Healthy Food

The Many Faces of Cinnamon

It is finally October. And Fall! (my favorite season).

Jeans and sweatshirts..

Apple picking..

Pumpkin carving…

Colorful trees…

And Cinnamon.

Sadly, I don’t really get a fall this year. It isn’t cool enough in my California home to curl up on the couch with a cup of hot cider.

How am I supposed to warm up with Hot Cider when its 90 degrees outside???

My pumpkin smoothie will have to do. ALL ice. ALL the time.

In honor of my chilly Sunday, 60-degree, blustery day Iowan roots, I am playing pretend today. I love having the day off to get my house in order, spend time with my pups and sit down with a hot cup of coffee to do some reading and writing. It is easily one of my favorite ways to pass the time and working in the professional world, it does not happen near enough.

When I sat down to write today, I did not plan to write about cinnamon, but my hand instinctively grabbed it out the cupboard and put it in my coffee.

#fallonthemind

I’ve been adding cinnamon to my coffee on and off for some time now and want to suggest it to anyone who hasn’t tried it! I also got to thinking there must be some health benefits to this spice.

Obviously, there are!

Much of the research out there is stated to be inconclusive. Studies have been done on rats, mice and flies, with only a few conducted on human subjects. So without more research, it is hard to decipher the exact science of the cinnamon spice on our anatomy.

We can make assumptions though, right? Use critical thinking to deduce what potential benefits we may be getting?

Current studies support cinnamon having antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal (such as the fungus that causes yeast infections), anti-parasitic, anti-diabetic, antimicrobial, lipid-lowering and cardiovascular-disease-lowering properties.

In one fly study regarding Alzheimer’s, the cinnamon isolate CEppt improved deficiencies in locomotion and was able to indirectly reduce plaques in the brain. WHATT?? Another study conducted on rats concluded antibacterial activities of cinnamon against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. In even another study, cinnamaldehyde (a cinnamon compound) was found to cause vasodilation, thereby decreasing blood pressure.

Most human-based studies regarding cinnamon’s benefits focus on diabetes. In some cases, participants were found to have a significant decrease in their fasting blood glucose, as well as their hemoglobin A1C. In other cases, no significance was found.

So, more studies should be conducted, but my philosophy? It can’t hurt. And it’s delicious. So, why not?

**Disclaimer to save my RN rumpà I discourage you from using cinnamon as a sole remedy for any of the above stated conditions. I also encourage you to inform your physician if you are purposefully taking cinnamon in any form on a daily basis and also take medications for hypertension or diabetes. Just in case J

How do I consume cinnamon?

I suppose if you were really adventurous, you could just eat a spoonful, but I believe there is a high risk for choking with that method and don’t recommend it.

Personally, I put it in my coffee. Yes, right in the coffee grounds before I brew. When I buy cinnamon sticks, I grind part of one right up with my coffee beans.

We can also use it for baking. And cooking. I was pleasantly surprised to find out my kidney beans tasted wonderful with the addition of cinnamon last week. Bonus? My kitchen smelled great too. No air fresheners required!

Resources:

http://www.med.nyu.edu/content?ChunkIID=21672

http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2014/642942/

 

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