The unique flavor and fragrance of cinnamon originates from a compound in the essential oil of the bark called cinnamonaldehyde. Although there are four main varieties of cinnamon, Ceylon and Cassia cinnamon are the most popular, (Ceylon cinnamon is sometimes called true cinnamon). One study found that smelling cinnamon boosts cognitive function and memory – so let’s all stop and take a whiff.
Acting as a natural food preservative (inhibits bacterial growth on food), and loaded with antioxidants (rids the body of free radicals), called phytochemicals, cinnamon is also rich in manganese, iron, calcium, and fiber and it has been used since the beginning of time assist with certain ailments such as: diarrhea, indigestion, diabetes, fat regulation, and bloating. In addition, it helps to prevent: the proliferation of Leukemia and Lymphoma cancer cells (study published by researchers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Maryland), the initiation of stomach ulcers, the recurrence of bacterial infections.
Cinnamon helps to lower blood sugar levels along with bad cholesterol levels (LDL) while having no negative effect on the good cholesterol (HDL), therefore it’s beneficial for both heart and type 2 diabetes patients. Research is still pending but it’s presumed that insulin resistance can be remedied for patients with diabetes or pre-diabetes because of cinnamon’s effect on improving one’s cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Since cinnamon is sweet to taste, it also satisfies the craving for sweet foods that generally afflicts diabetics AND helps reduce chronic inflammation linked with many neurological disorders, such as: Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, brain tumors, meningitis AND helps to alleviate pain associated with arthritis.
Since high blood sugar levels can lead to increased storage of fat by the body, cinnamon helps prevent this increased storage of fat by facilitating the metabolism of glucose, thus enabling you to lose weight. In addition, cinnamon impacts the style in which sugar is absorbed by the body and helps prevent the transformation of the metabolized sugar into fat. In addition to being a natural anti-infectious compound (antibacterial and antifungal) – cinnamon also delays the passing of food from the stomach into the intestine which allows you to feel satisfied for a longer time and possibly eat less. Studies show that abdominal fat is more sensitive to the effects of cinnamon than fat from other parts of the body.
Having stressful workouts? Consider using cinnamon post workout for: boosting testosterone levels, increasing amino acid absorption, reducing inflammation and oxidative stress all while easing muscle soreness. Also use cinnamon to replace actual sugar in your morning cups of coffee or your afternoon tea to help fight those cravings and reduce calorie intake. You can add cinnamon to herbal tea to get a cup of healthy and tasty tea. Alternatively, add a teaspoon of cinnamon to your breakfast cereal or oatmeal, sprinkle it on your toast or add it to your morning cup of coffee. Not surprising, adding cinnamon to foods such as butter and cheese, and pies such as apple and peach pies, enhances their taste. It can also be added to fruit juices and ciders for the same purpose. Cinnamon has only 6 calories for one tsp whereas sugar has 16 calories for the same amount. So if you do decide to utilize cinnamon over sugar, try REPLACING it and not using it in addition to. Doctors recommend only a spoonful per day of the – SUPER SPICE – how sweet is that?