I feel like its been so long since i’ve last posted, almost a week actually. BUT … I’m back and here to share one of my favorite spices in the whole wide world with you guys.
It’s cinnamon! (DUH! Of course you knew that already because of my title) It’s a spice i’m sure everyone has in their cabinet, even if you don’t use it often, it’s probably there. I love how warming the spice is and that it adds a certain sweetness to things without adding any kind of sugar. It’s sometimes paired with other spices such as, cloves, nutmeg, or allspice. There are so many health benefits that cinnamon has to offer, and who knew that a slice of pumpkin pie during Thanksgiving or a few of those chewy snickerdoodle cookies could actually be kind of good for you? Obviously you shouldn’t be stuffing your face with either of those just because cinnamon is one of the ingredients found in them, but cinnamon is really overlooked as being something that can help you in so many ways.
If you didn’t know what cinnamon was or what it can do for you, you will after reading this!
What is it?
Cinnamon is an aromatic spice made from peeled , dried, and rolled tree bark. When the bark is peeled and dried, it curls into a tubular shape which is called a quill, and usually found in the market as cinnamon sticks. The quills are also ground into a powder form which people are most familiar with.
History of Cinnamon
Cinnamon is one of the oldest spices to be used and one of the first commodities traded regularly in the world. Cinnamon was said to be imported to Egypt around 2000 BC and eventually to China around 2700 BC. It was known to be highly prized among ancient nations as a gift fit for Monarchs or Gods and thought to be more precious then gold. Europeans used cinnamon for medicinal purposes, in drinks, and it was even used as an embalming agent. The 2 most popular types of cinnamon that can be found these days are Ceylon and Cassia. Ceylon has a sweeter taste then Cassia but it is also harder to find, which makes it a lot more expensive. Most of the cinnamon you find in the markets these days are Cassia which is cinnamon that comes from different parts of Asia.
Benefits of Cinnamon
Anti-fungal/Antibacterial/Antiviral: Cinnamon is full of antioxidants which can not only be used for healing purposes, but has also been used as a natural food preservative long ago. It can help clear mucus and congestion in your lungs while also encourage circulation during the common cold. Its antibacterial properties can also help with stomach viruses and yeast infections. It can help people suffering from IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) by reducing bloating, killing bad bacteria in your gut and healing any infections in your GI tract which aid in it working normally. It has been said that cinnamon extracts can help fight HIV by preventing the virus from entering other cells in your body. Also, it was studied to be an anti-carcinogen by slowing the growth of cancer cells due to the presence of antioxidants and free radicals.
Type 2 Diabetes/Cholesterol: Cinnamon can reduce your blood pressure and insulin resistance, which helps manage this type of diabetes. It works on muscles cells to force them to remove sugar from your bloodstream which then turns into energy. With keeping your type 2 diabetes controlled, the regular intake of cinnamon may help mitigate the effects of high fat meals by slowing the increase of blood sugars post meals. This then raises your HDL (good cholesterol) and in turn removes LDL (bad cholesterol) from your body. Since cinnamon has a natural sweet taste, it can also be used to replace sugar cravings. An easy and tasty way to replace sugar wth cinnamon is with your oatmeal every morning.
Brain disorders: It has been studied to help with people with Alzheimers and Parkinson disease by helping improving their motor functions as well as keeping brain cells from dying with age.
Other benefits include, polycystic ovarian syndrome and it can help with weight loss by boosting your metabolism.
*With all things, cinnamon should be used in moderation and if you intake too much cinnamon it can become toxic or poisonous to you. About 1/2-1 tsp a day is all you need!
My Favorite ways to use cinnamon:
-added to my iced cold brew coffee
-added to my oatmeal topped with organic blueberries
-mixed with other spices for a meat rub
-added to my chili recipe for a deep warming flavor
-made into a tea (recipe below)
-sprinkled on top of whole wheat toast, raw almond butter, and bananas
Feel better tea
1 cup water
1 stick of cinnamon
1 slice of peeled ginger
raw organic honey to taste
Bring water, cinnamon stick, and ginger to boil. Then add honey to taste for a little sweetness.
*The cinnamon will help loosen mucus and clear congestion while the ginger will help with your sore throat.
I hope you dig out that little spice jar of cinnamon from the back of your cupboards and try to incorporate it as often as you can, especially when you’re trying to fight off that nasty cold!