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Cinnamon as a Healthy Supplement in Your Recipes
Many of us may only encounter cinnamon as a tasty sprinkling on a dessert or tea. But this easy-to-find spice has healthy medicinal properties used in Ayurvedic medicine to address a number of imbalances. Here’s how you can incorporate cinnamon as a supplement to a healthy diet.
All foods and tastes in Ayurveda have properties that act a certain way upon the body. Cinnamon is considered to have a heating, drying effect on the body. This can bring more heat and flow to the digestive system, the blood, and a woman’s menstrual system. Like ginger, peppers, and other heating spices, you can feel the heat rise in your body after having a good dose of cinnamon. So why can this be good for you?
Cinnamon’s heating effect can improve flow in the body. It can reduce clotting in the blood. With this same idea, eating medicinal doses of cinnamon can also help the flow of a woman’s period if there are any clotting or thickness issues.
It also has anti-inflammatory properties. Studies have shown that just a half-teaspoon of cinnamon mixed with honey in the morning before breakfast reduced the pain of people suffering from arthritis.
Eating a half-teaspoon of cinnamon has also been proven to lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. And other studies suggest that cinnamon can help regulate blood sugar. In this way, taking cinnamon before meals could be beneficial for people with Type 2 diabetes.
And cinnamon is also great for comfort when you have a cold or flu. It brings warmth to the body, and also has anti-bacterial action to help combat viruses and bacteria.
Ayurvedic medicine prescribes cinnamon, among other spices, for a sluggish digestive system. So if you need help with constipation, slow digestion, or even weight loss support, try taking cinnamon before meals as a tea or mixed with honey. The heating effect will bring fire to the digestive system and can even work to speed up your metabolism.
This versatile spice works great in both savory and sweet contexts. Here are some great ideas of how to incorporate a spoon (or a few!) of cinnamon into your daily healthy diet:
- Add to a smoothie with tasty ingredients like bananas, coconut or cashew milk, and other fruits and superfoods.
- Sprinkle onto your breakfast granola or muesli
- Drink cinnamon as tea for a comforting, warming effect
- Add to savory meals for a sweet and spicy kick
- Or just simply have a spoonful of cinnamon with honey to start your day or before a meal.
And a few more detailed notes about cinnamon: you can find two kinds of spice commonly called “cinnamon.” One is cassia, and the other is Ceylon cinnamon or “true” cinnamon. Ceylon cinnamon is stronger in terms of the health benefits. Avoid cassia, as it has a compound called Coumarin that could be unhealthy for the liver and kidneys in doses any larger than are used simply for seasoning. Look for Ceylon cinnamon by its scientific name, Cinnamomum zeylanicum orCinnamomum verum. And always try to buy organic!