Cinnamon and the Cinnamon Secrets! There’s been a lot of talk about cinnamon lately and most all of us have seen those crazy people on YouTube who attempt the “Cinnamon Challenge.” Now of course too much of a good thing sometimes isn’t that good for you, as you can see in those videos, but did you know that Cinnamon has one of the highest antioxidant levels of any spice out there?
That’s right! Cinnamon is highly effective at helping to stabilize blood sugar levels, making it very effective for those with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. In one study of people with type 2 diabetes, just two teaspoons a day reduced blood sugar as much as 20-30%, which is pretty darn good by just using one spice. Cinnamon has also been shown to lower your LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels, which we all should know the lower the better.
Now another thing I found out recently is Cinnamon also has powerful anti-inflammatory properties, and helps relieve pain and stiffness in muscles and joints, including arthritis. Cinnamon also has a positive effect on brain function, and smelling cinnamon, or chewing cinnamon flavored gum, can possibly help improve memory and attention. Cinnamon also reduces inflammation in blood vessels that leads to heart disease, as well as having antifungal and antibacterial properties.
Cinnamon has long been used medically to treat sore throat, coughing and the soreness that comes with the two by mixing with honey and tea to soothe the ailment.
Cinnamon isn’t just for drinks and sweets! A couple of pinches to your chili recipe, to your roast as it cooks in its broth, into your meatloaf and combine a little sage, smoked paprika with cinnamon in some melted butter (or butter substitute) as you bake or smoke a whole chicken! And all of you deer hunters out there…..cinnamon since ancient times has been used as a meat preserver! And will help remove that wild taste from the meat!
Cinnamon has a very interesting history. Going back to Ancient times of Egypt, China and even Rome! Cinnamon has been found in writings in China dating back as far as 2800 B.C., Egypt in 1st Century A.D. began using cinnamon in their embalming process for mummies as well as having considered it a necessary item for their dead to carry into the after world. Elder Pliny noted that 350 grams of Cinnamon was equivalent to 5 kilograms of silver. That’s somewhere around 15 times the worth in weight! In Rome, Emperor Nero ordered a years supply of Cinnamon be burned after he had killed his wife as a way to prove his remorse in his deed.
By the 1800’s cinnamon became known as a comfort spice. Homes were filled with cinnamon sticks to fill the air, grated into candles for aroma, added to drinks both hot and cold as well as added to sweets. To this day, when most people as what is the one scent that makes them think of safety, harmony, and home the answer is the scent of cinnamon in the air.
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