Over the years I’ve always been a fan of cinnamon. As a kid growing up, I loved the heat of cinnamon hearts on Valentine’s Day and my choice of chewing gum was always cinnamon flavor. Since studying holistic nutrition at the Institute of Holistic Nutrition, I quickly learned that cinnamon hearts and flavored gum needed healthy replacements. No problem! Knowing that cinnamon is high in fiber, I decided to use cinnamon not only because it tastes great but also for its ability to keep my system clean. Adding cinnamon to muffins and smoothies became a new healthy habit and a great way to create tasty and healthy desserts and snacks. Cinnamon also has an amazing effect on improving vitality. Yes, my workouts became stronger because cinnamon improves blood circulation and, what a bonus, it also brings down cholesterol levels. I guess with cleaner arteries there is more room for blood to flow!
Let’s undress cinnamon to see why it looks so good naked!
Cinnamon is a good source of vitamin A, beta carotene, iron, calcium, manganese, and dietary fiber.
Cinnamon is high in fiber
Trying to get your daily fiber in and finding plain ground flaxseeds are getting a little boring? Mixing in 1 teaspoon with 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseeds to your breakfast smoothie will add another 1.24g of spicy heart-healthy fiber. Not only does cinnamon help clean your intestines, if also helps to control Candida and bad bacteria (such as H.Pylori).
Cinnamon helps bring down cholesterol levels and improves blood flow
Cinnamon has been shown to reduce cholesterol levels. Armed with a powerful phytonutrient, cinnamon steps into the blood stream and like a bouncer at a dance club where a fight just broke out and everyone’s clumped together to watch, Cinnamon steps in and breaks up blood components (called platelets, you probably know of them!) that are clumping together. Single file everyone! Cinnamon therefore keeps the blood flowing smoothly preventing blood clots, heart attacks as well as strokes.
Cinnamon is great in a pre-workout smoothie to aid in blood delivery to the cells
Since cinnamon helps keep blood flowing smoothly and keeps junk from building up on the artery walls, you’ll want to reap the benefits of cinnamon in your smoothies, especially pre-workout!
Cinnamon contains iron
Cinnamon also has iron. Iron is also an important component of blood because it helps deliver oxygen to every cell in our body. With more oxygen, we have more energy. With cleaner arteries, we have more blood flow containing more oxygen, providing larger amounts of fuel for energy.
Cinnamon also improves insulin sensitivity
There are compounds in cinnamon that help to balance blood sugar levels. Current research shows that 1g per day of cinnamon (approximately 1/4- 1/2 teaspoon) produces about a 20% drop in blood sugar levels. The sugar in the blood is used to produce energy in our cells. If sugar is not allowed in the cell, we call this ‘insulin resistance’ then the amount of sugar in our blood starts to collect and increase. Because it is just sitting around in our blood and our cells aren’t able to use it, our bodies then start to store it as fat. This is how too much sugar starts to lead to Type II diabetes (also known as insulin resistance). Insulin helps encourage the cells to let sugar in the blood inside. Cinnamon helps by improving insulin sensitivity by 20%, encouraging our cell’s to let more sugar in. With our blood sugar levels being lower and more stable, we are now able to use the sugar for energy therefore increasing weightloss ability and improving energy levels.
Cinnamon is a delicious spice, add it to desserts, fruits and teas
Did I mention that cinnamon is great on desserts? It makes a great substitute for sugar. It adds a little extra kick to your taste buds and a little extra pump in the gym. Next time you have a chance and you’re a fan of smoothies, like myself, throw in a dash of cinnamon. Sprinkle it on top of your herbal teas (especially chai). Make your dehydrated banana chips shine with a dash of cinnamon.
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