CrossFit South Rockland

Monday, August 28, 2017

Health benefits of CINNAMON

Most people don’t normally associate cinnamon with improving athletic performance. For the most part, we think of it as one of the world's most popular spices and flavors, especially in sweet dishes. However, if you knew all the health benefits that it offers, you might just change your mind. If you’re an athlete, the health benefits of cinnamon should convince you that it really can help improve your performance. According to researchers, out of twenty-six of the most popular herbs and medicinal spices in the world, cinnamon actually ranks #1 in terms of its protective antioxidant levels!

Cinnamon comes from the bark of evergreen trees of the genus cinnamomum. When cinnamon is harvested, the bark is stripped and sun dried. As it dries, cinnamon curls into a well-known shape, called quills. If not ground, it is then sold as whole cinnamon or cinnamon sticks.

There are actually 2 kinds of cinnamon, Cassia and Ceylon, and the more common type is the dangerous one if consumed more than recommended. In the USA we are used to the “Cassia” variety (from Indonesia and China), even though the “Ceylon” plant is considered the real, true spice (from Sri Lanka, Madagascar and the Seychelles), which is popular for tea. A key difference between the two is that Cassia has much, much more coumarin in it than Ceylon. This toxic chemical compound is what makes consuming cinnamon in large quantities such a terrible and dangerous idea. In the first centure A.D., cinnamon used to be at least 15 times more expensive than silver. It carried an ungodly price tag, especially in Rome. It was considered a precious commodity, given its high demand and low supply. Once the regularity of foreign exploration kicked in, the spice became more available and therefore more affordable.

Now let’s talk about the health benefits of cinnamon:

1. It helps reduce pain, inflammation, and muscle soreness. Cinnamon is known to possess anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce pain, inflammation, and soreness.

2. Fights diabetes. It Lowers blood sugar levels and has a powerful anti-diabetic effect.

3. May help blood circulation. Cassia cinnamon is thought to have blood thinning properties, which, in turn, can aid blood circulation in the body.

4. Boosts brain activity and function

5. Lowers the fat storing effect from food. Its insulin stabilizing abilities have been proven to help your body absorb and lower the onslaught of insulin within the bloodstream post simple carbohydrate consumption.

6. Promotes good heart health. Research has shown that diets rich in spices such as cinnamon and turmeric may help reduce levels of triglycerides in the blood, which are important markers in heart disease.

7. Helps promote good health in bones and tissues. Cinnamon has also been found to be a good source of manganese and other minerals that are essential in building healthy bones and tissues.

8. It eases arthritis and menstrual pains. Cinnamon's anti-inflammatory properties make it a go-to alternative therapy for arthritis patients. It's also proven to be effective in relieving cramping and discomfort associated with menstrual cycles.

9. Helps fight bacterial and fungal infections.

10. May help lower cancer risk. Because of its antioxidant abilities, cinnamon can protect against DNA damage, cell mutation, and cancerous tumor growth.

11. Protects dental health and naturally freshens breath. In studies, the extracts found in cinnamon were shown to be protective against bacteria living in the oral microflora that could cause bad breath, tooth decay, cavities, or mouth infections. The essential oil from cinnamon has been shown to be more potent than other tested plant extracts and can be used to naturally combat bacteria in the mouth, acting like a natural anti-bacterial mouthwash.

12. Helps fight allergies. Cinnamon has been shown to be helpful in fighting common allergy symptoms because it reduces inflammation and fights histamine reactions in the body.

13. Can lighten your hair. Mixing a few spoonfuls of cinnamon into a paste — with honey or actual conditioner — will lighten your hair once applied and allowed sunshine to get at it.

14. Will prevent bugs from feasting on you. Cinnamon oil destroys the hell out of mosquito larvae, as it turns out. So think of cinnamon as an environmentally friendly pesticide in a way by adding a few drops or sprinklings to your sunscreen or lotion.

15. Can be used to sweeten recipes without added sugar. Because of its naturally sweet taste, adding cinnamon to foods and recipes can help you cut down on the amount of sugar you normally use, thereby lowering the glycemic load of your meal. One of the benefits of cinnamon over sugar is that it contains no sugar and no calories in amounts that it is used by most people, so its makes an extremely healthy addition to many meals, especially considering its many nutrients. Try using cinnamon in coffee, tea, baked goods, on fruit, or in oatmeal instead of adding extra sugar and calories. This can help you to reduce inflammation-causing sugar, extra calories, and to fight weight gain, candida, diabetes and low energy levels.

Don’t all these benefits sound amazing? If you are living a healthy lifestyle and exercise daily, start taking advantage of these benefits as much as you can. Not only will cinnamon help you improve your athletic performance, but it will with no doubt spice up your diet.


Nataliya Olifer

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