When I think of cinnamon, I can smell the cinnamon buns my great-grandmother used to make and the cinnamon toast I ate nearly every day before school (on Wonder Bread, no less).
But now my life is (nearly) wheat- and yeast-free. Do I bid a fond farewell to my jar of cinnamon?
Definitely not! After learning that cinnamon could be beneficial with my PCOS diagnosis, I started to research this aromatic spice. Little did I know how healthy it could be. Did you know that cinnamon:
- Is high in calcium, iron, manganese and fiber
- Is antifungal and inhibits growth of candida albicans
- Is antibacterial and can get rid the intestines of germs
- Is anti-inflammatory and can act as a muscle relaxant
- Helps lower LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol)
- Helps to regulate blood sugar by helping the body to use the insulin in a more effective way (helpful for Type 2 diabetics)
- Is a digestive aid for indigestion, nausea, morning sickness, gas, upset stomach
- Can help cognitive activity and memory loss (Wheeling Jesuit University study)…and the benefits can be found by just smelling cinnamon
- Been shown to reduce the growth of leukemia and lymphoma cells (Study by the US Department of Agriculture in Maryland)
- Can help with cramps–intestinal, menstrual and leg cramps
- Can be a natural birth control–it can delay menstruation after childbirth if taken regularly [But do not supplement with cinnamon if you are pregnant.]
- Removes impurities in the blood (which can help with pimples!)
- Acts as an insect repellent–use a few drops of cinnamon oil on a paper towel or ribbon to ward off the bugs
The oil can contain elements that are harmful and/or cause irritation or allergic reactions. Some people add it to their foods, but it seems to be used more widely as aromatherapy.
The cinnamon bought in grocery stores, usually Cassia, is often too old to be medicinal and may contain higher amounts of coumarin, which is an element that thins the blood and may harm your liver. [If you are taking Coumadin or have any type of bleeding disorder, don’t supplement with cinnamon.] Certainly safe though for eating in dishes and sprinkled over hot cereal, but not what you want to supplement with.
If you want to get the full benefit in a safe way, look for powdered bark in capsules from a health or vitamin store. Or try to find Ceylon cinnamon which is the “pure” form and grind it up yourself.
This is probably more information than you ever thought you’d get about a little jar in your spice cabinet, right?? Is your mind spinning thinking about the rest of the spices in your kitchen? Patience friends…we’ll get to those too 🙂
So with all of the health benefits, it makes sense to incorporate this spice into the daily menu. Cook some steel-cut oats for breakfast and add some cinnamon and a little stevia to sweeten it up. Or mix some in almond butter and spread on a green apple. (A much better afternoon snack that anything you can buy out of a vending machine!) Or try an Indian recipe for chicken masala…
What’s your favorite way to enjoy cinnamon? You know I’m always looking for healthy recipes 🙂
[And before I go, I’ll state the obvious again…I am not a cinnamon farmer, doctor or scientist, or any cinnamon type expert. (I just research A LOT and take copious notes 🙂 Foods are be medicinal, so it is important to talk to your doctor before supplementing with cinnamon.]