Thursday, April 18, 2013

Cinnamon and A Few Health Benefits

Cinnamon can help regulate blood sugar.

  Anyone a fan of cinnamon? I like it, but can't say I use it all that much. Obviously, it might come to mind while baking (and cinnamon toast), but outside of that, it usually stays in the spice rack.

  Surprisingly enough, cinnamon (cassia cinnamon, specifically) has been found to have some powerful health benefits. Thanks to a tip from a recent followee on Twitter, @toddforcier, who suggested cinnamon helps stabilize blood sugar, I thought it'd be a worthwhile idea to investigate.

  It was also suggested to toss some cinnamon into your coffee. I was a bit skeptical, but tried it out one morning. And to my surprise, it was pretty good! Until recently, I'd been a milk and sugar girl. At some point, I outgrew the milk, and then finally the sugar. So putting a little cinnamon into my morning cup of Joe has been a nice change up on occasion.

  And if it has some added benefits? All the better!

(For all of Todd's health suggestions, search the hashtag MarchByExample (#MarchByExample) on Twitter. He had some great things to offer the entire month of March!)

  Here are some benefits of adding cinnamon to your diet:
Cinnamon in coffee -- surprisingly good!
  Regulating blood sugar is not just for diabetics. It's important for all of us, to keep from spiking and dropping throughout the day. Blood sugar irregularity can result in low energy, irritability, dizziness, drowsiness, and loss of consciousness, in extreme cases. If you struggle with these things controlling and regulating blood sugar levels might give you the ability to better meet the energy demand of your day to day life.

  For example, half a teaspoon of cinnamon a day has previously been shown to significantly reduce blood sugar levels, triglycerides, LDL (bad) cholesterol, and total cholesterol levels.
  • Supporting digestive function (Cinnamon slows the emptying of your stomach to reduce sharp rises in blood sugar following meals, and improves the effectiveness, or sensitivity, of insulin).
  • Relieving congestion.
  • Relieving pain and stiffness of muscles and joints.
  • Reducing inflammation and symptoms of arthritis (Honey and Cinnamon combined have been found to relieve arthritis pain).
  • Helping to prevent urinary tract infections, tooth decay and gum disease (Cinnamon has anti-fungal properties).
  • Relieving menstrual discomfort.
  • Stimulating circulation with blood-thinning compounds (Cinnamon has an anti-clotting effect on the blood).
  Give cinnamon a try, and let me know what you think! Like any 'supplement', it's not a cure all (it will not substitute for proper diet and lifestyle choices). But if just a small amount each day can give us any benefit at all, why not give it a shot? It's worth noting that cinnamon can be toxic in very large doses, so no need to overdo it.

  Toss some in your coffee, instead of cream and sugar. Sprinkle some on top of plain yogurt. I bet you'll be surprised!




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