Discover the Many Health Benefits of Cinnamon

I am smack dab in the middle of my January  “Keepin it Real” 21 Day Cleanse, and this morning I sprinkled the last of my cinnamon on my gluten-free oatmeal. My first thought was, “I need to go out TODAY and get more” and my second thought was about how incredibly beneficial this reddish-brown powder really is.

During the holiday season,  the scent of cinnamon seems to be everywhere.The weird thing is, I hate the smell of cinnamon candles, cinnamon scented oils and incense. I also do not like the taste of cinnamon candy and gum. I do, however, like the taste of REAL cinnamon in many food recipes… Whew, good thing, because cinnamon has so many beneficial qualities for your health, it’s even considered an herb in Chinese medicine herbal formulas. It’s warming, so perfect for winter! 🙂

What cinnamon reminds me most of is my grandmother’s rice pudding. She seriously made the world’s best rice pudding—the best I have ever tasted—and she used to always sprinkle cinnamon on top.

Cinnamon is one of the oldest known spices; it is even mentioned in one of the earliest books on Chinese botanical medicine, dated around 2,700 B.C. Historically, it has been used as a spice as well as natural medicine.

Cinnamon’s nutrients come from the essential oils from the bark of the cinnamon tree. When the bark dries, it rolls and forms a quill, or what’s more commonly known as a cinnamon stick. You can use whole cinnamon sticks in some recipes, or, of course, ground cinnamon powder.

It is amazing how such a sweet and tasty spice can have so many essential health benefits. Some of the benefits that cinnamon has include anti-clotting, anti-microbial, and anti-inflammation actions as well as blood sugar regulation.

Cinnamon’s anti-clotting activities have been shown to prevent the collecting of blood platelets, and it can improve the flow of blood.Therefore, it may reduce the dangerous risk of blood clots and benefits your cardiovascular health.

Cinnamon has anti-inflammatory qualities that can decrease joint and muscle pain, especially the joint pain associated with arthritis.

As an anti-microbial agent, cinnamon has been well studied for its ability to help stop the growth of bacteria as well as fungi, including Candida in yeast infections andH. pylori, the bacteria that can cause ulcers.

Additionally, cinnamon is a great source of calcium and manganese, which are both great for strong bones, dietary fiber, and iron.

In Chinese Medicine, cinnamon is considered a “warm herb” meaning it warms the energetic channels in our body to relieve pain, improve circulation, and warm the extremities.

Although cinnamon can be used year-round, it is ideal to use it during the colder winter months since it’s considered a warm spice/herb.

Here are some great ways to consider using herbs. Remember: to keep the maximum number of nutrients and flavor of cinnamon, try adding it only at the end of the cooking process.

  • Try sprinkling it in homemade, warmed almond milk sweetened with a little agave nectar or honey.
  • You can add it to your morning oatmeal.
  • How about sprinkling some into warm apple cider?
  • Sprinkle it on sweet potatoes or winter squash.
  • Add it to black beans that you could use for a burrito.
  • Sprinkle some cinnamon on whole grain toast with a drizzle or two of honey or agave nectar.
  • Of course, you can make rice pudding like my grandmother used to make… though I am not sure anybody can make rice pudding like she used to.

Please feel free to add any of your favorite cinnamon recipes!

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