Cinnamon is the oldest spice known to man and has been used as a botanical medicine since 2700BC with many of its healing properties attributed to its special essential oils.
In traditional Chinese medicine, Cassia cinnamon is used for colds, flatulence, nausea, diarrhea amongst other things. It's also believed to improve energy, vitality, and circulation.
In Ayurveda, cinnamon is used as a remedy for diabetes, indigestion, and colds. It's a common ingredient in Chai tea, and it is believed to improve the digestion of fruit, milk and other dairy products.
What is the Scientific Evidence for Cinnamon's Health Benefits? Recent studies have found that cinnamon has a beneficial effect on blood sugar, which is great news for people Living with Type 2 Diabetes. One of the first human studies was published in 2003 in a medical journal called Diabetes Care. Sixty people with type 2 diabetes took 1, 3, or 6 grams of cinnamon in pill form daily, an amount roughly equivalent to one quarter of a teaspoon to 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. After 40 days, all 3 amounts of cinnamon reduced fasting blood glucose by 18 to 29%, triglycerides by 23 to 30%, LDL cholesterol by 7 to 27%, and total cholesterol by 12 to 26%.
Cinnamon also provides powerful anti-inflammatory protection. It contains a substance called cinnamaldehyde, which has been researched for its ability to prevent unwanted blood clumping and help with cardiovascular health.
Cinnamon’s essential oils qualify it as an ‘antimicrobial’ food: it has been studied for its ability to help stop the growth of bacteria as well as fungi.
In addition to its amazing healing properties, cinnamon is a concentrated source of bone building calcium and manganese, heart healthy dietary fibre and energy-producing iron.
You can add Cinnamon to just about anything! It comes in powder form or sticks (powder has a stronger flavour). I personally sprinkle it on my children’s porridge and my oats in the morning, I include it in most of the stews and soups I cook at home, when making broth, and in cakes. I even add a small piece of Cinnamon stick in my black tea (I find it delicious!) and sprinkle it on top of my Starbucks Cappuccino on the rare occasion that I have one! You’ll find its very easy to incorporate the minimum 1 gram dose into your daily diet as recommended above and the benefits are many! The good news is that children love it too because of its sweet taste, so don’t hesitate to include in their diets as well.
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