As a child, I always placed cinnamon in the junk food category. This could be because I associated cinnamon with holiday desserts such as pumpkin pie, eggnog, and ginger snaps. However as an adult, I have consistently been reminded of the actual health benefits of the spice in its purest form (or in a dessert if necessary).
Cinnamon contains manganese, fiber, iron, and calcium, all in large proportions. Adding just half a teaspoon to your coffee (for example) can have great long term benefits. Below I have outlined some proven health benefits. Additionally, I have incorporated ways you can add some SPICE (cinnamon in this case) to your life!
Adding half a teaspoon of cinnamon to your diet can help lower your LDL cholesterol, which has a long list of other proven benefits. High LDL cholesterol, known as bad cholesterol, can lead to heart problems and blood clots. I like to add some to my coffee, or I add a teaspoon or two to my French toast batter in the mornings!
Regulatory Effect on Blood Sugar
For those with Type II diabetes (or those that may be prone to Type II diabetes), cinnamon can help regulate your blood sugar. I recommend adding some cinnamon to your snacks. For example, you could sprinkle cinnamon on your fruit bowl in the afternoons, or eat some sugar-free cinnamon cookies after you lunch! Consistency is essential, so you want to get an ample amount of the spice on a daily basis.
Boosts Memory and Cognition
The Wheeling Jesuit University conducted study on cinnamon’s effects on brain activity in 2004. They found that, “cinnamon, administered retro-nasally or orthonasally, improved participants’ scores on tasks related to attentional processes, virtual recognition memory, working memory, and visual-motor response speed.” Cinnamon may also help the elderly keep their mind active and prevent diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
Recipes with Cinnamon
There are already great cinnamon products on the market, but you can also try some recipes at home which incorporate the spice. Of course, some of them are better for your health than others. My favorite cinnamon dessert recipe for cinnamon rolls is here. Try them out, but use make them sparingly! You can find healthier alternatives which may be easier on your waistline. For example, try some hot cinnamon cider, or sprinkle cinnamon in your coffee, oatmeal, or afternoon snacks. Additionally, most GNCs and health stores offer natural cinnamon tablets which offer the same health benefits.
This guest post is contributed by Leslie Johnson, who writes about health, green living, parenting related articles at masters in health administration.