Health benefits of Cinnamon

I don’t know about you, but when I think of cinnamon, my mind typically wanders to images of ooey-gooey, steaming, fluffy rolls dripping with hot sugary frosting…

Um…

Sorry about that…I drifted away for a minute.

Seriously though, there’s a lot more to cinnamon than a guilty-pleasure at your local ‘Bon. Cinnamon is a spice, obtained from the inner bark of perhaps a dozen species of trees, that is used in both sweet and savory foods. While native only to the island of Sri Lanka, cinnamon trees are now naturalized in South East Asia.

Cinnamon has been known from remote antiquity. It was imported to Egypt as early as 2000 BC, and the Bible makes specific mention of the spice many times: first when Moses is commanded to use both sweet cinnamon and cassia in the holy anointing oil.

It’s principally employed in cookery as a condiment and a flavoring. It’s often used in the preparation of chocolate, especially in Mexico, which is the main importer of true cinnamon.In the Middle East, it is often used in savory dishes of chicken and lamb.

In a 2000 study published in The Indian Journal of Medical Research, it was shown that of the 69 plant species screened, 16 were effective against HIV-1 and 4 were against both HIV-1 and HIV-2. A 2003 study at National Institutes of Health shows benefits of cinnamon in diet of type 2 diabetics, specifically having a regulatory effect on blood sugar. “Cinnamon improves glucose and lipids of people with type 2 diabetes”.

Cinnamon bark, a component of the traditional Japanese medicine Mao-to, has been shown in a 2008 study published in the Journal of General Virology to have an antiviral therapeutic effect. A 2011 study isolated a substance in the cinnamon plant that inhibits development of Alzheimer’s in mice.

Cinnamon has also had suggested benefits in:

  • Weight Loss
  • Stomach Cramps
  • Menstrual Cycle Problems
  • Anti-Inflammatory Properties
  • Antibacterial Properties

So basically…cinnamon is awesome!

But, before you write yourself a prescription for a Supersize Chocobon… here’s what hautemealz.com’s health and fitness guru, Cheryl Cranston, M.Ed., has to say on the subject:

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Cheryl Cranston, M.Ed

“A tasty, simple tip for slashing your triglycerides and total cholesterol by 12 to 30 percent while boosting your body’s ability to maintain balanced blood sugar levels:  sprinkle cinnamon on your morning coffee…or toast…or oatmeal!

A half-teaspoon of cinnamon each day is all that’s needed!  And here’s an added perk:  cinnamon can slay the symptoms of mild food poisoning!”

Here’s a super-simple way to start your day with a warm, comforting, cinnamon boost:

Cinnamon Tea

Ingredients

  • 1 quart of water
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 clove (optional)
  • 4 tsp. pure honey

Instructions

Combine water, clove, and cinnamon sticks in saucepan, and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat and simmer gently for 20 minutes.

Pour into a coffee cup, add a teaspoon of honey, and stir with a fresh cinnamon stick (optional).

One thought on “Health benefits of Cinnamon

  1. Great article. Boiled Cinnamon sticks especially Ceylon Cinnamon stick tea is very refreshing. You can even make an iced Cinnamon tea out of it (great if you don’t want caffeine) or use it as a gym hydration therapy idea. Cinnamon is well known to improve your mood as well as enhance alertness and concentration while keeping you calm.

    Would like to point out that Ceylon Cinnamon from Sri Lanka is very different to all other types of Cinnamon grown in Asia. Principally Ceylon Cinnamon has ultra low Coumarin levels (won’t damage your liver like other Cinnamon types especially Saigon Cinnamon). Ceylon cinnamon is smoother (some would say mild but others would say without the harsh after taste of Cassia Cinnamon)), is slightly sweeter but is far more aromatic when boiled into a tea. They even look different with Ceylon Cinnamon comprised of thin sheets of bark rolled into a cigar like shape while Cassia Cinnamon is one single thick piece of bark rolled into a hollow cigar shape.

    If you take Cinnamon occasionally a Cassia Cinnamon type Cinnamon is acceptable. But if you are taking Cinnamon on a regular basis, then switch to Ceylon Cinnamon, which won’t kill your liver.

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