the flavor of cinnamon and I thought that if they are selling it in pill form, the benefits must be great.

Cinnamon is actually excellent at moderating blood sugar. This is especially important for those with diabetes and/or those watching their weight. Blood sugar has an impact on weight management because blood sugar can affect how hungry, how energetic we feel and even tells our bodies when to burn fat or store it.

Let me explain how this works. Our pancreases creates a hormone called insulin that transports sugar into our body’s cells where it is used for energy. When we eat foods that convert quickly into blood sugar (refined grains and/or foods that have their fiber stripped away) the pancreases goes into overdrive to produce enough insulin for the blood sugar to be used for energy. The insulin surge then tells our body that we have plenty of energy available, so we should stop burning fat and start storing it.  That isn’t the biggest concern, because our body will store any extra energy that our bodies don’t use as fat anyways. The biggest concern is that after the insulin surge our blood sugar and insulin levels then drop too low. This leaves us tired and hungry and wanting to eat more. Even worse, it makes us want to eat foods high in sugar again because it is a quick energy source. This then results in starting the cycle all over again.

Cinnamon can help regulate blood sugar through the phytochemical chalcone polymers which increase glucose metabolism in the cells twentyfold or more. The best part is that chalcone polymers are one of the rare phytochemcials that can accomplish lowering the blood sugar without imposing toxic costs on the body. The USDA actually found that cinnamon was the #1 blood sugar regulator out of the 49 different herbs, spices and plants that they tested. The active ingredient – methylhydroxychalcone polymer or MHCP mimics insulin function. A study published in Diabetic Care even found that cinnamon not only reduces blood sugar, but also lowers triglycerides, total cholesterol and LDL “bad” cholesterol in people with type 2 diabetes.

Cinnamon can also help combat Candida, which is the overgrowth of yeast in the system that can cause many problems. Cinnamon is also a great anti-inflammatory and can help with pain and stiffness in the muscles, joints and even menstrual discomfort.

It is also great for digestive issues, alleviating abdominal discomfort associated with excess gas. I was excited to hear that cinnamon is also known as a appetite suppressant! I definitely could use some appetite suppressing, I’m always hungry!

One of the best things I read in my research is that you are actually better off buying the cheap cinnamon in bulk than the more expensive cinnamon varieties. Score!! So, let me get this straight, cinnamon tastes delicious, is cheap, will help suppress my appetite, lower my blood sugar and help me lose weight? Sign me up!

Today I made Clean Eating Blueberry-Banana Cinnamon Muffins. I wanted to give you all the full benefit of the cinnamon, so I actually freshly grated a cinnamon stick using a nutmeg and cinnamon grater. Spices are always best if you can grind them (or grate them) when they are fresh, but grated cinnamon will work just as well in this recipe.

These are healthy, nutritious and delicious! I made a batch of these and I’m going to freeze them and heat them up for my kids before they go to school in the morning for a quick & healthy breakfast. Try out the recipe and let me know what you think:

Clean Eating Blueberry-Banana Cinnamon Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup Sucanat
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups mashed bananas
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Line 12 cup muffin pan with paper muffin liners.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mix whole wheat white flour, Sucanat, cinnamon, baking powder, and baking soda.  Set aside.
  3. In medium mixing bowl, mix together mashed bananas, egg whites, vanilla extract, and applesauce.
  4. Mix the banana mixture into the flour mixture.  Fold in the cup of blueberries.
  5. Spoon combined batter into lined muffin cups.
  6. Bake approximately 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a couple of the muffins comes out clean.

3 thoughts on “Day 40: Sinfully Good Cinnamon

  1. The recipe sounds really good. When I was in 5th grade (you know when Lincoln was president) I had a good friend who was diabetic and she use to chew on cinnamon sticks. I thought she was odd but I guess she (or her mom) was on to something. Her mom and dad were doctors oddly enough!

  2. I’m a huge fan of cinnamon because of the health benefits, plus I love the taste. I get my daily dose by adding it to my morning protein shake. Whether I’m making a coffee shake, or a fruit flavored shake, the cinnamon adds a superb flavor! I also love it sprinkled on my yogurt with berries, and I always try to add it to my baked goods.

  3. Pingback: Chunky Caramel-Apple Pumpkin Spice Dip and the Health Benefits of Cloves | 150 of the Healthiest Foods on Earth Challenge

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