Cinnamon isn't just a tasty spice… it could also help you beat diabetes.

A strong new study finds that a cinnamon extract can decrease blood sugar levels in people at risk for the condition.

And that's some pretty sweet news no matter how you look at it.

Researchers randomly assigned 137 hyperglycemic patients with an average age of 61 to take either 500 milligrams of the cinnamon extract each day, or a placebo, for two months.

At the end of that period, the cinnamon group lowered their fasting blood glucose levels by an average of 7.5 percent, versus just 1.6 percent in the placebo group, according to the study presented at the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology's annual meeting.

The double-blind study also found that the cinnamon extract lowered blood sugar levels by 12 percent two hours after a carb-loaded meal. Those who took the placebo saw a drop of only 3.1 percent.

That's all good… but of course, if you're facing diabetes, you need a lot more than cinnamon – you need a healthy lifestyle. But adding cinnamon to your healthy diet just might help you make a quicker getaway from the scene of the disease.

And that's not the only reason to add some of this sweet spice to your life.

Cinnamon is a powerful antioxidant that can help boost the immune system. It also has antibacterial and antifungal properties, and may help fight off yeast infections. Some people have had success using cinnamon to ease stomach problems, including gas and constipation.

And cinnamon tastes pretty good in food and drinks, too.

Just remember, these are the health benefits of cinnamon, not sticky buns. In other words, don't use this to justify a trip to Cinnabon.

If you're interested in unlocking the natural powers of cinnamon, skip the junk and buy the real thing – either completely natural cinnamon sticks or high-quality 100 percent ground cinnamon. One good way to enjoy it, of course, is blended into your coffee.

You can also get cinnamon from a supplement, either on its own or as part of an antioxidant blend.

But whatever you do, don't get it from the food court at your local mall.