Photo: Cinnamon: sticks (ceylon cinnamon from Sri Lanka), powder, and flowers. Created from 31 images stacked with CombineZP. Photo: Simon A. Eugster, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
For more than 3,000 years, cinnamon has done the body good—and now a new study presented at the American Heart Association conference this week back it up. The wonder spice may lessen the damage of high fat diets by activating the body’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory systems and slowing the fat-storing process.
In a 12-week study, scientists fed rats a high-fat diet along with cinnamon supplements, and discovered that those rats had less belly fat and healthier levels of sugar, insulin, and fat in their blood than the rats that did not receive the supplement. Researchers conclude that cinnamon may reduce the effects of a high-fat diet.
Describes cinnamon, cassia according to geographical locations: Ceylon, Batavia, China, Saigon. From pices, their nature and growth, the vanilla bean, a talk on tea (1915). Courtesy McCormick and company/Wikimedia Commons.
This is just the latest study to support the health benefits of this ancient spice, one that has long been highly prized for both its taste and its healing properties. It was once considered more valuable than gold—because, as the ancestors understood, the greatest wealth is good health. Today, in a world filled with chronic, degenerative disease and questionable healthcare, this is more true than ever.
The sweet-hot seasoning is cultivated from the leaves and bark of the cinnamon tree, rolled into strips that are either sold whole or ground up for sprinkling. Among its many proven health benefits are:
Treatment of Type 2 Diabetes
Cinnamon forces muscles cells to remove sugar from the bloodstream and has been show to lower fasting blood level up to 29%.
Lower LDL Cholesterol
Cinnamon helps to remove LDL cholesterol from the body and reduces triglycerides, helping to process the debilitating effects of consuming too many unhealthy fats on the circulatory system.
Antifungal, Antibacterial, and Antiviral Properties
Cinnamon fights to win. It was used back in the Middle Ages to prevent food spoilage, killing fungal, bacterial, and bacterial elements that live off dead food.
Cinnamon can reduce systemic and specific inflammation, helping to address a fundamental cause of chronic disease. By adding cinnamon to your diet, you can keep your body alkaline, reducing the acidity of foods and making them easier for your body to digest and consume.
Oatmeal with Blueberries, by The Culinary Geek, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
The best part of cinnamon? It tastes good and it pairs well with lots of foods.
Unlike many other healthy foods, it’s not an acquired taste or inherently off-putting. You can sprinkle it anywhere: on fruits like apples, oranges, peaches and plums; in your coffee and on your chocolate; on cakes, pies, breads, pancakes, waffles, oatmeal, breads, and doughnuts—or even toast with butter, for breakfast or dessert. It pairs with dairy produces like yogurt and cottage cheese, and can even be added to select meat dishes like lamb and chicken. Mix it with some honey for the ultimate treat. With cinnamon, the sky is the limit. Bon appetit!
Miss Rosen is a journalist covering art, photography, culture, and books. Her byline has appeared in L’Uomo Vogue, Vogue Online, Whitewall, The Undefeated, Dazed Digital, Jocks and Nerds, and L’Oeil de la Photographie. Follow her on Twitter @Miss_Rosen.