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Do You Know Cinnamon Is A Powerful Spice That Offers Amazing Health Benefits?

Do You Know Cinnamon Is A Powerful Spice That Offers Amazing Health Benefits?

Cinnamon (Cinnamomum cassia) has been one of the most commonly used ingredient in fragrances, medicine and cooking for ages. It was even used as currency at one point in history. Its rich and warm smell lights up even the coldest of winters, and its slightly spicy taste enhances the flavor of any dish it is added to.

Being a great source of dietary fiber, iron and calcium, cinnamon is truly beneficial to human health, hence it has become extremely popular spice in the healthy dieting circles. Native to Shri Lanka, cinnamon comes from the bark of a tropical evergreen tree, and can be found in rolled sticks, or ground, in powdered form.

There are two types of cinnamon available. The most commonly found is the darker colored, and more bittersweet tasting, cassia type, whereas the Ceylon type is more lighter in color and has a sweeter taste. Some of the most commonly known health benefits of cinnamon include its antioxidant function and the potential to lower blood sugar in people suffering from diabetes.

Cinnamon nutrition profile

1 tbsp of ground cinnamon contains

  • 19 calories
  • 4 grams of fiber
  • 68% manganese
  • 8% calcium
  • 4% iron

With 0 g of sugar or fat, and 3% of vitamin K per 1 tbsp, cinnamon is an excellent ingredient to add to your daily diet due to its positive effect on digestion, immunity, blood sugar levels and heart health. [1]

Cinnamon health benefits

1. Cinnamon works as a great antioxidant

Antioxidant ability of cinnamon was analyzed in a 1999 study [2] where the results showed increased antioxidant enzyme activities in rats that were fed a high fat diet along with cinnamon or cardamom. Cinnamon is rich in polyphenols, phenolic acid, and flavonoids antioxidants that help the body fight the free radicals and decrease the oxidative stress in the body that leads to aging and diseases. [3]

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2. Cinnamon produces anti-inflammatory effects

Active antioxidants in cinnamon produce great anti-inflammatory effects that protect the body from developing serious diseases due to inflammation. [4] [5]

3. Cinnamon may help preserve heart health

Cinnamon could potentially improve heart health since it proved to be effective in the improvement of important factors of good cardiovascular health – cholesterol levels and triglycerides. In a 2003 study [6], type 2 diabetes patients who consumed 1, 3, or 6 g of cinnamon per day showed reduced levels of total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, with stable levels of HDL cholesterol. Additionally, a 2013 study [7] showed even better markers HDL-C (“the good” cholesterol).

4. Cinnamon protects against diabetes

Cinnamon has positive effect on blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetes patients. As a 2009 study [8] shows, significant reductions in blood glucose levels were related to cinnamon intake. Moreover, a number of studies have shown positive impact of cinnamon on blood sugar levels. [9]

5. Cinnamon can prevent neurodegenerative diseases

As a research shows, antioxidant effect of cinnamon can be one of the factors of decreasing the risk of oxidative stress and the aging of brain cells that causes neurological conditions known as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. [10]

6. Cinnamon fights bacteria

Cinnamon is a powerful agent against infections and viruses caused by different bacteria, and it has been traditionally used for these purposes. A 2012 study [11] shows the strong anti-fungus effect of cinnamon’s essential oils against Candida albicans, Candida tropicalis, and Candida krusei.

7. Cinnamon improves oral health

Cinnamon anti-microbial effects were tested for effectiveness against causes of dental caries and were shown even more effective than clove oil. [12] Additionally, cinnamon provides a powerful solution for protecting against bad breadth. [13]

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Does Cinnamon have any side effects?

Even though cinnamon is highly beneficial to the human health, some precautions must be taken, especially for high dosages. Higher amounts of cinnamon can cause sore and irritations of the mouth and the lips. Also, it can sometimes cause irritation and redness of the skin.

People with liver problems should be specifically cautious, as higher levels of cinnamon intake can cause toxicity.

As previously noted, cinnamon reduces the blood sugar levels, which asks for caution with diabetic patients who are undergoing treatment and take cinnamon supplements.

Cinnamon intake is not recommended for children as well as pregnant and breastfeeding women.

It is crucial that you consult your doctor for exact cinnamon supplements intake recommendations as they could react with antibiotics, heart medicines, blood thinners and diabetic drugs.

Recommended daily intake

As mentioned earlier, cinnamon has great potential to help fight diabetes and cardiovascular diseases as it tested positive for aiding insulin function, reducing blood glucose levels [14] [15] [16] and regulating lipid metabolism. [17]

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Children, pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid cinnamon intake due to insufficient research regarding its potential toxicity.

The suggested dose of cinnamon for diabetic patients is 1-6 g per day, with Ceylon cinnamon being a better option due to lower levels of coumarin, a hepatotoxic and carcinogenic phytochemical. [18]

What to look for when buying cinnamon

As mentioned earlier, there are two types of cinnamon, the more easily found and less expensive Cassia cinnamon, and the Ceylon cinnamon that is supposed to have more health benefits, but is not so easily found. When purchasing cinnamon, pay attention to the type of it, and if it isn’t stated, it usually means that it is Cassia cinnamon.

While cinnamon sticks are the better choice, it is tricky to grate them yourself into a perfect powder most of the recipes require. When buying a powder, pay attention to the smell of it, since it is an indicator of its freshness.

Cinnamon recipes for you to try at home

Homemade Almond Butter with Honey & Cinnamon

    Super easy to make, sweet and healthy butter to spice up your breakfast toast.

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    Chicken Stewed with Tomatoes, Cinnamon & Preserved Lemon

      Amazingly rich and spicy twist to your regular dinner.

      Cinnamon-Hazelnut Pavlova with Coconut Cream

        Healthy, light and delightful cinnamon desert.

        Featured photo credit: Pixabay via pixabay.com

        Reference

        [1] SOURCE: Cinnamon and health.
        [2] SOURCE: Anti-oxidant effects of cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum) bark and greater cardamom (Amomum subulatum) seeds in rats fed high fat diet.
        [3] SOURCE: Cinnamon: A Multifaceted Medicinal Plant
        [4] SOURCE:Influence of ginger and cinnamon intake on inflammation and muscle soreness endued by exercise in Iranian female athletes.
        [5] SOURCE: Anti-inflammatory activity of cinnamon (C. zeylanicum and C. cassia) extracts – identification of E-cinnamaldehyde and o-methoxy cinnamaldehyde as the most potent bioactive compounds.
        [6] SOURCE: Cinnamon improves glucose and lipids of people with type 2 diabetes.
        [7] SOURCE: Cinnamon use in type 2 diabetes: an updated systematic review and meta-analysis.
        [8] SOURCE: The potential of cinnamon to reduce blood glucose levels in patients with type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance.
        [9] SOURCE: Cinnamon: A Multifaceted Medicinal Plant
        [10] SOURCE: Cinnamon: A Multifaceted Medicinal Plant
        [11] SOURCE: Mechanisms, clinically curative effects, and antifungal activities of cinnamon oil and pogostemon oil complex against three species of Candida.
        [12] SOURCE: Comparative study of cinnamon oil and clove oil on some oral microbiota.
        [13] SOURCE: Short-term germ-killing effect of sugar-sweetened cinnamon chewing gum on salivary anaerobes associated with halitosis.
        [14] SOURCE: The potential of cinnamon to reduce blood glucose levels in patients with type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance.
        [15] SOURCE: Cinnamon supplementation in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.
        [16] SOURCE: Effects of a cinnamon extract on plasma glucose, HbA, and serum lipids in diabetes mellitus type 2.
        [17] SOURCE: Cinnamon improves glucose and lipids of people with type 2 diabetes.
        [18] SOURCE: Solvent-assisted supercritical fluid extraction for the isolation of semivolatile flavor compounds from the cinnamons of commerce and their separation by series-coupled column gas chromatography

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        Last Updated on September 16, 2019

        How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

        How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

        You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

        We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

        The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

        Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

        1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

        Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

        For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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        • (1) Research
        • (2) Deciding the topic
        • (3) Creating the outline
        • (4) Drafting the content
        • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
        • (6) Revision
        • (7) etc.

        Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

        2. Change Your Environment

        Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

        One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

        3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

        Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

        Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

        My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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        Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

        4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

        If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

        Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

        I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

        5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

        I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

        Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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        As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

        6. Get a Buddy

        Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

        I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

        7. Tell Others About Your Goals

        This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

        For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

        8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

        What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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        9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

        If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

        Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

        10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

        Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

        Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

        11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

        At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

        Reality check:

        I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

        More About Procrastination

        Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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