CINNAMON: A spicy way to strengthen your body and mind
Wed. Feb. 6, 2013 by Blanche Levine http://www.naturalhealth365.com/food_news/cinnamon.html
(NaturalHealth365) Every person should learn about the health benefits of cinnamon. For thousands of years, Chinese and ayurvedic medicine have used cinnamon to treat colds; indigestion and cramps. In addition, cinnamon is famous for its ability to balance blood sugar levels; improve circulation and increase energy in sluggish people.
Did you know that cinnamon was once considered more valuable than gold? It’s true – look it up. Anyway, try it for yourself and experience amazing results!
A spicy way to strengthen your body and mind
Most recently, cinnamon has been shown to prevent and treat elevated glucose levels; increase lean body mass; lower blood pressure – along with improving cognitive function and memory.
Diabetics will want to try this delicious spice.
In several different studies with people who had type-2 diabetes, cinnamon supplementation reduced glucose levels. The cinnamon used in these studies ranged from 1 gram to 6 grams per day.
Studies to confirm cinnamon’s beneficial actions are underway at the United States Agricultural Research Service, who already has shown less than half a teaspoon per day – reduces glucose levels in people with type-2 diabetes. The study showed that even 1 gram per day, which is about ¼ to ½ teaspoon of cinnamon, produced approximately a 20 percent drop in blood sugar while lowering overall cholesterol levels.
Obviously, if you’re taking diabetic medication, you’ll want to talk to your doctor about lowering your medication once the cinnamon kicks in and produces results.
For years, researchers have been looking at what happens within the human body after eating cinnamon. What they found is that cinnamon has some unique healing abilities which come from three different compounds (in the essential oil) found in the bark. These oils contain components called cinnamaldehyde, cinnamyl acetate and cinnamyl alcohol, plus many other organic compounds.
When taken with meals it slows gastric emptying and thus it reduces glucose absorption. So, remember, always take cinnamon just before you eat.
Can cinnamon effectively thin the blood and kill bacteria?
Cinnamaldehyde has been studied widely for its effects on blood platelets. This unique compound can prevent unwanted clumping of these platelets. This process includes reducing the formation of inflammatory molecules – which means cinnamon is a wonderful, anti-inflammatory food.
Cinnamon’s essential oils are known for their anti-microbial effects and have been shown to stop the growth of bacteria; fungi and candida. Laboratory tests showed that yeast resistant to commonly used anti-fungal medication fluconazole were stopped by cinnamon extracts.
In addition, recent research showed that this spice can be an effective alternative to traditional food preservatives. In a study, published in the International Journal of Food Microbiology, researcher discovered that the addition of just a few drops cinnamon essential oil was enough to inhibit the growth of a food borne pathogenic – bacillus cereus.
Improve your brain function with the scent of cinnamon
Imagine just by sniffing this sweet spice – you can boost brain activity. Research led by Dr. P. Zoladz, and presented at a meeting of the Association of Chemoreception Sciences, found that chewing cinnamon flavored gum or smelling it enhanced the cognitive processing of study participants. So, if you want to improve your attention span; memory, and visual accuracy – get some cinnamon into your life.
A simple guide to getting started with cinnamon
When using cinnamon, buy a high quality organic brand of cinnamon sticks or powder and keep it in an air-tight container away from light. These are two main types of the most popular varieties of cinnamon.
Ceylon cinnamon, known as the true cinnamon, is more expensive and has a sweet taste, while being milder in taste. Ceylon cinnamon uses only the thin inner bark, and has a finer, less dense, and more crumbly texture.
Cassia cinnamon is the less expensive variety, and is the most common type sold in supermarkets across North America. It’s a darker color and the sticks are harder.
The one you should use is the best quality you can find and afford. Though Ceylon cinnamon is associated more closely with keeping glucose levels in check, they both work well.
Regardless of the type you buy look for organic versions, then add cinnamon to applesauce, protein smoothies, hot cereals, and warm toast or baked goods. (enjoy!)