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Eating With Purpose --- Cinnamon

Cinnamon a powerful spice that has been used for centuries in different cultures. Cinnamon is harvested from the inner bark of the tree in the Cinnamomum genus. It has been used in Ayurvedas to treat respiratory and digestive problems. It is also listed in bible numerous times for its ability to fight illnesses.

The health benefits of cinnamon come from the bark of Cinnamomum verum. This bark contains cinnamaldehyde, cinnamic acid and cinnamate. Cinnamaldehyde gives the cinnamon its delicious warm flavor. These compounds are strong antioxidants and help in reducing inflammation. Also, they have positive effects on blood sugar levels, digestion, immunity and more.

There are two main types of cinnamon spice: Ceylon and Cassia. Ceylon is more potent but its not radially available. The common form we get from market is Cassia variety. Its cheaper but still provides the health benefits.

Cinnamon supplies a wide variety of important nutrients and is rich in fiber, manganese and vitamins. Also, it is rich in potent antioxidants like polyphenols, phenolic acid and flavonoids. These compounds help to fight oxidative stress in the body and help to prevent chronic diseases. Cinnamon has shown to improve insulin sensitivity. This helps in managing blood sugar. Small human studies have shown that small dose of cinnamon can reduce blood sugar levels, improve LDL {bad cholesterol}, triglycerides and total cholesterol levels.

Antioxidant properties of cinnamon have shown to reduce the plaques and tangle formation in brain for Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia patients. Some studies in rodents have shown that cinnamon also has cancer fighting effects. Cinnamon also has antibacterial and antiparasitic properties. Cinnamon use can improve oral hygiene. Cinnamon has also shown to provide protection form bad bacteria which can cause tooth decay and oral infections. A good cinnamon mask can help to prevent facial acne. Combine 3 tablespoons of honey with one tablespoon of great smelling cinnamon to create an antibacterial facial mask.

Now you know the great benefits of this amazing delicious spice. You should easily be able to incorporate this spice in your daily use. Cinnamon is naturally sweet, so adding it to foods and recipes will help you to cut down on sugar, effectively lowering down the glycemic load of your food.

You can add cinnamon to smoothies and tea. Sprinkle some on delicious parfaits and warm porridge. Also, you can incorporate this in your baking. Add to fresh cut fruits. Cinnamon apples are my most favorite. So many ways you can use this delicious spice.

Cinnamon is a pleasant spice a perfect panty staple that adds nice aroma and sweetness to food with minimal calories. Not only it is delicious but is packed with great health benefits. I suggest using a teaspoon on daily basis.

When used in moderation cinnamon is generally safe. High amounts especially the cassia variety can cause adverse effects.

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