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7 Amazing Benefits of Cinnamon You May Not Know About

7 Amazing Benefits of Cinnamon You May Not Know About

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!

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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.

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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.

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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:

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  • 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!

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Daniel Wallen

Daniel is a writer who focuses on blogging about happiness and motivation at Lifehack.

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Last Updated on July 8, 2020

18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

The act of writing in a journal often seems daunting or unnecessary to many people. Even authors who work on novels might shun the idea of daily diaries. What purpose does jotting down words on a regular basis do if not contributing to the next novel, play or song? I know from experience many benefits of journaling that I wish to share.

1. Understand Yourself Better

Though many people and even writers avoid keeping journals, I vow to do it more often. Not only do I desire to take up daily journaling but also I plan to do it with pen to paper.

Some of the benefits I’ve found from my more active days include finding myself in the sense of understanding what matters to me and what I want out of life. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to find a spouse who is my best friend and advocate in raising children. I attribute this and much more to what I learned about myself in keeping journals for years.

2. Keep Track of Small Changes

I’ll admit that I never got very far with my guitar lessons, but in writing in a journal, I have seen the ability to track small changes like those that come when you practice anything.

Those learning a musical instrument often fail to see the small improvements that come with regular practice. Writing won’t help you switch chords any faster, but it will help you to develop a better sense for language and grammar just by doing it.

3. Become Aware of What Matters

As you continue to write in a journal, following a stream-of-consciousness feel, you can look back on the topics that you chose to write about. Those issues and emotions that poured out of you will provide insight on to what matters most to you.

You may not even realize that you’re job is depressing you or that you want to spend more time with your kids until you look over your thoughts that you weren’t really thinking about.

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4. Boost Creativity

The idea that the brain and its neural activity across hemispheres encourages learning also shows up in increased creativity. Just like with learning an instrument, your increased activity will inspire your thoughts to connect and reconnect in different ways.

When I wrote in a journal, I often wrote poetry as well as just my thoughts as they came out. I started to hear poems more in my mind; so much so that I took to scrawling lines on napkins and finding metaphors in mundane activities.

You really are what you do, so writing helps grow more than being a writer. Writing boosts the way you communicate and structure language, which really is a creative process.

5. Represents Your Emotions in a Safe Environment

A journal is as private as it gets. You can lock it in a safe or tuck it under a pillow and no one will accidentally share it on social media or have an opportunity to “leave a comment.”

Write about your sorrow as much as your happiness and frustration and know that you don’t have to keep your emotions inside your body. You can put them on paper.

6. Process Life Experiences

When you take the time to look back over what you’ve written, be it a week or a year later, you will have the distance you need to more objectively interpret your raw feelings.

Everything from losing a job to losing a loved one can emerge in a new light for a fresh perspective. Figuring out how the benefits of journaling affect your perspective on life will create connection and increase creativity.

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7. Stress Relief

In combining the exercise inherent in fine motor coordination that comes from the act of writing with the emotional release of self expression, those who maintain a journal relieve stress.

Try it out. Go home and write about your day. Write about the traffic. Write about the coffee order the barista got wrong but you didn’t have time to change. See how you can physically purge some of that pent-up stress by putting it on paper.

8. Provide Direction

Though journaling is often conducted as an activity without much direction, it often provides direction.

One of the biggest benefits of journaling is that your chaotic thoughts merge to show a direction in which to head. Asking the right questions is the only way to achieve the best solutions, so look to your journal to find your way toward your next goal.

9. Solve Problems

Just as in practicing math problems, we all get better at finding hidden solutions through the act of processing.

Think of your next goal as X and solve your life problems by reading your journals as word problems. The benefit of journaling here is that you write, explore and process to recognize and then solve problems.

When life is too in-your-face, you have to step back to see reality. Living in the moment allows us to write in the moment and use that expression to solve problems.

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10. Find Relief From Fighting

Solving your problems only comes after time to process, recognize and strategize. Just as in the benefit of journaling where relief comes from the act of writing, relief from fighting comes when you decide to “sit this one out” and communicate one-way.

Fighting is only productive when the fighters care to communicate and find common ground. When the emotions are as high as the stress levels, writing will function as the best time out.

11. Find Meaning in Life

Journaling will show you why you are living, whether you are wallowing in things you wish to change or striving to make the changes. Your life will begin to take on new meaning and your own words will reveal the actions that got you where you are so that you can assess and pave a new path for your future.

12. Allow Yourself to Focus

Taking even a small amount of time out of every day will provide you with not only peace of mind but also increased focus. Taking a break to meditate in writing and journaling will sharpen your mental faculties.

13. Sharpen Your Spirituality

When we write, we allow all the energy and experiences to flow through us, which often provides further insight into our own spirituality. Even if your parents didn’t raise you to follow a specific religion, your thoughts will start to show you what you believe about the universe and your place in it.

14. Let the Past Go

I’ve mentioned a few examples where going back over your writing offers advice and direction, but the simply truth is that writing down our feelings can be the best way to let them go. We can choose to literally throw these pages away when they’re filled with negativity and hate.

15. Allow Freedom

Journaling is the perfect way to not only express yourself but to also experience the freedom of being who you are. Your books can stay private or you can publish them. Your freedom stems from your sense of self and your perception of your thoughts.

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16. Enhance Your Career

Again, the private act of pen-to-paper processing provides the benefits of journaling mentioned above, but you can also enhance your career when you take similar ideas and categorize, edit and publish them in an online blog.

Your thoughts will often be personal and express emotions, but another benefit of journaling is uncovering fresh ideas about your work.

17. Literally Explore Your Dreams

All the benefits I’ve mentioned explore ideas, thoughts and emotions, which is also what our dreams and nightmares do. Through writing down your dreams from the previous night, you can enhance your creativity as well as connect some of the metaphorical dots from the rest of your journal.

18. Catalog Your Life for Others

No one wants to think about dying, but we all die. Leaving a journal will act as a way to reconnect with family and friends left behind. The ideas you wish to keep personal while you process the life you’re living will serve to rekindle and inspire those who loved you through the process.

We consider our partners our life witnesses, but writing provides a tangible mark on the world.

Now that you’ve learned all the benefits of journaling, it’s time to start writing a journal:

Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

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