Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice
If there is one thing that smells and tastes like the holidays, it is cinnamon. Cinnamon is a wonderful spice that is used in almost anything and has been used for centuries. This sweet spice packs a deliciously healthy punch and is full of goodies to support over-all health. The best part is that cinnamon is an easy addition to one’s diet! Keep reading to learn the powerful health benefits cinnamon has to offer, and how to include cinnamon to your diet.
Two Different Types
First and foremost, there are two different types of cinnamon: Cassian cinnamon and Ceylon cinnamon. Cassian cinnamon comes from a type of evergreen tree. It is made from the dried inner bark and is darker in color. This cinnamon is the most common type that is sold within North America. Ceylon cinnamon is also known as “true cinnamon” and comes from the bark of the Cinnamomum verum tree.
Cinnamon really does pack a punch when it comes to health. It has a variety of health benefits ranging from its high antioxidant level to preventative measures.
Here are those antioxidants making center stage again. Like the antioxidants offered from other healthy fruits, veggies, and spices, cinnamon can help protect the body from oxidative damage. The antioxidant polyphenol puts cinnamon as number one on the list when compared to 26 other spices. For some perspective, its antioxidant level is so high that cinnamon can be used as a food preservative! The antioxidants are also the reason for the anti-inflammatory property cinnamon is famous for. Such effects are beneficial to fight against chronic inflammation that is caused by heart disease, diabetes, and other preventable and non-preventable diseases.
Provides Aide for Heart Disease
Other than inflammation, cinnamon can improve cholesterol by increasing HDL levels within the body. It also improves triglycerides and blood pressure. Overall, cinnamon helps the body fight against the affects of heart disease.
Great for Those With Diabetes
Cinnamon reduces the body’s resistance towards insulin and lowers blood sugar levels. This is also beneficial for those with metabolic syndrome. Cinnamon also interferes with digestive enzymes which slows the breakdown of carbohydrates. Finally, cinnamon contains a compound that mimics insulin. This compound does not act as fast as the hormone itself but can help improve the absorption of glucose on the cellular level.
Provides Benefit for the Brain
Cinnamon contains compounds that prevent the build-up of tau (a protein) in the brain. This build-up is commonly seen in those with Alzheimer’s disease. Cinnamon can also protect neurons and improve motor function in Parkinson’s disease. More research needs to be conducted.
Fights Bacterial and Fungal Infections
Cinnamaldehyde is the main active component in cinnamon which can help fight different kinds of infections. This component inhibits bacterial growth and fights fungal infections. Other benefits include prevention of tooth decay and bad breath.
How to Include Cinnamon in Your Diet
Now that we know of the health potential cinnamon has to offer, how can one incorporate cinnamon into one’s diet? Well, it is rather simple! Here are some ideas on how you can add cinnamon to the foods you eat.
- Tea or coffee
- Oatmeal, over-night oats, or whole grain cereals
- Sprinkle onto toast
- Nut butters
- Add to veggies or fruits
What are your favorite ways to include cinnamon into your diet? Let me know down below!
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