Ever heard of using cinnamon for PCOS!! Can adding a pinch of this warm, sweet, aromatic powder into your food help in the management of PCOS? Learn more about how cinnamon affects PCOS and ways in which you can incorporate it into your diet.
Cinnamon: Nutritional Profile
Cinnamon is one of the most common spices in the Indian kitchen, known for its aromatic flavour and medicinal properties. It is obtained from the inner bark of the trees that belong to the Cinnamomum family. It was traditionally used to treat cough, sore throat, and arthritis. Nowadays, several studies suggest that it may help improve the symptoms of PCOS.
Cinnamon comes in two varieties: Cassia and Ceylon. Both varieties have health benefits.
The following is the nutritional information for 100 grams of ground cinnamon.
Total dietary Fibre
Cinnamon: Benefits for PCOS
Cinnamon is loaded with antioxidants and is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. The distinctive aromatic flavour and taste are believed to come from an oily substance called cinnamaldehyde, which is responsible for most of cinnamon’s health benefits.
Is cinnamon good for PCOS? Let’s see.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder common among women of reproductive age. Women with PCOS have higher than the normal amount of male hormones called androgens, which results in problems with ovulation, and causes PCOS symptoms such as irregular menstrual cycles and weight gain.
Some studies suggest that regular consumption of cinnamon has numerous health benefits for PCOS. Below are a few ways in which it is believed to show its beneficial effect on your health.
May Regulate Hormones and Menstrual Cycle
Many individuals with PCOS experience irregular menstrual cycles due to hormonal imbalance. The cinnamaldehyde present in cinnamon is believed to increase progesterone and lower the androgen levels in your body. This may stabilise the hormonal imbalance in your body and improve the symptoms of PCOS.
Improves Insulin Sensitivity and Stabilises Blood Sugar Levels
Many individuals with PCOS develop insulin resistance. When your body becomes resistant to insulin, the cells lose the ability to take up glucose (sugar) from the bloodstream required to produce energy.
This results in increased blood sugar levels, which in turn triggers the pancreas to produce more insulin. Now, the excess insulin in your body produces more androgen and worsens the symptoms of PCOS.
Studies show that cinnamon mimics the action of insulin in your body and stabilises blood sugar levels. It also makes your cells more sensitive to insulin and improves its normal function of transporting the sugar in your blood into the cells. By reducing insulin resistance and blood sugar levels, cinnamon may help manage PCOS.
Individuals with PCOS are more likely to have chronic low-grade inflammation. Cinnamon is abundant in antioxidants that can fight the free radicals produced in your body and repair damaged tissue.
Lowers Cholesterol Levels
Individuals with PCOS also show elevated levels of cholesterol. Studies suggest that consuming cinnamon can reduce total cholesterol, LDL (low-density lipoprotein or bad cholesterol), and triglyceride levels while increasing HDL (high-density lipoprotein or good cholesterol) in your body.
Reduces the Risk of Heart Disease
PCOS is associated with increased weight gain and cholesterol levels in the body. The increase in weight and cholesterol can raise your risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. By decreasing the cholesterol levels in your body, cinnamon can effectively reduce the risk of heart disease.
May Decrease AMH Levels
The high levels of androgen produced in your body during PCOS lead to increased levels of AMH, which inhibits follicular development.
Some studies suggest that by improving the insulin sensitivity of the cells in your body, cinnamon may effectively decrease the production of androgen and stabilise AMH levels in your body.
How Much Cinnamon Should You Take for PCOS Management?
There is no established dosage of cinnamon that women with PCOS need to take. However, the standard recommendation is between 2 to 4 grams per day or about ½ to 1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder.
What is the Best Time to Consume Cinnamon for PCOS?
You can consume cinnamon at any time of the day. Ideally, cinnamon could be the first thing you should take in the morning and the last thing to consume before having your dinner. This can improve your digestion and stabilise your blood sugar levels.
What is the Best Way to Consume Cinnamon for PCOS?
Cinnamon is available as Ceylon and Cassia cinnamon. The Ceylon variety has a sweeter taste and stronger aroma, which is recommended for use in PCOS. This versatile spice can be incorporated in your diet in many ways.
Cinnamon Powder for PCOS
You can sprinkle some cinnamon powder on your toast, fruits, yoghurt, smoothies, shakes, etc. The aromatic cinnamon powder will enhance the flavour and nutrition of your dish.
Honey Cinnamon and Lemon Water for PCOS
You can boil a piece of cinnamon with water and prepare a concoction. Add a spoonful of honey and a few drops of lemon juice to it. This cinnamon water for PCOS may help you reduce your weight and improve the symptoms of PCOS.
Cinnamon Tea for PCOS
You can start your day with a cup of cinnamon tea for PCOS. Boil a piece of cinnamon with water and add a spoonful of honey for a dash of sweetness.
Are There Any Risks of Overconsumption of Cinnamon?
- Excessive use of cinnamon can irritate your mouth and lips, causing sores.
- The compound coumarin present in cinnamon powder can cause liver problems in sensitive people. Hence, avoid overconsumption of cinnamon if you are sensitive to it.
- Children, pregnant women, and women who are breastfeeding should avoid consuming cinnamon without medical advice.
- Cinnamon is known to lower your blood sugar levels, so if you have diabetes and take medication, you should consult a doctor before incorporating cinnamon into your diet.
- Cinnamon powder has a fine texture that is easy to inhale. Accidentally inhaling it can cause coughing, gagging, and difficulty in breathing. People with asthma or other breathing problems should be extra careful with cinnamon powder.
What are the Other Health Benefits of Cinnamon?
- Cinnamon can reduce inflammation, improve memory, increase attention, and enhance cognitive processing.
- Cinnamon may be successful in reducing the growth of cancer cells and the formation of blood vessels in tumours and destroying tumour cells.
- The cinnamaldehyde present in cinnamon is effective in treating respiratory tract infections caused by fungi.
- Studies suggest that cinnamon extracted from Cassia varieties may help to fight against HIV-1, which is the most common strain of the HIV virus.
Don’t Have Time To Read?
- Cinnamon is an aromatic spice used commonly in the Indian kitchen. Due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, cinnamon may be able to improve the symptoms of PCOS.
- According to various studies, cinnamon has been shown to regularise hormones and the menstrual cycle, stabilise insulin resistance and blood sugar levels, reduce inflammation and cholesterol and decrease the risk of heart disease in women with PCOS.
- You can consume cinnamon at any time of the day, in the form of cinnamon powder, water, or tea.
- Avoid overconsumption of cinnamon as it may cause sores and damage your liver. It is not recommended to consume cinnamon by children, pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers.
- Cinnamon can reduce inflammation, improve memory, fight respiratory infection caused due to fungi, and may also fight strains of the HIV virus.
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Yes, cinnamon can be good for irregular periods. Cinnamon can improve the insulin sensitivity of the cells, lower your blood sugar levels, and help manage PCOS symptoms, which can have a positive effect on your menstrual cycle.
Ceylon cinnamon is considered the better variety of cinnamon compared to cassia cinnamon. This is because Ceylon cinnamon contains less coumarin content, which at a high dose is known to be toxic to the body.
Yes, drinking cinnamon water is good for your health. Cinnamon improves the insulin sensitivity of the cells in your body, stabilises blood sugar levels, regulates hormones, and can help fight infections caused due to fungi and viruses.
There is not enough evidence to suggest the efficiency of cinnamon for PCOS weight loss. While cinnamon may help manage PCOS symptoms, cinnamon alone cannot lead to weight loss in PCOS. You can incorporate cinnamon into a healthy diet and combine it with regular exercise for weight loss results.