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Amazing Benefits Of Cinnamon (+5 Refreshing Recipes)

Amazing Benefits Of Cinnamon (+5 Refreshing Recipes)

We are very familiar with cinnamon as a spice used all around the world, but did you know that cinnamon actually has a lot of proven health benefits? This fine spice has been used for millennia—there are records of cinnamon in the diets of people who lived in ancient Egypt and India. Furthermore, old Chinese recipes include cinnamon, underlining its undisputable benefits for a healthy life.

A German study has shown that cinnamon indeed has many properties that have a relieving effect on an array of health issues. Cinnamon acts as an anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial medicine, as well as having a mild effect on the cardiovascular system, among other uses.

Although originally from Southeast Asia, cinnamon has conquered the whole world. If you’re interested in understanding why this is, check out our list of 10 amazing benefits of cinnamon.

Disputed benefits of cinnamon

Before we start our list, we would like to point out that cinnamon has made its way into the lore of many cultures. This spice has achieved great fame throughout the centuries, and there are naturally many myths and legends surrounding the capabilities of cinnamon.

One of the biggest debates has risen from the belief that cinnamon can induce the creation of insulin and in other ways help those suffering from diabetes. Probably the most significant problem is the lack of serious medical research on humans. There was a review done in Sri Lanka (the most famous producer of cinnamon) about various studies done on animals, and the results, although encouraging, were inconclusive because of the lack of clinical trials.

The U.S. Department of Health has noted a lack of studies in people that can support the use of cinnamon in treating any medical condition. Nevertheless, there are still many health benefits that cinnamon has to offer that have stood the test of time—the most important test of all.

1. Anti-inflammation

One of the most prominent assets of cinnamon is that it is an anti-inflammatory partly thanks to cinnamaldehyde (a substance that can be found in cinnamon). An Iranian study has proven that cinnamon can reduce inflammation and muscle soreness.

Because of its ability to lower swelling and inflammation, cinnamon can be very beneficial in managing various kinds of pain, such as PMS pain, allergy-related pain, and many types of pain related to aging.

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Chronic inflammation can be a cause for the development of acute neurodegenerative diseases (Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, meningitis, etc.). This may be why in Asia, where spices are regularly consumed, certain neurodegenerative diseases aren’t as common as in the US.

2. Boosting brain power

As recent researchers imply, there seems to be a direct link between the scent of cinnamon and brain functionality. More accurately, cinnamon scent improves attention span, recognition memory, visual-motoric capabilities (response speed), and working memory.

The scent of cinnamon has even surpassed the famed peppermint and jasmine when it comes to boosting cognitive function.

An interesting fact about cinnamon is that cinnamon-flavored gum delivers the same benefits when chewed. It may seem a bit unrealistic, but chewing cinnamon can really make you smarter.

3. Soothing for sore throats

Soothing a sore throat or “coating” is a wish made by anyone who has ever come down with a cold. Did you know that cinnamon can be a real help in these situations?

The method is quite simple. Take a few cinnamon sticks and soak them in water for a short period of time. If you do it right, you will create a cinnamon water filled with a type of fiber called mucilage. The mucilage is what coats your throat as it dissolves in the water to relieve your throat pain.

Cinnamon can also help people suffering from bacterial infections that are commonly found in the throat due to its antibacterial capabilities. Centuries-old traditional Chinese medicine has long been using cinnamon as a cure for phlegmy coughs.

4. Antibacterial properties

Cinnamon is an impressive and potent antibacterial agent. According to a recent study conducted in Hong Kong, cinnamon sticks have strong antibacterial properties that are effective against foodborne bacteria. It has been proven that cinnamon can be used to preserve food even when it comes to dangerous bacteria like Salmonella and Escherichia coli.

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The same properties are possible to exploit to defend the human body from illnesses. The secret lies within cinnamon oils that are used in many cultures to boost the immune system with a natural way to fight harmful infections.

Cinnamon oils are so powerful in boosting immunity that scientists are conducting studies surrounding the possibility of it reducing the risk of contracting HIV.

5. Steady supply of antioxidants

Antioxidants are molecules that inhibit the oxidation process within other molecules. In layman’s terms, antioxidants act as a safety against cellular damage, thus slowing down the aging process. There are 41 different types of antioxidants that scientists have found in cinnamon.

On the scale used to measure the amounts of antioxidants in various foods (the OTAC scale), cinnamon ranks number 7 of all types of food, spice, and herbs anywhere on the planet. When compared to other spices, cinnamon has more antioxidants than garlic, rosemary, and oregano, which are all famous for being very healthy.

When it comes to cinnamon, most of the health benefits come from polyphenols, phenolic acid, and flavonoids.

6. Breath freshener

It is proven that the extracts from cinnamon can protect your mouth against bacteria that are the main cause of tooth decay, cavities, mouth infections, and bad breath. Essential oils made from cinnamon act as a natural mouthwash with antibacterial properties.

Cinnamon, much like peppermint, is used as a natural flavor that is added to chewing gums because of its mouth refreshing capabilities. By fighting oral bacteria, cinnamon removes bad breath naturally without the need to use any unhealthy chemicals. This is the reason why traditional medicine uses cinnamon to cure toothaches and mouth sores.

Beauty products, shampoos, and perfumes also have portions of cinnamon because of its health benefits and pleasant smell.

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7. Treatment or prevention of candida

Long it was suspected that because of its anti-fungal properties, cinnamon could be very effective in battling with candida growth in the digestive tract. Scientists have confirmed that cinnamon lowers the amounts of Candida Albicans (yeast responsible for candida overgrowth) that can cause damage to the digestive and autoimmune symptoms.

Also, by reducing the levels of blood sugar, cinnamon indirectly lessens the risk of candida.

Researchers have confirmed that patients who were given cinnamon extracts and essential oils showed reduced levels of candida and an improvement in symptoms. By improving the immune system and fighting inflammation in the body, cinnamon reduces the risk of candida-related illnesses.

8. Cinnamon improves skin health

Daily application of oil that contains cinnamon essence can provide a mild solution to irritation, skin allergies, and all kinds of inflammation. When combined with honey, cinnamon makes a very popular and efficient mixture (which can be used as food as well), which will help you feel much better regardless of the skin problem that you might be having. When brought down to a molecular level, cinnamon’s essence bonds with the skin molecules efficiently, thus providing a sensation of relaxation in the tissue. Many cosmetic issues can be solved with cinnamon—rosacea, pimples, and marks from scars.

9. Cinnamon keeps allergies at bay

Thanks to the advantages of the cinnamon’s compounds, studies have concluded that those with allergies can finally find relief. It’s been confirmed that cinnamon is effective in fighting against common allergy symptoms since it reduces infection and fights against histamine effects in the body. Also, for the same reason, it prevents symptoms of asthma attacks. Cinnamon is also beneficial for digestive health, and it has immune-boosting abilities, which assist in cutting down on autoimmune reactions that can affect the body after consuming common allergens.

10. Cinnamon lowers your LDL (bad cholesterol)

Cinnamon reduces the effects of fat-saturated meals in junk food, which makes those occasional binges not so dangerous. With just one small spoon of cinnamon before your junk meal, you’ll have a lessened reaction and reduced cholesterol. Cinnamon does this by growing the levels of HDL (good) cholesterol in the blood and reducing the presence of bad cholesterol, LDL. This is achieved by affecting the blood glucose and the way your body processes it. Both diabetes patients and people with higher cholesterol can experience a multitude of benefits from adding cinnamon to their diets.

Bonus: 5 Refreshing Recipes

Cinnamon Dolce Iced Coffee

Benefits of Cinnamon - Bonus recipe - Dolce Iced Coffee

    via Kitchentreaty.com

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    Cinnamon Ice Cream

    Cinnamon-Ice-Cream

      via Shariblogs.com

      Chocolate-Cinnamon Pudding with Raspberries

      shutterstock_170382518

        Cinnamon Rice Milk

        shutterstock_70402096

          Freezer Cinnamon Rolls

          Bonus Recipe - Cinnamon rolls

            via Myrecipes.com

            Featured photo credit: Chamille White via shutterstock.com

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            Dejan Kvrgic

            Blogger, Writer

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            Last Updated on May 21, 2019

            13 Bad Habits You Need to Quit Right Away

            13 Bad Habits You Need to Quit Right Away

            Creating your productivity ritual — a routine that helps you to maintain a peak level of energy can get you the best out of your days.

            Part of creating your productivity routine involves removing activities that drain you (what I call “kryptonites”), and that includes your bad habits.

            Like it or not, bad habits are bad for you — mentally, physically, emotionally and even socially in some cases. While some bad habits are harder to quit than others, it doesn’t change the fact that you need to get rid of them. Here are 13 bad habits to quit right away:

            1. Stress Eating

            I used to be a serious stress eater. I would eat whenever I felt unhappy, stressed, disappointed, anxious, or even… happy! My eating had nothing to do with being hungry, and everything to do with using food to fill my emotional voids.

            While eating would comfort me, this feeling was momentary and would disappear right after I was done eating. Instead, what I had left would be the same emotional void that triggered me to eat in the first place (be it unhappiness or stress), a 2,000 excess calorie intake over what I should have eaten for the day, and anger at myself for having stress ate.

            I’ve since overcome stress eating. I have healthy eating habits and a healthy relationship with food today where I no longer use food as a tool to fill my emotions.

            If you are a stress eater, don’t fret — here’s how to manage your stress better:

            How to Manage Stress (A Step-by-Step Guide to Turn Stress Into Success)

            2. Nail Biting

            Not only is nail biting unhygienic, it is also socially repelling, leads to dental problems like malocclusion of the anterior teeth,[1] potentially cause stomach problems,[2] and lead to severely deformed fingernails in the long run.

            People who bite their nails tend to have shorter nails than the average person; their nail plates also experience scarring and may eventually become absent.[3]

            Understand what triggers your nail biting behavior and replace it with another neutral to positive habit. Make habits to break habits.

            For example, if you bite your nails when you are stressed, go for a walk or listen to music instead the next time you feel stressed.

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            3. Hanging out with Naysayers

            We all know these people — people who play devil’s advocate to every idea you have and every goal you want to pursue. We are already our greatest self-critics, so it doesn’t help when there’s someone beside us, ever ready to pounce on what we say and tear it down.

            Hang out less with these naysayers and spend more time with supportive people who share constructive feedback instead. You will be much happier this way.

            Learn how to get rid of naysayers with these 10 Ways to Ignore the Naysayers and Achieve Your Dreams.

            4. Being with People Who Don’t Appreciate You

            Haven’t all of us been in this situation before? Trying to please people who don’t appreciate us? Bending over backwards to be there for people when they are never there for us?

            While we give without expectations of return, we need to draw a line with people who don’t value us because these people damage our souls.

            Stop spending time with people who don’t appreciate you, and spend more time with people who do instead.

            Unsure who you should get rid of? Learn about it here: 5 Kinds of Toxic People That You Need to Get Rid of Now

            5. Smoking

            Smoking is one of the leading causes of preventable death globally.[4]

            In just the United States alone, about 500,000 deaths are attributed to smoking-related diseases annually. A recent study estimated that as much as one-third of China’s male population will have significantly shortened life-spans due to smoking! Gender-wise, male and female smokers lose an average of 13.2 and 14.5 years of life respectively — that’s over a decade of life right there.[5]

            Not only that, smoking causes pre-mature skin aging (i.e. wrinkles), yellowing of teeth, bad breath, and worse of all — jeopardy of the health of people around you, including your loved ones. Studies have shown that non-smokers exposed to second-hand smoke are at risk to many of the health problems associated with direct smoking.[6]

            Smoking risks

              6. Excessive Drinking

              All of us know that drinking too much alcohol is bad for us, but do you know how bad it really is?

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              According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, drinking too much — be it on a single occasion or over time — can seriously damage your health:[7]

              • Brain problems: Alcohol interferes with the brain’s communication pathways, making it harder to think clearly and move with coordination.
              • Heart diseases: Cardiomyopathy – Stretching and drooping of heart muscle, Arrhythmias – Irregular heart beat, stroke, high blood pressure
              • Liver diseases: Steatosis or fatty liver, alcoholic hepatitis, fibrosis, cirrhosis
              • Pancreas problems: Pancreatitis, a dangerous inflammation and swelling of the blood vessels in the pancreas that prevents proper digestion.
              • Different types of cancer: Mouth, esophagus, throat, liver, breast

              If you drink a lot, perhaps cutting it out right away will be tough. Cut down the number of glasses you drink each time, followed by the number of times you drink a week.

              If need be, seek help from an AA group — you aren’t alone in this. Change starts from today.

              7. Eating Junk Food (Including Diet Soda)

              Junk food — they are everywhere in our society today. From McDonald’s, to KFC, to Burger King, to 24-hour takeouts, junk food such as fries, highly processed burgers and sodas has become a staple in our society today.

              If you think, “Hey, but junk food is tasty!”, think again:

              A study by Paul Johnson and Paul Kenny suggests that junk food consumption alters brain activity in a way similar to addictive drugs like cocaine and heroin.[8]

              “After many weeks with unlimited access to junk food, the pleasure centers of rat brains became desensitized, requiring more food for pleasure.”

              And you wonder why you seem to crave fast food when you just had some the day before?

              While it may not be possible to remove junk food completely from our diet right away, we can reduce our junk food consumption starting today. Instead of soda, opt for a fruit juice (fresh juice, not the carbonated kind) or mineral water. Instead of fries, switch to mashed potato, a salad, or rice (many food outlets allow for this today). Instead of a fried meat patty, go for a grilled one.

              Where possible, opt for healthy food joints like salad bars and delis as opposed to fast food outlets. Every little step goes a long way.

              Here’re some healthy snacks ideas for you: 15 Healthy Snacks You Should Always Have At Home

              8. Eating Too Much Red Meat

              There has been conclusive evidence that consumption of red meat increases the risk of colorectal cancer; and suggestive evidence that it increases the risk of oesophageal cancer, lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, and endometrial cancer.

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              In addition, some studies have linked consumption of large quantities of red meat with breast cancer, stomach cancer, lymphoma, bladder cancer, lung cancer and prostate cancer![9]

              Personally, I’m a vegetarian so I don’t consume red meat, but for those of you who consume red meat, do watch out and limit your intake — better still, cut it out of your diet. World Cancer Research Fund recommends limiting intake of red meat to less than 300g (11 oz) cooked weight per week, “very little, if any of which to be processed.”

              Of if you’re thinking about becoming a vegetarian, check out this guide: 5 Practical Tips For Starting a Vegetarian Lifestyle

              9. Watching Too Much TV

              I stopped watching TV since eight years ago and I have never regretted it. Every once in a while I will switch on the telly to see what is on, and then I will switch it off because it’s just the same boring shtick over and over again.

              Watching TV, particularly well-written dramas, can be a good way to unwind. However, remember that TV isn’t your life.

              Spending three hours every night watching TV will not change your life for the better. Rather, using that time to reflect on your life, take stock, and take action on your goals will.

              It’s not easy to remove TV from your daily routine right away, but follow these 6 Steps To Remove TV From Your Life.

              10. Being Late

              Not only is being late being rude to others, it also means that you’re always rushing from one place to another, playing catch up in your agenda, and having to apologize to every person you meet.

              Stop being late and not being punctual, but practice being early instead. Target to arrive 15 minutes earlier before any appointment and bring along something to do in those 15 minutes (or longer if the other person turns out to be late). Then you can stop playing catch up and stay ahead in life.

              Learn more tips about how to be more punctual here: How to Be On Time Every Time

              11. Being in Bad Relationships

              Are you always dating the wrong guys/girls? Do you end up with jerks all the time? Well, you may not be able to stop yourself from meeting bad partners but you can certainly stop yourself from furthering contact with them, spending time with them, or even… entering into a relationship with them.

              I used to invest myself in this guy who was nothing but toxic for me. After a good five months of experiencing nothing but getting burned over and over again, I realized that he was a total waste of my time and I deserved better. I decided to cut him off, and it was soon after that I met my soulmate.

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              Learn about why you shouldn’t stay in a bad relationship and how to deal with it if you’re in one: Why Trying Hard to Stay in an Unhappy Relationship Is Not Love, but Fear

              12. Leaving Things to the Last Minute

              Burning the midnight oil isn’t fun — it’s exhausting.

              Those of you who got through college by burning the midnight oil would have learned this the hard way. Not only is it damaging for your body, it is also mentally draining as you’re constantly in a hyper-tense mode, feeling anxious about whether you can finish your work on time.

              Start today on a new note. Rather than react to your deadlines, be proactive about them by planning ahead, identifying what needs to be done for the week, and getting things done in advance.

              By staying ahead of your tasks, you can also use your extra time to plan ahead in your life and get more things done.

              Take a look at this guide and learn how to stop procrastinating: Procrastination – A Step-By-Step Guide to Stop Procrastinating

              13. Focusing on the Negatives

              In every situation, there are two ways you can react: zoom down to the problem areas and crib about how things aren’t the way you want, or celebrate the areas that are going well and work on making everything better.

              Many of us see the importance of doing the latter but in practice, we do the former. Why though? Criticizing and focusing on the negatives is easy but it doesn’t empower nor inspire us to be better.

              Make a change — for every negative encounter you run into, I challenge you to identify three things that are good about it. Practice doing this for one week, and by the end of the week you’ll find that your first instinct is to think positive, not negative.

              And here’re even more ways to help you stay positive: 11 Tips for Maintaining your Positive Attitude

              The Bottom Line

              So here you find the 13 most common bad habits and their consequences on your mind and body. The good news’ you can quit them all.

              Just spot out your own bad habits and take my suggestions to quit them. Then you’ll find your life a lot healthier and happier!

              Need more tips to break your bad habits? Check out these articles:

              Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

              Reference

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