The use of herbs and spices has been incredibly important throughout history. Many were celebrated for their medicinal properties, well before culinary use. Modern science has now shown that many of them do indeed carry remarkable health benefits.
Here are 10 of the world’s healthiest herbs and spices, supported by research.
1. Cinnamon Lowers Blood Sugar Levels and Has a Powerful Anti-Diabetic Effect
Cinnamon is a popular spice, found in all sorts of recipes and baked goods. It contains a compound called cinnamaldehyde, which is responsible for cinnamon’s medicinal properties (1). Cinnamon has potent antioxidant activity, helps fight inflammation and has been shown to lower cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood (2, 3, 4). But where cinnamon really shines is in its effects on blood sugar levels.
Cinnamon can lower blood sugar by several mechanisms, including by slowing the breakdown of carbs in the digestive tract and improving insulin sensitivity (5, 6, 7, 8). Studies have shown that cinnamon can lower fasting blood sugars by 10-29% in diabetic patients, which is a significant amount (9, 10, 11). The effective dose is typically 0.5-2 teaspoons of cinnamon per day, or 1-6 grams.
You can read more about the impressive health benefits of cinnamon here.
Bottom Line: Cinnamon has numerous health benefits, and is particularly effective at lowering blood sugar levels.