Holistic Nutrition & Prevention

Ceylon cinnamon: a medicine cabinet must-have

By Mercedes Kay Gold, CNP, CPT

  Cinnamon is more than a cold day cozy craze. First off there are two types of cinnamon. Cinnamomum cassia is native to China and most people buy this common version referred to as cassia without even knowing there’s a better cinnamon choice. Ceylon is the real deal and known as “true” cinnamon, native to Sri Lanka and southern parts of India. Cinnamon is made by cutting the stems of cinnamon trees. The inner bark is extracted, the woody parts are removed and the dried strips curl into rolls, referred to as cinnamon sticks, which are ground into cinnamon powder. The scintillating scent of cinnamon is thanks due to the high content of the oily part containing the compound cinnamaldehyde.

  Cinnamon is stocked in scads of spice racks and a culinary delight in many cultures. It’s time to applaud cinnamon for being more than a savoury sensation and officially time to upgrade your cinnamon to Ceylon. The difference is subtle, but the real deal is delicate and mildly sweet and remains high in heaps of health benefits.

  Digestive aliments are a common complaint. Cinnamon starts the salivary flow, the first step on the road to optimal digestion. It also increases the secretion of digestive juices by the stomach. Burping, belching, and bloating is not normal after a meal. Sipping on cinnamon tea is a timeless go-to post mealtime for easing digestives distress.

  Cinnamon is said to stabilize blood sugar, the key to preventing metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. Reducing insulin resistance offsets sugar cravings, moodiness, energy highs and lows, and ultimately helps control continual overeating and bingeing. Cinnamon powder can be sprinkled on morning oatmeal, granola, smoothies, and coffee. Cinnamon capsules are also a super supplement for addressing ongoing blood sugar issues.

  Cinnamon powder is helpful in heart disease, but bear in mind it’s a blood thinner so being mindful is mandatory for those on medication. Consult your favourite practitioner before adding anything new to your daily protocol.

  There’s no end to cinnamon’s superstar status. Its bioactive compounds appear to block a protein called tau from accumulating in the brain. Tau buildup is associated with Alzheimer’s. There’s even talk the spice cinnamon is key for cancer prevention.

Arthritis elixir

  Arthritis is a painful ailment and can be addressed with my own personal warm elixir. Combine your favorite nut beverage or coconut milk, ¼ teaspoon of turmeric, fresh grated ginger, ½ tsp of organic Ceylon cinnamon and a ¼ teaspoon of ground black pepper to boost absorption. Cinnamon essential oil made from bark, not the leaves, is an awesome addition to carrier oils as pain-relieving massage oil for arthritic joints. Cinnamon essential oil, plus the addition of Epsom salts, ups the wow factor for the tub, targeting sore muscles.

  Cinnamon oil is also anti-bacterial and anti-viral, making it a great holistic home cleaner once diluted in water.

  Do you suffer from athlete’s foot? Soak feet in a bath of hot water and cinnamon essential oil, followed by a few drops on the fungus, equals a foot-fresh day.

  Cinnamon is a fresh-breath friend for sure, but may also help reduce tooth decay and eliminate gum disease due to its all-star antibacterial properties.

  Cinnamon contains polyphenols, the same health and happy mood boosters found in red wine, chocolate, and tea.

  Autumn love is in the air and incorporating cinnamon is as easy as 1-2-3! Sprinkle on roasted root vegetables, baked apples and toasted nuts for salad and granola toppers. Mother Nature offers a bounty of health promoting herbs to support us wholistically inside and out.

Mercedes Kay Gold is a Certified Holistic Practitioner and Certified Mobile Personal Trainer living and working in Toronto. Her writing has been featured in various publications and has appeared on Daytime with Jacqueline Betterton. She spends her spare time blogging about all things healthy and enjoying time with her sons. She can be reached at mercedeskaygoldfitness@gmail.com or visit www.mercedeskaygold.com

Photo credit: ©[pixelshot] via Canva

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