Blasters, if you aren’t using cinnamon in your Blasts, you're missing out!
Cinnamon is a super antioxidant spice. It has an ORAC score - which measures antioxidant levels - of 131,420. Compare that number to the ORAC score of wild blueberries at 9,621 or cocoa powder at 55,653 for the same amounts. Sure, you'd never have a handful of cinnamon like you would blueberries, but with an ORAC score so high, you've got a good reason to use more cinnamon.
It's so healthy and so enticing, I use it all of the time in a variety of ways. So, let’s take a look at some of the properties of cinnamon, one of my favorite spices!
As I'm writing, I'm sipping on a cup of raw hot chocolate infused with ½ teaspoon of Ceylon cinnamon and raw honey. Yum!
Cinnamon can be used in sweet dishes and in savory dishes. It's very versatile and has a very profound and captivating smell. In the winter, it evokes the power of the Holiday spirit. In the summer, it brings back memories of cooling pies and baked treats.
A very powerful food, cinnamon has been used in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years. Did you know in the Bible, Moses was directed to use cinnamon to make Holy Oil for anointing the sick? Indeed, it's incredible medicinal powers were known even back then!
Cinnamon comes from the bark of a tree. Although there are four main varieties of cinnamon, Ceylon cinnamon and Cassia cinnamon are the most popular. Ceylon cinnamon is not as aggressive in its flavor and can be used in larger quantities, providing greater antioxidant potential. The cinnamon from Ceylon is slightly sweeter, more refined and more difficult to find in local markets. If you're going to consume a lot of cinnamon, I would recommend the Ceylon variety. The other varieties have more of a compound called coumarin, which when consumed in large quantities can damage the liver.
A few of the health benefits of cinnamon
- May support lower and more stable blood sugar levels
- Improves thinking ability
- Can improve mood
- Powerful antioxidant
- May support better and healthier digestion
- May improve blood flow and circulation
- May help prevent Alzheimer’s Disease
- May lower LDL cholesterol
Turns out, the very smell of cinnamon alone may help you think better! Research led by Dr. P. Zoladz at the annual meeting of the Association for Chemoreception Sciences, in Sarasota, FL, found that chewing cinnamon-flavored gum or just smelling cinnamon enhanced study participants’ cognitive processing. No wonder I love the smell!
Recent studies have found that cinnamon may have a beneficial effect on blood sugar. One of the first human studies was published in 2003 in a medical journal called Diabetes Care. Sixty people with type 2 diabetes took 1, 3, or 6 grams of cinnamon in pill form daily, an amount roughly equivalent to one quarter of a teaspoon to 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. After 40 days, all 3 amounts of cinnamon reduced fasting blood glucose by 18-29%, triglycerides by 23-30%, LDL cholesterol by 7-27% and total cholesterol by 12-26%.
Some of the health benefits of cinnamon are not conclusive, particularly those surrounding blood sugar control. More research is needed. You can find more information regarding the confusion of cinnamon studies here.
I use Ceylon cinnamon a few times each day. I use it with honey and raw apple cider vinegar twice a day and in my hot chocolate twice a day.
Enjoy your cinnamon and try using it in a variety of ways. It doesn’t take much to add a flavorful impact.