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Cinnamon and Balancing your Blood Sugar
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By Nutritional Therapist Roisin Cooke, lecturer at CNM (College of Naturopathic Medicine) in Edinburgh.

Why it's important  
Adequate blood sugar levels provide fuel to both the brain and body. When there is not enough fuel, energy can drop, especially in the late afternoon, then we crave foods that raise the blood sugar quickly.  Ever wondered why everyone heads to the vending machine at 3pm?  Low blood sugar can also affect our mood negatively, making us depressed or short-tempered.

Insulin is the primary hormone which regulates blood sugar.  If we skip meals, go too long between meals, or eat too many sugary foods, our bodies may not respond to insulin or may produce too much insulin. Either can cause weight gain and other health complications. Balancing your blood sugar and regulating insulin can help you maintain a healthy weight.
 
How to balance blood sugar
After festive excesses, try some of these tips to help regulate blood sugar:
-take regular, moderate exercise
-never skip meals, especially breakfast!
-eat at regular times and include protein
(fish, meat, eggs, beans, lentils)
-and include complex carbohydrates
(sweet potato, brown rice, noodles, wholemeal  or rice pasta)
-avoid high-sugar foods.

Seasonal Tip
Cinnamon is not just for Christmas!  It sensitizes our bodies to insulin so we don't get those dips and cravings!   You can use the bark, known as a quill, or it is also available ground.  Sprinkle on porridge, add to lamb stews or add to tea for a great flavour boost.

By Nutritional Therapist Roisin Cooke, lecturer at CNM (College of Naturopathic Medicine) in Edinburgh.  

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