Cinnamon is a highly delicious spice. It has been prized for its medicinal properties for thousands of years. Modern science has now confirmed what people have instinctively known for ages. Here are 10 health benefits of cinnamon that are supported by scientific research:
Archive for the ‘cinnamon’ Category
Diabetic complications often lead to the hospital.
Check your feet daily.
“Keeping good watch over your feet is an important aspect of good diabetes care,” says Joyce Lee, an associate professor in the department of pediatrics and communicable diseases at the University of Michigan. A high blood sugar level can cause nerve damage in the feet, and you might not feel a cut, scrape or blister that could be the start of a deep skin infection. Research indicates that young men are especially prone to such ulcerations. Applying lotion regularly and drinking lots of water can keep skin on the feet — and the rest of the body — from becoming dry and cracked, advises the National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse.
Coddle teeth and gums.
Diabetes sufferers run an increased risk of tooth decay, inflamed gums and gum disease because the condition increases vulnerability to bacterial infections and hampers the ability to fight them. Periodontitis, an especially severe infection that destroys gum tissue and the bone that holds teeth in place, also complicates a diabetic’s life by raising blood sugar levels when hormones are released by the immune system to battle the infection, warns the American Diabetes Association. Brushing after every meal, or at least twice a day, and flossing once a day is crucial, according to the NDIC.
Go easy on salt.
Sodium and high blood pressure go hand in hand, and if you have diabetes, high blood pressure multiplies your already elevated risk of cardiovascular and kidney diseases, says Om Ganda, director of the lipid clinic at the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston. And cutting back on salt isn’t just a matter of reaching for the shaker less often. Prepared foods tend to be salt-heavy: One large fast-food taco or egg-and-sausage biscuit has close to the American Heart Association’s recommended daily sodium limit. Even unlikely suspects such as one-half cup of low-fat cottage cheese or a smallish cinnamon-raisin bagel will kick in almost one-third of the recommended total.
Ditch the butter — go for olive oil.
Switching can make a marked impact on cholesterol, especially for those who have trouble reducing overall fat intake, Ganda says. The saturated fat in butter raises blood cholesterol and the risk of cardiovascular problems; olive oil is a monounsaturated fat that can reduce bad cholesterol. A diet heavy in olive oil may even reduce the chance of developing diabetes. One study in Diabetes Care tracked 418 non-diabetic Spanish adults over four years who ate either a traditional Mediterranean diet rich in olive oil, their normalMediterranean diet supplemented with fat from nuts or a low-fat diet. By the end, between 10 and 11 percent of those in the two Mediterranean groups had developed diabetes, compared with 18 percent in the low-fat group.
Kick the habit.
Smoking is a major factor in atherosclerosis, which frequently puts people with diabetes in the hospital when an artery becomes blocked and causes a heart attack, stroke or other vascular problem. Smoking also raises blood pressure and cholesterol. Diabetes also puts smokers at greater risk of pneumonia — and of having a worse case.
Fend off depression.
“This is a chronic illness where patients are reminded daily they have diabetes,” says Tom Donner, director of the Johns Hopkins Diabetes Center. “That’s a taxing burden.” Depression is dangerous for people with diabetes because it can make them feel as if they have no control over their illness, says Robert Rizza, executive dean of research and a diabetes specialist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. That may make them feel so helpless they don’t stick to their medications or show up for doctor visits. Yoga and meditation can reduce the stress, and a special interest or activity — a book club, fantasy football, birdwatching — can provide daily happiness, making the disease more manageable.
Most complications stemming from diabetes are preventable.
The key is to understand and manage the illness from day one to keep minor complications from becoming major. Diabetes is a time bomb, Rizza says. “It’s ticking,” he says, “and unless you’re taking care of it … you’ll end up in the hospital.”
Cinnamon is one of my feel-good foods. The scent reminds me of fall, my favorite time of year, and brings back memories of making apple pies with my mom, and celebrating the holidays.
While I’ve always been a fan of its flavor and aroma, as a nutritionist, I’m also thrilled to spread the news about cinnamon’s health benefits. For example, one teaspoon of cinnamon packs as much antioxidant potency as a half cup of blueberries, and cinnamon’s natural antimicrobial properties have been shown to fight strains of E. coli, as well as Candida yeast. Also, while technically not sweet, “sweet spices” like cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger have been shown to boost satiety and mimic sweetness, which allows you to cut back on sugar in nearly anything, from your morning cup of Joe to a batch of homemade muffins.
Pretty impressive, but that’s not all. Here are five more potential health benefits of spicing things up!
Better heart health
In a recent study from Penn State, researchers found that a diet rich in spices, like cinnamon and turmeric, helped curb the negative effects of downing a fatty meal. After a high-fat meal, levels of fats in your blood known as triglycerides rise, and chronically high triglycerides raise the risk of heart disease. In this small study (in just six overweight but otherwise healthy men between 30 and 65) the results of adding spices were significant. On two separate days, volunteers added two tablespoons of spices, including cinnamon, to a fatty meal, which was tested against an identical control meal without spices. Blood samples drawn after meals revealed that in addition to 13 percent higher blood antioxidant levels, the spices reduced triglycerides by about 30 percent.
Blood sugar regulation
In research led by U.S. Department of Agriculture, scientists found that antioxidant-rich cinnamon extract helped reduce risk factors associated with diabetes and heart disease. In the study, 22 obese volunteers with prediabetes were divided randomly into two groups. One was given a placebo, the other a dose of dried water-soluble cinnamon extract twice a day, along with their usual diets. Fasting blood samples collected at the beginning of the study, and after six and 12 weeks revealed that the cinnamon extract improved antioxidant status, and helped reduce blood sugar levels.
Cinnamon has been shown to slow stomach emptying, which curbs the sharp rise in blood sugar following meals, and improves the effectiveness, or sensitivity of insulin. A University of Georgia study also found that cinnamon can prevent tissue damage and inflammation caused by high levels of blood sugar. When blood sugar levels are high, sugar bonds with proteins to form compounds called advanced glycation end products, or AGEs. AGEs activate the immune system, which triggers the inflammation and tissue damage associated with aging and diabetes. In the study, researchers found a strong and direct link between the antioxidant content of common herbs and spices, including cinnamon, and their ability to prevent AGEs from forming. This effect also further decrease the risk of heart damage, since AGEs contribute to hardening of the arteries.
Better brain function
Research shows that just smelling cinnamon enhances cognitive processing, but consuming it significantly ups brain function. Scientists at Wheeling Jesuit University asked volunteers to complete computer-based tasks while chewing no gum, plain gum, or gum flavored with cinnamon, peppermint, or jasmine. Cognitive processing was boosted the most in those given cinnamon, which sped up visual-motor responses and improved attention scores. This aromatic spice may also help the brain heal. One study from scientists at the Agricultural Research Service found that cinnamon extract prevented brain cells from swelling in the ways typically seen after a traumatic brain injury or stroke.
In animal research supported by grants from National Institutes of Health, scientists found that after ground cinnamon is ingested, it’s metabolized into a substance called sodium benzoate, which enters into the brain. In mice with Parkinson’s, the positive effects included neuron protection, normalized levels of neurotransmitters, and improved motor functions.
Plus, 10 ways to use it
To take advantage of cinnamon’s potential benefits, incorporate it into more meals. One of the things I love about this spice is how versatile it is. I use it in both sweet and savory dishes, and I feel like I’m always finding new ways to add it to meals, snacks, and beverages. Here are 10 easy ideas:
• Sprinkle cinnamon into your coffee, or add it to your coffee grounds before brewing.
• Add a dash or two of cinnamon to hot oatmeal, overnight oats, or cold whole grain cereal.
• Fold cinnamon into yogurt, along with cooked, chilled quinoa, fresh cut fruit, and nuts or seeds.
• Freeze cinnamon in ice cubes to add zest and aroma to water or cocktails.
• Season roasted or grilled fruit with a sprinkle of cinnamon.
• Stir cinnamon into almond butter, or any nut or seed butter, and use as a dip for fresh apple or pear wedges or a filling for celery.
• Add a pinch of cinnamon to lentil or black bean soup, or vegetarian chili.
• Season roasted cauliflower, sweet potatoes, spaghetti, and butternut squash with a pinch of cinnamon.
• Sprinkle a little cinnamon onto popped popcorn.
• Stir a little cinnamon into melted dark chocolate and drizzle over whole nuts to make spicy ‘bark’ or use as a dip or coating for fresh fruit.
NOTE: While cinnamon is healthful, just be sure not to overdo it. Don’t take cinnamon supplements unless they have been prescribed by your physician.
Mmm. Cinnamon. It smells like fall. And it can help keep those nasty colds away.
Here are a few reasons why it’s worth keeping cinnamon sticks in your kitchen.
Amp up your fall cooking — and drinking.
The Kitchn suggests steeping a cinnamon stick in hot water, essentially making your own cinnamon tea.
Not into herbal teas? If you place a cinnamon stick on top of your coffee grounds before you begin brewing, your fresh cup of joe will have a perfect cinnamon-y kick.
Or use a stick as a drink stirrer for your warm apple cider or hot chocolate.
Toss a cinnamon stick into slow-cooked meat dishes like chili or short ribs for a unique je ne sais quoi.
Cinnamon also helps preserve food by delaying bacterial growth. Your leftovers will last longer if cinnamon is an ingredient.
Make a ginger, lemon, cinnamon and honey flu-fighting tea to help prevent getting sick this fall.
Cinnamon tea can also help fight yeast infections.
Soaking cinnamon sticks in cold water for a few hours will result in a throat-soothing cough remedy.
Mix cinnamon and honey together to create an easy and natural insect-bite treatment.
Cinnamon has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial qualities. LearnVest suggests mixing 1 teaspoon of powdered cinnamon with 3 tablespoons of honey to create an acne-fighting solution. Apply it to the skin for a few hours (or overnight), then wash off with warm water.
Treat your feet with this pampering foot bath, courtesy of Cooking Well: Beautiful Skin author Elizabeth TenHouton: Mix the juice of 5 lemons, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/4 cup whole milk, 1/2 cup water, and 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon; soak your feet in the mixture for 15 minutes.
Plump your lips. Apply petroleum jelly to your lips, then rub ground cinnamon on top for a few seconds. (Don’t let cinnamon touch bare lips, as it might irritate them.) Allow it to sit for a minute, then add more petroleum jelly.
Use it around the house.
Place a sachet of broken cinnamon sticks, whole cloves and whole black peppercorns in your drawers or closets to repel moths.
Powdered cinnamon even works as an ant deterrent.
Make your home smell like fall with this easy “home fragrance”: simmer apple cider with a cinnamon stick, a few whole cloves and a piece of orange peel. (You can also bake cinnamon in the oven if you need to rid your home of strong odours — like skunk.)
And DIY cinnamon wreaths are a great way to get in the holiday spirit.
AS LONG AS AS IT’S IN ADDITION TO [VS INSTEAD OF] I DON’T SEE HOW TAKING HONEY CAN HURT YOU;
CINNAMON MAY AFFECT SOME MEDS, METHINKS…”
CHECK IN WITH YOUR PHARMACIST AND READ SNOPES TO BE SURE:
Cinnamon and Honey ~ Bet the drug companies won’t like this one getting around.~
Facts on Honey and Cinnamon: It is found that a mixture of honey and cinnamon cures most diseases. honey is produced in most of the countries of the world. Scientists of today also accept honey as a ‘Ram Ban’ (very effective) medicine or all kinds of diseases.
Honey can be used without any side effects for any kind of diseases.
Today’s science says that even though honey is sweet, if taken in the right dosage as a medicine, it does not harm diabetic patients. Weekly World News, a magazine in Canada , in its issue dated 17 January,1995 has given the following list of diseases that can be cured by honey and cinnamon as researched by western scientists:
Make a paste of honey and cinnamon powder, apply on bread, instead of jelly and jam, and eat it regularly for breakfast. It reduces the cholesterol in the arteries and saves the patient from heart attack. Also those who have already had an attack, if they do this process daily, they are kept miles away from the next attack. Regular use of the above process relieves loss of breath and strengthens the heart beat.
In America and Canada , various nursing homes have treated patients successfully and have found that as you age, the arteries and veins lose their flexibility and get clogged; honey and cinnamon revitalize the arteries and veins.
Arthritis patients may take daily, morning, and night, one cup of hot water With two spoons of honey and one small teaspoon of cinnamon powder. If Taken regularly even chronic arthritis can be cured. In a recent research conducted at Copenhagen University, it was found that when the doctors treated their patients with a mixture of one tablespoon of Honey and half teaspoon of Cinnamon powder before breakfast, they found that within a week, out of the 200 people so treated, practically 73 patients were totally Relieved of pain, and within a month, mostly all the patients who could not walk or move around because of arthritis started walking without pain.
Take two tablespoons of cinnamon powder and one teaspoon of honey in a Glass of lukewarm water and drink it. It destroys the germs in the bladder.
Two tablespoons of honey and three teaspoons of Cinnamon Powder mixed in 16 ounces of tea water, given to a cholesterol patient, was found to reduce The level of cholesterol in the blood by 10 percent within two hours. As Mentioned for arthritic patients, if taken three times a day, any chronic Cholesterol is cured. According to information received in the said Journal, pure honey taken with food daily relieves complaints of cholesterol.
Those suffering from common or severe colds should take one tablespoon Lukewarm honey with 1/4 spoon cinnamon powder daily for three days. This Process will cure most chronic cough, cold, and clear the sinuses.
Honey taken with cinnamon powder cures stomach ache and also clears Stomach ulcers from the root.
According to the studies done in India and Japan , it is revealed that if Honey is taken with cinnamon powder the stomach is relieved of gas.
Daily use of honey and cinnamon powder strengthens the immune system and Protects the body from bacteria and viral attacks. Scientists have found That honey has various vitamins and iron in large amounts. Constant use of
Honey strengthens the white blood corpuscles to fight bacteria and viral Diseases.
Cinnamon powder sprinkled on two tablespoons of honey taken before food Relieves acidity and digests the heaviest of m eals.
A scientist in Spain has proved that honey contains a natural ‘ Ingredient’ Which kills the influenza germs and saves the patient from flu.
Tea made with honey and cinnamon powder, when taken regularly, arrests the Ravages of old age. Take four spoons of honey, one spoon of cinnamon powder And three cups of water and boil to make like tea. Drink 1/4 cup, three to Four times a day. It keeps the skin fresh and soft and arrests old age.
Three tablespoons of honey and one teaspoon of cinnamon powder paste. Apply this paste on the pimples before sleeping and wash it next morning with Warm water. If done daily for two weeks, it removes pimples from the root.
Applying honey and cinnamon powder in equal parts on the affected parts Cures eczema, ringworm and all types of skin infections.
Daily in the morning one half hour before breakfast on an empty stomach And at night before sleeping, drink honey and cinnamon powder boiled in one Cup of water. If taken regularly, it reduces the weight of even the most obese person. Also, drinking this mixture regularly does not allow the fat to accumulate in the body even though the person may eat a high calorie di et.
Recent research in Japan and Australia has revealed that advanced cancer of the stomach and bones have been cured successfully. Patients suffering from these kinds of cancer should daily take one tablespoon of honey with one teaspoon of cinnamon powder for one month three time s a day.
Recent studies have shown that the sugar content of honey is more helpful rather than being detrimental to the strength of the body. Senior citizens, who take honey and cinnamon powder in equal parts, are more alert and flexible. Dr. Milton, who has done research, says that a half Tablespoon of honey taken in a glass of water and sprinkled with cinnamon powder, taken daily after brushing and in the afternoon at about 3:00 P.M. When the vitality of the body starts to decrease, increases the vitality of the body within a week.
People of South America , first thing in the morning, gargle with one teaspoon of honey and cinnamon powder mixed in hot water, so their breath stays fresh throughout the day.
Daily morning and night honey and cinnamon powder, taken in equal parts restore hearing. Remember when we were kids? We had toast with real butter and cinnamon sprinkled on it!