The Most Important Meal of the Day

“Eat breakfast like a king lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper”. There’s good reason for this saying. Many of my patients admit to skipping breakfast or even worse replace it with a cup of coffee instead so we always have a discussion around this topic. Breakfast allows your body to refuel for the day ahead; in essence you are “breaking your fast”. Some of the effects of skipping breakfast include fatigue, irritability, weight gain, low mood, and midmorning cravings for carbohydrates and sugar-your body has not been replenished with the fuels it needs to keep your blood sugar stable hence the cravings. Focus and concentration are also affected by skipping breakfast. This is especially seen in kids and students. Studies show that school children who eat breakfast are more alert, attentive and creative than those who don’t eat breakfast.

And for those who skip breakfast as an attempt to cut down on calories and help with their weight loss, not such a good idea. Eating breakfast actually kickstarts your metabolism for the day and skipping it makes losing weight more difficult.

If you are short on time to cook a big breakfast, simplify and plan ahead. Have a couple of boiled eggs, make a protein smoothie or prepare some oatmeal the night before, warm it up in the morning, sprinkle with some nuts and berries and that makes for a healthy quick breakfast. Having some form of protein in your breakfast is vital as this will ensure your blood sugar levels remain stable, you stay satiated for a longer period of time and you are less likely to be cave in to that midmorning cookie temptation!

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Cinnamon Supports Healthy Blood Sugar Levels

Cinnamon is a delectable spice and much more. It has a long history of therapeutic use. In ancient times cinnamon was even considered more precious than gold. Some cultures used it in meat preservation, recognizing its ability to stop bacterial growth. Besides its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antimicrobial properties, new research reveals that cinnamon is very effective in lowering blood sugar levels.

The effect of cinnamon on blood sugar levels was discovered by accident by USDA researchers in Maryland. While testing the effects of various foods on blood glucose levels, the researchers found out that the classic apple pie which is traditionally flavored with cinnamon paradoxically helped lower blood glucose levels instead of increasing it. Encouraged by these findings, further studies on cinnamon were done.

In a 2007 study conducted at Malmö University Hospital in Sweden, the effects of cinnamon on gastric emptying rate and blood sugar levels in healthy subjects were revealed. Researchers measured how quickly the stomach emptied after 14 volunteers ate 300 grams of rice pudding alone or seasoned with 6 grams of cinnamon. The cinnamon appeared to slow down stomach emptying  and blood glucose levels were notably lower in those who ate the pudding with the added cinnamon.

In another study in Pakistan, researchers demonstrated the effects of cinnamon on patients with type 2 diabetes. Subjects with type 2 diabetes were given cinnamon supplements in different dosages: one, three or six grams per day. Within weeks the results revealed that that cinnamon supplementation considerably reduced the level of blood glucose and cholesterol levels in subjects as compared to the placebo group. This led to the conclusion that cinnamon is beneficial in the treatment of patients with type 2 diabetes as well as reducing the risk factors associated with diabetes including the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Another double-blind study conducted by French researchers in 2009 revealed that in the case of overweight people with impaired fasting glucose, cinnamon supplementation could reduce the risk factors associated with diabetes. Cinnamon also helps to improve the diabetic patients’ ability to respond to insulin and normalize their blood glucose levels. By helping reduce insulin resistance, cinnamon can also aid in weight loss.

More studies are under way to show the powerful effect of cinnamon on blood sugar. In the meantime, go ahead sprinkle some of this aromatic spice on your toast, porridge, stir fries, hot cocoa or simply drink it as a nice warming tea!

Wellness Naturopathic Centre, North Vancouver, BC

http://www.wellnessnaturopathic.com

The information on this website is for education purposes only. It does not substitute for proper assessment and treatment by a licensed health care provider.