It’s getting cold outside and the layers of clothes are starting to pile on. As we say goodbye to summer, we also say goodbye to our bathing suits and hello holiday goodies! Not only do we have to worry about the usual stress eating and sugar cravings, but now we have these cravings with sugar lurking behind every door. Literally. First, it is Halloween candy. Anyone else guilty of buying an extra bag of candy “just in case” but secretly you know it is yours?
Just as we finish up that extra bag of candy, Thanksgiving comes with pumpkin and pecan pie and an extra dollop of whipped topping. We eat until we sleep and wake up to eat again. Then, about a week after leftovers are gone starts the Christmas parties and family gatherings. As if we haven’t had enough pie, everyone is breaking out the sugar cookies, gingerbread cookies, fruit cake, peanut butter fudge, and other baked goods. My ultimate favorite is ribbon salad, three layers of fruit and Jell-O goodness that my grandmother used to make when I was a kid.
This time of year wreaks havoc on our blood sugar. Fortunately, there is one signature seasonal spice that we can add to our routine that research shows help balance blood sugar. Cinnamon is a bark of the Lauraceae family that has been traditionally used in Ayurveda medicine for arthritis and menstrual irregularities (1). Modern alternative medicine has found cinnamon to take on the role of anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-oxidant, and anti-diabetic. There are over 200 different species of cinnamon, including the most common ones like cinnamon cassia and cinnamon ceylanicum. The kind of cinnamon in the spice aisle is often cinnamon cassia. Many herbal supplement companies carry cinnamon capsules that are marketed towards blood sugar support. A recent study has shown that HgA1C (diabetes biomarker) levels are significantly improved by the supplementation of Ceylon cinnamon compared to a control (1).
Although there is more research to be done on the long term safety of cinnamon supplementation on the body, we can always incorporate cinnamon spice to many holiday recipes to receive some of the same benefits. Cinnamon pairs well with roast vegetables like carrots, sweet potatoes, and butternut squash. To learn more about healthy supplements, herbs, food and lifestyle choices that help balance blood sugar, check out our Sugar Blues Workshop December 12th at 6 pm. Contact the Crystal Lotus Shoppe or Rediscover Health, LLC for more details.
*Please note: this article is intended for educational purposes only and is not to diagnose, treat, or prevent any illness or disease. Please consult a medical professional before trying any herb, food, or lifestyle modification that may be mentioned in this article.
- Medagama, A. B. (2015). The glycaemic outcomes of Cinnamon, a review of the experimental evidence and clinical trials. Nutrition Journal, 14, 108. http://doi.org/10.1186/s12937-015-0098-9