Big Benefits of Cinnamon
Because good health can taste great!
Beloved by foodies from the beginning of time, cinnamon has an illustrious history few spices can match. Used for thousands of years to flavor foods, treat various conditions, and even embalm the dead, it has now been relegated to a position alongside salt and pepper shakers. But there’s something special about cinnamon. Something that may give you the healthy life you seek.
While it’s not a good idea to down a tablespoon of cinnamon at once (Google “Cinnamon Challenge” for proof), a regular dab or cinnamon may help you deal with an array of potential health issues. While research continues and some is inconclusive, here are a few of the ways cinnamon has been used to improve the lives of people just like you.
Sugar Levels Lowered
Unless you live a lonely life, you probably know someone living with diabetes. Or maybe you have the condition yourself. Well, there’s good news! Because while other perks of cinnamon intake have not been as rigorously tested, diabetes management has become substantially easier thanks to cinnamon.
The way it works is simple. Ingest a little bit of cinnamon each day, and allow the cinnamon to do its work of managing insulin sensitivity, reducing inflammation, and transporting glucose. In one study, researchers found regular cinnamon intake to mimic the effects of diabetes medication. So if you prefer cinnamon to swallowing pills, this could be your ticket to freedom!
Cholesterol in Check
One of the most serious threats to your health, high cholesterol levels put you at risk for heart attack, stroke, and other serious health problems. But just a little bit of cinnamon—between half a teaspoon and three teaspoons—was found to lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL or “bad”) cholesterol, total cholesterol, and triglycerides. In other words, lowering your cholesterol levels doesn’t requiring eating foods that taste like cardboard.
Better Blood Pressure
Though research has only taken place among dogs and guinea pigs, there is some indication that cinnamon could provide a substantial improvement in blood pressure. Researchers are unsure why it happened, but the creatures studied had significant drops in blood pressure when given regular dosages of cinnamon. Could you eventually trade in your blood pressure medication for a sprinkling of cinnamon? Possibly. In the meantime, there’s no reason to not add some cinnamon to your diet.
For years, we’ve known and touted the antioxidant properties of blueberries, red wine, and to the world’s delight, dark chocolate. But you may not know that cinnamon is also among this illustrious group of foods. Thanks to the beloved antioxidant epicatechin, cinnamon helps protect your body against the negative effects of free radicals. In addition to protecting against cancer and heart disease, antioxidants like epicatechin are known to fend off dementia. That means if you toss a little bit of cinnamon on top of your oatmeal or mix it into your next batch of muffins, you may be helping your brain stay sharp for years to come as a result.
If you’re thinking of upping your cinnamon intake, you should know the cinnamon in your house is likely not the most beneficial. Cassia cinnamon, commonly produced in China and Indonesia, has a strong flavor and is most commonly found in households. For best results, you’ll need Sri Lankan cinnamon, known as Ceylon cinnamon. While more expensive, this sweeter, milder cinnamon is your best bet for cinnamon-enhanced health. And before giving up medication of any sort for cinnamon, consult your physician to ensure your good health.
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