Cinnamon is a super powerful (and delicious!) food that you should consume more of, starting today. This powerful spice has been an important part of human history since Biblical times when it was considered as precious as gold. Convinced yet? If not, check out the following seven benefits of cinnamon you didn’t know about.

1. Shiny teeth and a healthy, attractive smile

Have you ever noticed that gums, toothpastes, breath-mints, and mouthwashes typically have a cinnamon flavor? Although this is due in part to the simple fact that cinnamon is quite delicious, there’s more to the story: cinnamon gets rid of harmful bacteria in your mouth, preventing tooth decay and gum disease.

2. Naturally lighten your beautiful hair

Instead of using chemical-laden bleach that can damage your hair, try combining cinnamon with olive oil and honey to naturally lighten your hair. Check out the video below for a full tutorial if you’d like to beautify your hair!

3. Boost your immunity from colds and stomachaches

Cinnamon has been used as a cold remedy and digestive aid throughout history. It can provide relief from indigestion, flatulence, heartburn, stomach cramps, and other digestive problems that make you say, “ew.”

Do bear in mind that eating a Cinnabon won’t exactly do much to help you (quite the opposite!), but you could drop a stick of cinnamon in a hot cup of herbal tea to calm your stomach and boost your immunity from sickness.

4. Regulates blood sugar

Research suggests that cinnamon could provide a helpful assist to folks with type 2 diabetes if used in conjunction with regular treatment, healthy eating, and an exercise plan. In addition, a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that a teaspoon of cinnamon helped tame blood sugar in people without diabetes.

Cinnamon’s reduction on blood sugar should lead to reduced sugar cravings, which is a plus for anyone hoping to lose weight. To start your day right, add cinnamon and a splash of milk to your morning coffee in place of the sugar and artificial creamer. Your waistline will thank you (and it is incredibly delicious, promise!).

5. Increased energy, focus and alertness

Several studies have shown that the invigorating scent of cinnamon oil provides a powerful boost to brain power that increases energy, focus, and alertness. Also, research presented by the Association for Chemoreception Sciences in 2004 found that chewing cinnamon flavored gum boosted the concentration of study participants. A USDA study found that cinnamon can prevent swelling of the brain and it is theorized that cinnamon could prevent Alzheimer’s disease.

6. Fewer bugs to bite you

A 2004 study in Taiwan found that cinnamon oil kills mosquito hatchlings. It isn’t yet known whether cinnamon also repels bugs or not, but if you’ve got a bug problem, use cinnamon for an environmentally friendly poison to rid yourself of the bugs that make you itch.

7. Soothe your aching muscles

A study published in the International Journal of Preventive Medicine took a look at the potential healing powers of cinnamon and ginger by observing how these spices affected women who competed in the martial arts. Study participants were divided into three groups, with one group receiving three grams of powdered ginger per day, the second receiving three grams of powdered cinnamon per day, and the last group receiving a placebo powder. Both the ginger and cinnamon groups experienced decreased muscle soreness that was significant in comparison to the placebo group, making it clear that cinnamon can help you recover from exercise training. To step up your fitness game, check out these five fitness and nutrition hacks to build muscle fast.

How can you increase your cinnamon intake?

Now that you know all about the surprising benefits of cinnamon, here are some easy (and delicious!) ways you can sprinkle more cinnamon in your life for increased health and wellness:

  • Use cinnamon and a splash of milk in your coffee in place of sugar and artificial creamer
  • Sprinkle a dash of cinnamon on your oatmeal, wheat toast, or yogurt
  • Drop a teaspoon of cinnamon in a cup of herbal tea
  • Add a bit of cinnamon to butter or cheese you use in cooking for a unique and interesting taste experience

Do you have any other creative ideas about healthy recipes using cinnamon? If so, please share them in the comments so you can help our other readers *and* show us how smart and crafty you are!

By the way, how often do you drink lemon water? 11 Benefits of Lemon Water You Didn’t Know About

Featured photo credit: Håkan Dahlström via Flickr

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