curb cravings with cinnamon-the spice of life
Do you enjoy cinnamon? Here is a spice that we can enjoy, and that is also healthy for us.
Cinnamon was one of the first commodities traded regularly between the Near East and Europe. Surprisingly, cinnamon is a small evergreen tree.
It is the bark that is processed which turns into the ground cinnamon and cinnamon sticks (or quills) we are used to seeing.
Its active and healthful components are cinnamaldehyde, cinnamyl acetate and cinnamyl alcohol which are derived from the essential oils in the bark.
Ceylon and cassia are the two most popular varieties of cinnamon, even though there are hundred of varieties. Cassia, the stronger of the two and the less expensive, is more common in North America.
Both cinnamons are an excellent source of trace mineral manganese and a good source of dietary fiber, iron and calcium.
By just digesting a ¼ teaspoon a day, patients with type 2 diabetes had lowered their blood sugar, cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Levels increased when they stopped adding cinnamon to their diet.
Cinnamon normalizes blood sugar levels. This helps to reduce cravings for sugar. This helps to control blood glucose levels by preventing insulin spikes after meals. It reduces serum glucose, triglyceride, LDL cholesterol as well as total cholesterol.
Other Healthy Benefits
Cinnamon has anti-clotting properties; helps prevent the unwanted clotting of blood platelets, which places cinnamon in the category of an “anti-inflammatory” food. This anti-inflammatory benefit can help relieve arthritis as well as relieve pain and stiffness of muscles and joints.
Cinnamon also has anti-microbial actions, stopping the growth of bacteria as well as fungi and yeast Candida. It is so successful as an anti-microbial, that it has been used as a food preservative.
There are so many other helpful benefits of cinnamon, beside the affect it has on blood sugar and its anti-clotting and anti-microbial properties. Just a few benefits of cinnamon are listed below:
Supports digestive function
Constricts and tones tissues
Boosts brain function by boosting cognitive function and memory
Relieves menstrual discomfort
Improves circulation by thinning blood
Provides calcium and fiber protect against heart disease
Improves colon health, by removing bile salts from the body
Prevents urinary tract infections and irritable bowel syndrome
Helps address tooth decay and gum disease
How to add Cinnamon to Your Diet
Adding cinnamon to your diet can be easy as making toast. Just add a touch of honey and a sprinkle of cinnamon to whole grain bread for an adult version of cinnamon toast. Sprinkle cinnamon onto your whole grain oatmeal or cereals or on yogurt, soups and sauces.
Simmer your favorite tea, coffee or soy milk with cinnamon sticks, creating the perfect breakfast drink or bedtime nightcap.
For an ethnic flair, add liberal amounts of cinnamon to beans or meat in your Mexican dishes. Or add to curries and chilis for a warm, spicy kick.
You can also sauté vegetables with cinnamon sticks for unique flavoring and healthful benefits. (Remove the cinnamon sticks before serving.) Let cinnamon add some spice to your life.
The Power Of Cinnamon
More than 170 million people throughout the world suffer from diabetes and the number continues to climb. Could it be that many of these people could benefit from an easily accessible product such as cinnamon?
This spice, which most of us have in our kitchen, has been shown to have the power to cut blood sugar levels nearly as much as statin drugs!
The magic ingredient in cinnamon is believed to be a substance called MHCP. The MHCP is thought to be the reason cinnamon reignites the ability of fat cells in diabetics to respond to insulin and dramatically increase glucose removal.
In addition, two new studies reveal new evidence for the beneficial effects of cinnamon as an anti-inflammatory agent and support earlier research of its power as an anti-oxidant agent and an agent able to lower cholesterol, triglycerides, and glucose, and improve the functioning of insulin.
However, before you run out and buy a case of cinnamon, keep the following in mind. Eating mouthfuls of cinnamon straight from the bottle may not be the best solution.
Table cinnamon is not water soluble, which means it can build up in the body with unknown consequences.
Also, some of the beneficial qualities of cinnamon, such as lowering total cholesterol, only occurred by taking the capsule form. It is believed that a person’s saliva may have some harmful effects on cinnamon.
Do not despair; there are still plenty of benefits if you don’t have time to get cinnamon capsules. It is my guess that most of us will just use the cinnamon we have sitting in the cupboard.
Just a half a teaspoon a day is all you need to get the blood sugar reducing benefits. You can also get the effect by simply soaking a cinnamon stick in your next cup of tea.
While many type II diabetics are finding a great improvement in their health with cinnamon supplementation, the good news does not end with help for diabetes.
Many non-diabetics are discovering the energy boosting properties of this wonderful spice and use cinnamon as a daily energy tonic.
There is also speculation by researchers that cinnamon can help people with pancreatic cancer. Pancreatic cancer is a disease were unusual amounts of insulin are produced by the pancreas in response to a cancer tumor.
This causes insulin resistance in the cells and prevents the cell from getting glucose. In theory, researchers think cinnamon might help overcome this resistance.
Insulin resistance may also be involved in diseases such as Alzheimer’s according to some scientists. Studies are ongoing to test this theory.
The powers of cinnamon cannot be denied and its help for some diabetics and pre-diabetics has been nothing short of miraculous.
Of course, this does not mean to rush out and gorge on cinnamon rolls and cinnamon flavored pie. There is too much sugar in that diet. The best options are taking capsules or sprinkling a half teaspoon of cinnamon on what you normally would eat.
Don’t forget to inform your doctor before taking cinnamon as it might have interactions with other medications.
Chinese Cinnamon Bark
Chinese cinnamon bark is a useful bark of the medium-sized evergreen tree that is native to China and Vietnam. There are basically many species of cinnamon tree which is now widely cultivated particularly in the southwestern part of China,
Cambodia, India, Japan, Java, Sri Lanka Sumatra, and Vietnam. Many herbalists believed that the Chinese cinnamon bark has great potential for treating several forms of disorders and discomforts.
Thus, the Chinese cinnamon bark is applied in Chinese, Indian, and Western traditional medicine.
The Chinese cinnamon bark is traditionally used as a spice, so it is known as a popular flavoring in many cuisines, and it is then noted for its delicious aroma. Its name actually derives from the Greek word “kassia” which means “strip off the bark”.
There are basically a number of medicinal uses of the Chinese cinnamon bark. The first mentioned medicinal uses were first recorded in the Chinese formularies as early as 2700 B.C. Generally,
Chinese cinnamon bark is applied as a healing aid for gas and stomach upset, rheumatism, diarrhea, abdominal pain, as well as some kidney ailments.
In addition, there is what they call as cinnamon “drops” which largely consists of the necessary cinnamon oils and cassia that are also widely applied for many of similar purposes.
Since the Chinese cinnamon has an antiseptic quality, the Chinese cinnamon bark and the necessary oils that it contains are also useful for some topical products like the lotions, soaps, and liniments, including toothpaste and mouthwash.
The recent therapeutic applications of the Chinese cinnamon bark are usually founded in its conventional use as a traditional medicine and on some animal and clinical trials.
Although there are some animal or test-tube clinical trials that do not ensure the safety and effectiveness of the Chinese cinnamon bark to humans,
many German health authorities still agreed on the application of the Chinese cinnamon bark and cassia for those mild gastrointestinal tremors and also for rousing the appetite.
The various application of the Chinese cinnamon bark does not only end there. Chinese cinnamon bark is always combined with the several ingredients in a number of herbal formulations.
In fact, only few have supported the claim that Chinese cinnamon bark can be used solely as a remedy; however, it has been examined in some clinical trials for its potential to treat a variety of diseases.
The only findings that come out after several clinical trials on the potential of the Chinese cinnamon bark for medicinal applications were conducted are the claims that the herb really aid proper digestion.
Since it contains useful compounds known as catechins, which help relieve nausea, the herb’s oil found in the bark aids the body to process food by breaking down the fats during digestion.
In relation, the herb’s bark also has the potential for relieving bloating as well as flatulence for the fact that the Chinese cinnamon bark functions as a carminative or gas reliever.
As such, there is a great possibility that it may relieve mild abdominal discomfort that is mainly caused by excess gas.
For its various uses and functions, the Chinese cinnamon bark is now commercially available in the form of tea placed in tea bags at many health food outlets especially to those stores where it is always sold as a digestive aid.
Cinnamon As Spice And Alternative Medicine
Cinnamon is widely used both in the food and pharmaceutical industry because of its antiseptic properties. The cinnamon bark oil is used as a flavoring for digestive aids, liniments, and oral care products.
It is also used in many perfumes, soaps, and lotions. In addition, cinnamon leaf oil is used in the food industry as flavorings to candies, sauces, and pastries. The commonly used ingredient is actually the soft, inner bark of the cinnamon tree.
This spice is now being heralded as the latest in the long line of herbal medicine wonders? According to research findings, one teaspoon of cinnamon contains 28 milligrams of calcium, one milligram of iron, fiber, and vitamins C, K, and manganese.
The use of cinnamon dates back in Chinese medicine to 2800 BC, and is known as “kwai” in the Chinese language. Ancient Egyptians used it in the embalming process of corpses because of its fragrance.
Medieval physicians used this spice to treat coughs, hoarseness, sore throats, and other types of infections.
Cinnamon also has antibacterial and inflammatory properties that help reduce joint and muscle pain, especially the discomforts associated with arthritis.
Many health specialists advice diabetics to take daily dose of cinnamon to regulate blood sugar levels. It can also benefit one’s health by improving the body’s digestive system and relieve many stomach discomforts.
In aromatherapy, cinnamon oil is used to stimulate and warm the senses, restore vigor, and treat stress and anxiety.
Cinnamon oil is also important in strengthening the immune system because its scent is said to treat early stages of cold and fever.
The oil of cinnamon is also used as a physical and emotional stimulant, with many believing that it can actually enhance one’s libido.
Medical research also indicates that the scent of cinnamon may reduce drowsiness, irritability, pain, and frequent migraines.
In some studies, the essential oil provides relief to tight muscles, ease painful joints, and relieve menstrual cramps in women.
Cinnamon also increases the action of enzymes that break down the food in the body and help improve one’s metabolism.
Here are the other health benefits of Cinnamon:
· Studies have shown that just 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon included in a daily diet can lower cholesterol.
· Cinnamon may have a regulatory effect on blood sugar, making it especially beneficial for people with diabetes.
· Cinnamon has shown an amazing ability to stop medication-resistant yeast infections.
· A study released by researchers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Maryland showed that cinnamon reduced the proliferation of leukemia and lymphoma cancer cells.
· It has an anti-clotting effect on the blood.curb cravings with cinnamon-the spice of life
· When added to food, it prevents bacterial growth and food spoilage, making it a natural food preservative.
· Smelling cinnamon may boost cognitive function and memory.
· Researchers at Kansas State University found that cinnamon fights the E. coli bacteria in unpasteurized juices.
Indeed, cinnamon has many benefits that can be used to improve one’s health and well-being. If taken together with a balanced, healthy diet and plenty of exercise — one can bring back the spice of life that everyone longs for.
Cinnamon: For Spice and Good Health
The aromatic scent of cinnamon is powerful because it makes many people feel warm and fuzzy. The health benefits of cinnamon have taken the backseat in favor of its spice properties.
Many health experts claim that a dash of cinnamon can be a way to add flavor to many dishes and at the same time improve one’s health in many ways.
For centuries, cinnamon has been used for traditional medicine and other therapeutic purposes. Many studies have supported the ancient health claims of this spice.
Cinnamon is most known to medical experts because of its ability to fight fungal infections, prevent ulcers, treat tooth decay and gum disease, and alleviate gum disease.
Recent studies show that cinnamon can be used as an alternative medicine for heart health. Before stating the connection between heart health and cinnamon, the causes of heart disease should be tackled. The common causes of heart disease are:
· Tobacco smoke – Cigarette smoking is one of the major risk factor for cardiac death in patients with coronary heart disease. People who smoke cigars or cigarettes have increased risk of acquiring coronary heart ailments.
· High cholesterol levels – As one’s cholesterol levels rises, so does the risk of heart disease. Age, sex, and diet are some of the factors that determine one’s cholesterol level.
· Lack of physical activity – Physical inactivity is one of the the major factors for developing heart disease. Heart disease is characterized by deposits of fatty substance, cholesterol, and other substances that may block the lining of the arteries that supply blood to the heart.
· Obesity and excess weight – Excess weight increases the work load of the heart and raises the blood pressure and cholesterol level. As this happens, the risk of heart disease heightens.
In addition to this factors, an individual’s response to stress can be a contributing factor. Some health specialists have noted the relationship between coronary heart disease and stressful lifestyle.
For example, stressed people may start to smoke. Drinking too much alcohol can cause heart failure and eventually lead to stroke. It can contribute to obesity, alcoholism, and accidents.
Cinnamon can be used as an alternative to treat heart disease. This spice supports healthy blood sugar levels and also improve cholesterol levels.
Cinnamon can reduce diabetes because an active molecule in cinnamon called proanthricyanidin. This molecule functions by activating insulin receptors within the cell, therefore facilitating the cell to use glucose for energy.
Therefore lowering glucose and lipid workers. Cholesterol and diabetes are the common risk factors for heart disease.
In addition, cinnamon has antibacterial-inflammatory attribute that can reduce joint and muscle pain, especially the ones associated with arthritis.
Many studies show that diabetics should take daily dose cinnamon may regulate blood sugar levels. Cinnamon can also benefit one’s health by improving the body’s circulation.
It also improves the digestive system and relieve many stomach discomforts. Studies add that a daily dose of cinnamon may relieve pains associated with their menstrual cycle.
While cinnamon can give many health benefits and improve overall well-being. The best options are taking cinnamon supplements or eating half a teaspoon of cinnamon than what individuals normally eat.
Lastly, advice of medical specialists should be considered before trying cinnamon supplements and other forms of alternative medicine. Because side effects and interaction with other drugs may take place.
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