Looking for something that can stabilize blood sugar and reduce food cravings? You may need to go no further than your pantry. Cinnamon actually stabilizes blood sugar and insulin levels, helping the body metabolize foods better. According to the Malta Independent, “Just ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon mixed in water or tea will help stabilize blood sugar for days — in one study, the group that took the cinnamon reported healthy blood sugar levels up to three weeks after consuming the cinnamon!”

Furthermore, an article in Women’s Weekly about a study shows that people who took 2000mg of cinnamon a day lost 300% more weight and 500% more belly fat than the placebo group. In the study, participants took 500 mg (one pill) before breakfast, 1000 mg before lunch, and 500 mg before dinner. Wal-Mart sells 500mg cinnamon supplements mixed with Chromium, another nutrient believed to help with weight loss.

According to Patrick Holford’s health blog, “[There are benefits to] the combination of [cinnamon and] chromium, which is well known to help stabilize blood sugar levels in diabetics at daily doses of 500mg or more. A study last year gave chromium to healthy overweight women, versus placebo, and found a reduction in food intake, hunger levels and fat cravings, and a tendency to decreased body weight. Supplementing cinnamon and chromium, together with a low Glycemic Load (GL) makes a lot of sense for those struggling with weight, sugar cravings or diabetes.”

There are 2 types of cinnamon — Cassia and Ceylon. Ceylon cinnamon is commonly called “true cinnamon” but it is more expensive, so drugstores and grocery stores normally sell Cassia cinnamon. However, both have health benefits. Additionally, About.com cites that “In traditional Chinese medicine, Cassia cinnamon is used for colds, flatulence, nausea, diarrhea, and painful menstrual periods. It’s also believed to improve energy, vitality, and circulation and be particularly useful for people who tend to feel hot in their upper body but have cold feet.”

Before taking cinnamon for health reasons, be sure to check with your doctor, especially if you are on a blood clotting medication, as high levels of a naturally occurring element in cinnamon may affect it.

Here are some more articles on the health benefits of cinnamon and how to add it to your every day diet:

The Top 5 Health Benefits of Cinnamon

Health Benefits of Cinnamon Oil

Cin City: Cinnamon Health Benefits

Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily of Have a Namaste.