So you want to lose weight..
As we enter this festive holiday season, we tend to pack in the calories and slow down at the same time. I mean, it’s hard to get that run done when it’s a blistering 30 degrees outside. And same goes for getting to the gym. It’s much easier to just sit on your couch, watch a little bit of TV, and eat your feelings. Or is that just me? If you’re like me, you’re also looking for an easy way to adjust your diet in order to help burn a few extra calories without having to hit the gym on those really cold days.
Cinnamon health benefits
There are many benefits of cinnamon, but some are more myth than fact. I’m going to share some facts on cinnamon with you today and maybe the next time you reach for some hot coffee or tea, you’ll add a sprinkle of cinnamon to it.
- Cinnamon is a good source of antioxidants. It’s a great way to fight not only the common cold, but also viruses, bacterial infections, and fungal infections. “Research shows that cinnamon extract may help fight the HIV virus by preventing the virus from entering cells,” says Parikh. “Therefore, cinnamon extract could potentially contribute to the management of HIV.”
- Cinnamon helps manage Type 2 Diabetes. This superfood helps with insulin sensitivity and glucose transport while decreasing inflammation. Cinnamon works directly on the muscle cells to force them to remove sugar from the bloodstream, where it is converted to energy according to Shane Ellison, a medicinal chemist.
- It can lower LDL (the “bad”) cholesterol and raise HDL (the “good”) cholesterol. It reduces triglycerides and helps mitigate the effects of high-fat meals by slowing the increase in sugar post-meal.
- This ingredient can help treat the symptoms of Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Cinnamon has been shown to help neurons and improve motor function in those suffering from Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s according to Lori Farley, a Certified Nutrition Consultant.
- It can help manage PCOS. There are numerous symptoms that come with polycystic ovarian syndrome, and cinnamon can help due to many characteristics. It helps manage insulin resistance in women with PCOS, which can contribute to weight gain. Cinnamon can also help mitigate heavy menstrual bleeding associated with common conditions of female health, such as endometriosis, menorrhagia, and uterine fibroids.
Just scratching the surface
We are barely seeing the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the benefits of cinnamon. Chinese medicine and Ayurveda have long revered cinnamon for its near superpowers, using it to treat things such as colds, indigestion and cramps. Not to mention using it for its anti-clotting properties as well as cognitive function and memory. These societies also believed cinnamon could improve energy, vitality, and circulation. No wonder we’ve dubbed it a superfood!
Not all cinnamon is created equal..
The most common cinnamon (Cassia cinnamon) in stores is not the best. While it is cheaper and easier to find, it doesn’t hold as many benefits as it’s cousin, Ceylon cinnamon. All cinnamon is made from the inner bark of trees calls Cinnamomum. The distinct smell and flavor of cinnamon is due to the oily part, which is very high in cinnamaldehyde. This compound is responsible for most of the powerful effects listed above.
Disclaimer: Make sure you’re not allergic to cinnamon prior to adding it to your foods and/or drinks. If you are, stay tuned for an alternative to cinnamon article in the coming weeks.
Where to buy
You can find Ceylon cinnamon either at your local health-conscious grocery store or online at the link below.