Cinnamon is great in coffee and baked goods. While many people think of it paired with sugar, cinnamon is actually chock-full of several amazing health benefits. For centuries, Chinese, Egyptian, and Ayurvedic medicine have used cinnamon for its warming effects and healing properties, and so can you. While this list is hardly comprehensive, here are some of cinnamon’s most notable benefits:
- Lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol levels: Studies have shown that as little as one half teaspoon a day can lower LDL levels.
- Arthritis relief: Combined with honey, cinnamon can provide relief of arthritis discomfort in as little as one week.
- Anti-microbial: Cinnamon fights Candida, other fungi, parasites and yeasts. Cinnamon inhibits bacterial growth and spoilage in food and extends shelf life. A Kansas State University study also found that it’s effective against the E. Coli bacteria.
- Anti-blood clotting: Contains cinnaldeyde, a substance which works to inhibit blood platelets from conglomerating, and is therefore also good for blood circulation.
- Anti-cancer: According to University of Texas and USDA Maryland studies, cinnamon reduced the proliferation of lymphoma and leukemia cells.
- Blood sugar regulation: Helps to normalize blood sugar levels, by improving the body’s ability to respond to insulin. Recommended by the American Diabetes Association as helpful in treatment for Type II diabetes.
- Brain health: Smelling cinnamon can improve cognitive processing, virtual recognition memory, visual-motor speed, attentional processes and working memory.
- Excellent source of manganese, calcium and iron: Far too many diets are mineral-deficient, so every little bit helps.
While eating cinnamon has a myriad of health benefits, it is not advisable to eat a bowlful. Benefits from as little as ½ teaspoon a day have been proven, and negative side-effects from more than a couple of tablespoons a day have been proven as well. The best way to get your intake of cinnamon is pairing it with food. It works very well in conjunction with ginger and other warming foods, lemon and other citrus, and honey.
Cinnamon works in savory, as well as sweet dishes. Try some in your morning oatmeal, curried dishes, black beans or lentils. Cinnamon adds a great dimension of flavor to a variety of dishes, and experimentation is the best way to find your preference.
In no time, you will find what works best for you. While it is possible to find cinnamon virtually anywhere, the best selection can be found at Savory Spice Shop, 375 Powerhouse Dr. Ste. 110, Bend, OR 97702, (541) 306-6855.