What better time of year than around the holidays to discuss the health benefits of cinnamon! So get those shakers ready to add a little extra to those pies, eggnog's, hot chocolates and teas! Cinnamon has been used for centuries in China for its health benefits but still few people know about them. It has not been given its fair due! So after you brush up on the benefits of cinnamon make sure you add some extra dashes where ever you can squeeze it in (don't forget about your cereal and oatmeal). Cinnamon capsules are also available in most vitamin ales and health food stores. Keep in mind, the cinnamon packed into these capsules is the same cinnamon sold for regular use, so you do not have to buy the capsules. To obtain most of the benefits of cinnamon only 1/2-1 teaspoon of cinnamon is needed daily!
Type II Diabetes and Blood Sugar
Studies has shown one of the biggest benefits of cinnamon is that it can help regulate blood sugar levels. It helps the body more effectively digest glucose by increasing the production of insulin, therefore clearing it from your system faster, helping to lower your blood sugar levels (4). If type II diabetes runs in your family or your sugar levels are a concern to you, you may want to consider having a daily regiment of taking cinnamon to help offset your potential of developing the disease along with diet and exercise. Stabilizing your blood sugar levels also aids in your ability to lose weight.
*Please note if you have already been diagnosed with diabetes and/or are already taking medication for diabetes you should consult your doctor before getting onto a daily cinnamon regiment because taking both may cause your levels to drop too low. (2)
If you are suffering from arthritis, help can be just a cup of tea away. Another benefit of cinnamon is its anti-inflammatory proprieties. A study at Copenhagen University has shown that mixing 1/2 of a teaspoon of cinnamon with honey each morning reduced the pain associated with arthritis and after a month the participants reported greatly reduced pain levels. (1)
Anti-bacterial and anti-fungal
Cinnamon contains both anti-bacterial and anti-fungal proprieties. Adding cinnamon to a hot tea can be used to help treat a cold or as well help treat or reduce the growth of fungus (yeast infections) (2). Cinnamon can also be used to preserve food longer by helping to prevent food born bacteria from growing due to its anti-bacteria traits (4).
Other Benefits of Cinnamon
- Smelling the aroma of cinnamon helps improve cognitive thinking and memory (1)
- Cinnamon has been shown to slow the production of cancer cells in leukemia and lymphoma patients (1)
- Has been proven to help treat headaches and migraines (1)
- Helps lower cholesterol (in studies testing blood sugar levels, participants cholesterol also was lowered) (2)
- Improves digestion because of its high fiber content (3)
- Helps prevent blood clots (1)
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