I love cinnamon—it’s one of my favourite spices as it adds warmth and a hint of sweetness to both sweet and savoury dishes without overpowering the tastebuds. Yet, beyond it’s wonderful flavour and aroma are powerful and varied health giving properties, also cinnamon can help with weight loss.
CINNAMON: BLOOD SUGAR AND BAD CHOLESTEROL
One of the active ingredients in cinnamon appears to mimic insulin by helping cells absorb glucose and helps certain cells to turn glucose into glycogen—the role usually undertaken by insulin. This has proven helpful for people with Type II Diabetes and, as regular readers of Healthy Food will know, controlling your blood sugar levels is also at the heart of becoming and staying slim. Studies of people with Type II Diabetes who added cinnamon to their diet also showed a reduction of LDL (bad) cholesterol and reduced blood pressure.
Cinnamon is a naturally sweet spice. This allows you to add it to food and drink without having to add other forms of sweetness—or at least reducing the amount of sweetness you need.
CINNAMON’S OTHER HEALTH BENEFITS
Cinnamon is packed full of phytonutrients which can help the body in many different ways.
Antibacterial properties: Cinnamon can help prevent the overgrowth of yeast, such as candida.
High level of antioxidants: Cinnamon contains a high level of antioxidants which can help stop the damage done by free radicals in the body. Free radicals are oxygen molecules that have lost an electron. In this state they ricochet wildly, causing damage to cells until they can stabilise themselves by grabbing an electron to replace the lost one. However, this process can lead to the creation of another free radical. Antioxidants help stabilise free radicals by donating an electron without creating a new free radical.
Anti-inflammatory properties: Cinnamon’s phytonutrients may be helpful in reducing the pain and stiffness of muscles, joints and menstrual pain.
Digestive aid: Cinnamon may help reduce abdominal discomfort if you feel bloated and full of gas. It may also help relieve nausea as it contains properties called catechins.
HOW TO GAIN THE BENEFITS CINNAMON
This is the easy part: simply add it to your favourite food and drinks. It has been shown that cinnamon in powder form is more bio-available to the body than any expensive cinnamon oils. See related posts for my favourite recipes that contains cinnamon.