We've all heard of cinnamon and more than likely enjoyed its flavor in something sweet or savory. In my opinion, it's one of the healthiest and most delicious spices on the planet! Cinnamon contains high amounts of cinnamaldehyde, which accounts for most of cinnamon's powerful effects on health and metabolism. Here are many reasons to incorporate more cinnamon into your food.
Blood Sugar Balance
Cinnamon supports glucose metabolism after a meal. Cinnamon also supports glucose uptake by the cells and helps maintain blood glucose levels within a normal range. Those with diabetes are more at risk for developing heart disease, so keeping blood sugar under control is crucial for health.
Cinnamaldehyde has properties that promote the body's innate resistance to pathogens and bacteria. This enhances the immune response and supports healthy teeth and gums.
Cinnamon decreases heart disease risk factors, including total cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood pressure.
It’s loaded with powerful antioxidants, such as polyphenols, which specifically support heart health.
Neurodegenerative Disease Benefits
Cinnamon has been shown to lead to various improvements for Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease in animal studies.
Cinnamon’s Use in Traditional Chinese Medicine
Chinese tradition values cinnamon for its warming qualities, and it’s said to invigorate the circulation and energize the body. Cinnamon, in combination with ginger, is often used to maintain a healthy immune system.
Cinnamon’s Versatile Uses
Cinnamon is a tasty addition to homemade bars, fresh apple juicer drinks, and warm drinks. Here are two more delicious ways to incorporate cinnamon...
Apple Cinnamon Maca Energy Bar
1-2 tablespoons maca powder
½ cup walnuts (preferably soaked and dehydrated to increase digestibility)
½ cup almonds (preferably soaked and dehydrated to increase digestibility)
1 cup dates
1 cup dried apples
1½ teaspoons cinnamon
About 1-2 teaspoons water, as needed
1. Add all ingredients to a food processor and blend until the mixture is finely chopped. If the mixture sticks together it’s ready to form into bars.
2. If the mixture is crumbly, it needs more blending or a little moisture. If it’s very dry, turn the food processor on and add one teaspoon of water through the opening in the top. Continue adding water as needed until the mixture sticks together. Somewhere between 1 teaspoon and 2 tablespoons is usually enough.
3. When the mixture is ready, press it onto wax or parchment paper and form into bars.
4. Wrap each bar individually and store in the freezer until needed.
The delicious recipe comes from mommypotamus!
1 glass water (12-16 oz.)
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 dash cayenne pepper
Blend until smooth.
In Health and Happiness,
Kelly Harrington, MS, RDN
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist for Healthy Goods
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Khan A et al. Cinnamon Improves Glucose and Lipids of People with Type 2 Diabetes. Diabetes Care 2003 Dec; 26(12):3215-3218.
Allen R et al. Cinnamon Use in Type 2 Diabetes: An Updated Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Ann Fam Med. 2013 Sep-Oct;11(5):452-9.
Kirkham S et al. The potential of cinnamon to reduce blood glucose levels in patients with type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance. Diabetes Obes Metab. 2009 Dec; 11(12):1100-13.