In recent months, plenty of research has identified the things that can set you up for an increased risk of experiencing serious complications from COVID-19, including diabetes, obesity, high blood sugar, and a weakened immune system. However, new research is shedding light on a simple, practical, and even tasty step you can take to potentially reduce these risks: Eat more cinnamon.
In the past, studies have shown that the spice contains powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that may lower the risk of heart disease. But now, a new study published in the Journal of the Endocrine Society demonstrates that eating cinnamon every day may improve blood sugar control and slow the progression toward type 2 diabetes in people who have prediabetes. (Related: 10 Science-Backed Health Benefits of Cinnamon.)
It’s estimated that 90 million people in the United States have prediabetes, and most do not know it—a scary statistic considering that diabetes significantly exacerbates COVID-19 illness complications. Prediabetes, the precursor to type 2 diabetes, is characterized by blood sugar levels of 5.7% to 6.4% over two to three months, as determined by a hemoglobin A1C blood test.
In the study conducted by South Korean and German researchers, 51 people with prediabetes were given a 500 mg cinnamon supplement or placebo three times a day for 12 weeks and given blood tests. The researchers found that the cinnamon lowered abnormal fasting glucose levels (a marker for diabetes) and improved the body’s ability to adequately process a meal with carbohydrates.
Since people with high blood sugar typically have much higher rates of serious complications and death from COVID-19 than people without diabetes, researchers believe that making dietary changes to lower blood sugar may potentially be able to provide a protective benefit.
Plus, cinnamon is a pretty easy remedy to swallow. Apart from taking cinnamon supplement pills, you can sprinkle the delicious spice on your ground coffee before brewing, shake it over cereal, yogurt, or fruit, or build it into recipes for overnight oats, sweet potato salad, and even lava cake (mmm…)
For more, check out this other new research that suggests this vegetable may help prevent severe COVID-19 symptoms as well.