I don't know about you babes, but Cinnamon is one of my absolute FAVORITE spices to add to food. It's super versatile and can be used in so many different ways. Not only does it taste freakin delicious, but it is also an extremely powerful + potent spice that has been used around the world for thousands of years. So basically we're winning already - it's a spice that you'll enjoy eating and cooking with AND it's considered a medicinal herb thanks to it's numerous health benefits. Let's dive into some of the reasons why Cinnamon is an awesome functional food:
1. Decreases your risk of heart disease (It has a positive impact on high cholesterol, triglyceride levels + blood pressure. There is also research that shows Cinnamon actually increases blood circulation while also acting as a great blood coagulant - meaning it helps prevent bleeding by helping your body form blood clots.)
2. Lowers Blood Sugar Levels (This means it can help fight Diabetes by improving your body's sensitivity to insulin. How? Cinnamon actually blocks specific enzymes that allow sugar to be absorbed into the blood.)
3. Helps Fight Infections + Viruses (Cinnamon is anti-microbial, anti-biotic, anti-viral and anti-fungal, which means it can boost your immune system. One of the best ways to fight infections or viruses using Cinnamon is to utilize it in essential oil form.)
4. Jam-packed full of Antioxidants (The health benefits of Cinnamon come from the polyphenols + flavonoids found naturally within it. These antioxidants are protective, meaning they reduce the occurrence of damaging free-radicals and also slow the aging process.)
5. Packs an Anti-inflammatory punch (Our bodies NEED to consume anti-inflammatory foods and spices especially with all of the processed foods and sugars we're exposed to. Many of the chronic illnesses within our society can be prevented or reversed if people begin eating an anti-inflammatory diet. Studies have shown that Cinnamon can reduce swelling and may even help with pain management thanks to the to 7 different kinds of flavonoid compounds found within it.)
6. Prevents + potentially cures Candida (How? Cinnamon's anti-fungal components have shown to be effective in treating Candida overgrowth within the digestive tract.)
*What's Candida? It's essentially an overgrowth of yeast, or a fungal infection. Symptoms can present as a yeast infection, an infection of the skin and nails or oral thrush
7. May decrease your risk of Cancer (This may sound a little crazy to you, BUT like I always say - FOOD IS MEDICINE. Cinnamon can decrease your risk of cancer thanks to it's ability to protect your body from DNA damage, cell mutation and even tumor growth. It even has the potential to cause cancerous cells to self-destruct!)
8. Positively Impacts Dental Health (Studies have shown that Cinnamon can fight + kill the bad bacteria living in your mouth that cause cavities, infections, bad breath and tooth decay. Basically, it can be used as a natural mouth wash - without any added ingredients or chemicals!)
9. Boosts Skin Health (Again, thanks to it's anti-biotic and anti-microbial components, Cinnamon can help treat infections, any skin irritations, rashes, and even allergic reactions. One way I like to use Cinnamon is as a face mask - just mix a little honey in and you're good to go!)
10. Protects Brain Function (Like I mentioned earlier, Cinnamon helps protect against free radicals and DNA damage within the body. By doing this, it actually stops cells from morphing or self-destructing. Bottom line, Cinnamon has a positive impact on the cognitive functions of your brain.)
And one more thing babes - pay attention to the TYPE of Cinnamon you buy. There are two types of Cinnamon, Cassia and Ceylon. It is better to purchase and consume Ceylon over Cassia. Why? Cassia Cinnamon contains high levels of coumarin. Consuming coumarin in small doses is okay, however research has shown that consuming large amounts can cause negative side effects such as liver damage. Ceylon Cinnamon (usually labeled as "true" Cinnamon) contains MUCH lower levels of coumarin, therefore it is definitely the safer/healthier option. Unfortunately, a lot of the conventional brands of Cinnamon you'll find in grocery stores are most likely the Cassia Cinnamon - so take a look at the label or consider ordering it online!
Stay tuned for some of my favorite recipes including Cinnamon!