Is Cinnamon Really That Healthy?
Well, it's that time of year where everything pumpkin is popular. But would all that yummy pumpkin food be so delicious if it wasn't for the addition of cinnamon?
Hmm. I personally don't think so. So could your favorite pumpkin treats be giving us an extra benefit besides just all that tasty yumminess? Yes, and it's all about the cinnamon.
Hi, my name is Marcie Vaske and I'm a functional medicine nutritionist specializing in gut health. So I work with clients who live with intestinal symptoms such as gas, bloat, diarrhea, constipation, and that's really just to name a few.
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Oh, delicious Cinnamon. How I Do Love You, I actually add it to something I eat every day, and not only because of the way that I love the taste of it, but also because of the magical benefits of it.
Is Cinnamon Really That Healthy?
So today I'm going to discuss and explain to you the reasons why you might wanna add cinnamon more often than just during this pumpkin season to all your food. So I think it's a good place to start is just a little background on cinnamon.
You know, cinnamon is actually made from the bark of a tree, and this bark contains many, many special compounds that are responsible for its many health-promoting properties which make a powerful, make it really a powerful spice that has been used medicinally around the world for thousands of years.
And interestingly enough, researchers have found that cinnamon ranks at number one out of 26 of the most popular herbs and spices in the world in terms of that protective antioxidant.
And that's not even to mention its powerful antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-diabetic properties. So cinnamon has been shown to help with several health concerns. And some of those include diabetes, high blood pressure, metabolic syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome, yeast infections, and oral infections.
Okay, so your next question may be, this sounds great, can I just use any old cinnamon?
Well, there are certain types of cinnamon that actually have the best outcomes. And there are approximately 250 different species of cinnamon have been identified so far. But there are really two main types that we're gonna talk about today.
Two Types of Cinnamon
And first one is called Ceylon cinnamon or Ceylon, which is sometimes labeled as a true or real cinnamon.
And the next one is called Cassia cinnamon, or you may even see it called Saigon or Chinese cinnamon, which is the one that's more widely available and probably the one that you have up in your cupboard right now.
So to date, we have found that Cassia has actually been studied more extensively than Ceylon, but researchers really think that Ceylon might actually have more health benefits than Cassia.
Ceylon actually contains less of a compound called coumarin the Casia. And this coumarin can be potentially damaging to the liver when consumed in large amounts. And so it is for that reason that Ceylon is the better option for producing cinnamon extracts that contain highly concentrated doses of spice.
But if you're just sprinkling it on your food, you know, here and there doing the Cassia cinnamon is gonna be safe too. Now for those of you who haven't tasted the Ceylon on cinnamon, it kind of has a lighter, more citrusy taste than the Cassia, which is where Cassia is actually considered a little bit deeper and spicier.
And, but both types can also contain plenty of health benefits, but Ceylon, cinnamon powder is actually considered to be more potent.
So now what we want to look for, we're gonna go through some of the reasons why this yummy, yummy spice is something you might wanna add to your foods.
Reasons why Cinnamon is healthy
So the first reason is what I spoke I briefly touched on earlier, which is the antioxidant properties of cinnamon. Cinnamon is very packed with a variety of protective antioxidants that actually reduce free radical damage and slows down the aging process.
And in fact, researchers have identified at least 41 different protective compounds found within the spice to date. Cinnamon also ranks number seven of all foods, herbs, and spices with the highest amount of antioxidants and even greater antioxidant power than commonly used herbs like thyme, garlic, and rosemary.
So just with that information alone, it's, it's no wonder you wanna add that into your food, sprinkle it on your oatmeal, sprinkle it on your fruit, tons of ways you can add it in.
The next reason we're gonna go through here is that it relieves inflammation. The antioxidant in cinnamon can actually help relieve systemic inflammation because of the different types of flavonoids that it contains.
And they are all very highly effective in fighting dangerous inflammation levels throughout the whole body. So because this powerful spice actually lowers swelling and prevents inflammation, it's wonderful for pain management. So if you are struggling with a lot of inflammation going on in your body or you have some pretty intense pain, again, another reason to sprinkle on that cinnamon.
Studies have shown that it helps to also reduce muscle soreness, decrease menstrual pain, lessen the severity of allergic reactions, and also relieve age-related symptoms of pain as well. So sprinkle it on.
Stabilizes blood sugar
The fourth reason and this is a fun one too, is that cinnamon actually stabilizes blood sugar. So cinnamon is, has been well-known for its anti-diabetic effects, which is why it's considered one of the best foods for diabetics.
What research has actually found is that it can lower blood sugar levels and improve that sensitivity to the hormone insulin, which supports and transports sugar from the bloodstream to the tissues to keep blood sugar levels balanced.
Studies have suggested that cinnamon for diabetics can help block the activity of several digestive enzymes to slow the absorption of sugar in the bloodstream after a high-carb meal. So wonderful reasons to put this into your foods for balancing out your blood sugar. And I talk about that every day, all day long, how we need to balance the blood sugar.
So using cinnamon not only is gonna help diabetics, but it can even help the average person just walking around if you have a high-carb meal, sprinkle it on because as you, as I suggested and talked about that it kind of inhibits our blocks, those digestive enzymes and slows that absorption of sugar. And so it's a great idea for all of us.
Fights against infections and viruses
So another great reason that you should be adding cinnamon is it fights infections and viruses. So perfect for this time of the season when things are getting colder and we're trying to boost up our immune systems.
But cinnamon has potential benefits to defend our body from illnesses contains, as I mentioned earlier, that antimicrobial anti antibiotic antifungal, and even antiviral properties and its essential oils actually contain powerful immune-boosting compounds. So again, adding that cinnamon to your food is gonna be a great idea.
The next reason is going to be it actually prevents candida. So research suggests that the powerful antifungal properties in cinnamon could be very effective in treating and preventing candida. And candida is actually an overgrowth of yeast in our digestive tract.
It has been shown in research to lower the amounts of this dangerous candida, candida Albicans, which the yeast that causes the candida overgrowth and can cause a host of digestive symptoms and even autoimmune issues.
So if you're eating a diet high in carbohydrates, it increases the amount of sugar in the digestive tract and then increases that candida. So throwing that cinnamon on is gonna help you in two ways. Not only decrease the candida boost your immune system, it's antifungal, but remember what it does with the digestive enzymes and helps to slow down the breakdown of that sugar.
Has a naturally sweet taste
Now one of the last reasons that I'm gonna talk about why you should be adding cinnamon to your food is that it has a naturally sweet taste. So adding cinnamon to your foods or recipes, also can help cut down on the amount of sugar you might normally use, which affects the glycemic load on your meal.
So it already has that anti-diabetic effect of lowering blood sugar and absorption of those sugars.
It curbs cravings because it stabilizes the blood sugar and it's a little sweet so it's tasty. So you can, like I said earlier, maybe you can try adding it to your oatmeal or some people even put it in their coffee, which I do too. It's so tasty.
You can put it on yogurt, fruit, anything, basically anything you think cinnamon's gonna taste yummy on. So you may be wondering, Okay, I know why I should be doing this and it sounds like a great idea, but how can I add this in?
Well, first of all, as I said, you can easily add it to your food. You can do even just half a teaspoon of cinnamon a day will have wonderful benefits to your immune system, digestive system, and your blood sugar.
But if you don't really like the taste of cinnamon and you still want the benefits, you can also find it in capsule form, but you wanna make sure you're getting what's in the product.
So make sure you look at the ingredients and it might be even most beneficial to work with a practitioner if you're gonna be supplementing with cinnamon because you can overdo it and there might be adverse reactions, um, depending if you're on medications and everything.
So sometimes it's best just to if you're taking supplement form, take exactly what's on the package or work with a practitioner to make sure you're getting what you need. So I hope I've talked you into adding some cinnamon this pumpkin season.
Talk to you soon.
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