Get Spicy: Cinnamon

Looking for a way to spice up your holiday season? Look no further! This year we’re spicing things up with something super simple: cinnamon. This cheap and highly available ingredient can be found in your spice cabinet or in nearly every grocery store and with the countless health benefits of it, you’ll be adding cinnamon to nearly everything!

Starting with some of the major benefits…

Cinnamon contains high amounts of anti-inflammatory properties. While inflammation serves an important protective function, it can become problematic-like many other things-when it is in excess . Consuming cinnamon can help reduce high levels of inflammation, resulting in less achy joints and possibly protecting your lungs from excess inflammation.

Cinnamon also contains cinnamate, a compound that can help lower cholesterol. Cinnamate reduces the amount of fatty acids in blood, thus cinnamon can help reduce bad cholesterol (LDL) and raise good cholesterol (HDL) levels.

Because of the compounds that make up cinnamon, it’s understandable that this simple spice can actually help with larger health issues too. In fact, due to the effects cinnamon has on cholesterol, cinnamon can actually help in regulating some of the effects of Diabetes, including blood sugar. Cinnamon’s antioxidant properties have also been linked to protection against dementia by protecting against the oxidative stress playing a key part in this awful disease.

Though not as certain, cinnamon has also been linked to protection against cancer, based on multiple different studies. Cinnamon activates major detoxifying enzymes, which can help reduce the growth of cancerous cells and even reduce the amount of blood vessels forming in tumors. Now, this has been proven to work in animal studies; however, the reach of these effects in humans needs more analysis.

Some of the more surface level benefits of cinnamon can help you look your best! Have bad skin? Good news is that cinnamon has been shown to help stop certain bacterias leading to acne. You can easily make a face mask out of 3 tablespoons of honey and 1 tablespoon of cinnamon, leaving it on for 10 minutes and washing it off for clearer skin.

As fans of cinnamon gum can attest, another benefit of cinnamon is its’ ability to freshen your breath. Cinnamon contains a chemical – cinnamaldehyde – which works to kill oral bacteria, ultimately leaving your breath feeling fresh!

Trends show that now, plump lips are all the hype, but sometimes injections are just not an option. No need to worry! Cinnamon can help to plump up your lips due to its ability to improve blood flow to the skin’s surface. Simply mix a little bit of cinnamon with Vaseline and apply to your lips like a chapstick!

While cinnamon has wonderful benefits to the body, don’t go overboard! A recommended daily dose of cinnamon is between ½ to 1 teaspoon (2-4 grams). Going above the recommended daily dose may result in some nasty side effects, including liver damage, mouth sores, low blood sugar, or even breathing problems. These effects are more likely after 7 grams of cinnamon in one day, so just stay in the 2-4 grams per day range and you’ll be good to go!

After hearing about the benefits, we hope you join us in spicing up our holiday season with cinnamon. Need some ideas on how to incorporate it into your daily life? We find that sprinkled or blended into our morning coffee is simple and easy. Try it on baked sweet potatoes or added in chicken rubs too! And one of our favorites, mix it into a vinaigrette! (Cinnamon Maple Vinaigrette)