Cinnamon Promotes Weight Control and Blood Sugar Control
Studies have shown that cinnamon, the common kitchen spice frequently sprinkled on breakfast oatmeal and included in sweet potato pie, lowers blood glucose levels. Along with the benefits that it brings to this area, additional testing and folklore say that cinnamon also has fat-burning properties that will aid in weight loss. Cinnamon use dates back to ancient history and is well respected across cultures.
Published in 2003 in the journal, Diabetes Care, a study concluded that in people with Type 2 diabetes, consuming daily low levels of cinnamon, that is between 1 to 6 grams (or approximately 1 to 2 teaspoons), reduced blood sugar levels. How cinnamon effects this result is still to be determined but the study also showed that the results lasted in the individuals even as long as twenty days after ceasing to use cinnamon. In 2009, a Scandinavian study showed that in healthy individuals 3 grams of cinnamon per day lowered blood sugar levels after eating a meal.
Higher insulin levels lead to less use of excess blood sugar (and sugar is stored in the body as fat), so a reduction in insulin after a meal is significant. If cinnamon can help control the level of blood sugar and, by offshoot, fat levels, then that is corroboration of what some have said regarding its weight loss potential.
Regarded as even more precious than gold in the Middle Ages, cinnamon was so highly prized that the Dutch-Portuguese war of the 17th century was fought, in part, to control the nation of Ceylon, now the country of Sri Lanka, for its abundant and sweet variety of cinnamon grown there. Ceylon cinnamon or "real cinnamon" still carries its ancient name today. Cassia cinnamon is another main variety. It is not as highly prized but it is certainly more commonly used and easier to obtain than "real cinnamon," which is more expensive. Both Ceylon and cassia are ancient. Cassia is mentioned in the Bible to Moses in a command of ingredients to mix for anointing oil. The Egyptians used cinnamon in the embalming process and as food flavouring.
Cinnamon grows in many varieties all with varying flavours of sweetness and boldness. It has been used for its antiseptic properties to cure athlete's foot, has been inhaled to improve memory, and has been used as a tea to soothe stomach ailments and indigestion. It should be noted that cinnamon also creates excess heat when it is ingested. The body will then counter this heat by creating heat of its own to balance homeostasis in a process called thermogenics. During this process fat is burned.
One of the most pleasant spices to use, cinnamon can enhance the flavour of a variety of foods: teas, pies, cakes, ice creams, soups, dumplings, curries. Important to note, you can inhale your cinnamon choice to test it. A pungent and sweet aroma will indicate its freshness. However, if the flavour is not somewhat bitter or if it is very easy on the tongue, throw it out because this means it is weak and will not yield desired weight- regulation results. Mixing cinnamon with other foods is what helps to bring out its aroma, so freshness is important in preventing the spice from being overpowered by other ingredients.
Overuse of cinnamon has not, so far, shown any lasting harmful effects. However, contraindication advice from a physician is necessary for those already on a diabetic or cholesterol medication protocol. Otherwise, cinnamon has tested to be a viable alternative weight loss aid and aid in blood sugar control.
Sources: NaturalNews.com and http://care.diabetesjournals.org
Eight Signs and Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is a serious autoimmune disease that attacks the joints and other body parts. But RA can be tough to diagnose. Symptoms can mimic other illnesses, or they may flare, and then fade, only to flare again somewhere else. Lab tests are not perfect - you can test negative for RA factor and still have it. And X-rays don't show signs until later on.
Here are eight tricky rheumatoid arthritis symptoms and hints that they're due to RA and not some other condition.
Hard to heal injuries: It's possible to think you have an injury, such as a sprained ankle that doesn't seem to heal when the symptoms are actually due to RA. This is more common in younger people, says Lisa A. Mandl, MD, MPH, assistant attending rheumatologist at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City. One day a patient is playing soccer and the next day her knee is swollen, she says. "I have seen people who have had two arthroscopic surgeries and extensive physical therapy in their knee and they have rheumatoid arthritis."
Numbness or tingling in the hands: One symptom of rheumatoid arthritis is carpal tunnel syndrome, which is marked by tingling in the wrist and hands. Dr. Mandl says the sensation is similar to the feeling you get when you hit your funny bone. What happens is that the swelling in the arm compresses the nerves going into the hands. The sensation is often worse at night. If you go to a doctor with these symptoms and don't have (or tell him about) other RA symptoms, you may be diagnosed only with carpal tunnel syndrome.
Foot trouble: One area in which people often have RA-related pain or inflammation is the forefoot. Women often stop wearing heels and head to a podiatrist due to the pain. Some people with RA may also develop pain in the heel because of plantar fasciitis, a common foot disorder caused by swelling of the tissue at the bottom of the foot, near the heel.
Eye problems: People with RA are also at risk for Sjogren’s syndrome, an autoimmune disorder that can cause dryness of the eyes, mouth, nose, throat, or skin due to inflammation that stops glands from releasing moisture, says Dr. Mandl. This can happen even in the early stages of RA, but it's unlikely to be the only symptom. Most people with dry eyes head to an eye doctor to find out the cause, but Dr. Mandl recommends telling your doctor-even an eye doctor or other specialist-about additional symptoms you're having in any part of the body.
Pairs of achy joints: One of the most predominant symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis is pain in the joints. People often think their pain is due to overexertion or osteoarthritis, the type of arthritis common in old age. This ache can also be misdiagnosed as fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome (fatigue is another symptom of RA). RA joint pain is not fleeting; it usually lasts longer than a week. It can also be symmetrical, meaning both hands, feet, knees, and ankles will be affected at the same time.
Morning stiffness: Another characteristic of rheumatoid arthritis is stiffness in the joints in the morning. Again, this is also a common problem in osteoarthritis, which can cause pain after long periods of inactivity, like sleeping. The difference between the two is that osteoarthritis pain usually subsides in about a half hour. Stiffness from rheumatoid arthritis will last much longer, possibly for a good chunk of the day. The right kind of exercise can help alleviate stiffness for people with RA and osteoarthritis pain.
Locked joints: People with RA can sometimes experience locked joints, particularly in the knees and elbows. This happens because there's so much swelling of the tendons around the joint, the joint cannot bend. It can lead to cysts behind the knee that can puff out and inhibit motion. The symptom can be mistaken for a meniscus tear, a knee joint injury that's common in sports, and which can also lead to cysts.
Nodules: These are firm lumps that grow under the skin near the affected joints. They often appear at the back of the elbows, and sometimes people get them in the eyes. They're more common in people who have advanced rheumatoid arthritis, but occasionally show up earlier, says Dr. Mandl. The nodules can at times mimic gout, another form of arthritis.