Oh, the wonderful smells of holiday baking! I love walking into a house when someone has been baking. It always smells heavenly! The scents make my mouth start watering for the cakes, cookies, candy, and goodies loaded with cinnamon and other spices that are part of many family holiday traditions.
But did you know that cinnamon is also one of those amazing spices that is so good for you?
People have been using cinnamon in cooking and baking for hundreds of years. It has also been used as one of the most popular medicinal spices since ancient times. In fact, once upon a time, cinnamon was considered more valuable than gold.
Cinnamon has also been adapted into a tea form. I can personally tell you that I LOVE my cinnamon teas.
When I'm having a stressful day, and yes, I do have them, I reach for my Green Cinnamon Twist. It's my first line of defense. It calms me down and helps me level out my mood. My friend Jane reaches for the Cinnamon Spice Black Tea, my friend Kristin does Decaf Cinnamon Spice, and her sister enjoys the caffeine-free Cinnamon Spice Rooibos. So there you have it. I have four types of cinnamon teas, so no matter if you prefer black, green, decaf, or rooibos teas, I have you covered.
Believe it or not, my cinnamon teas taste very sweet. I've fielded many questions about how much added sugar are in them. The answer is zero! They taste so sweet because cinnamon is a naturally sweet spice. Due to cinnamon's natural sweetness, few people feel the need to add any additional sweetener, which is a huge bonus for those trying to limit extra sweeteners.
So what else does adding cinnamon do for your health? Here are just a few of the benefits.
1: Acts as an anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal
Cinnamaldehyde, the main active component of cinnamon, may help fight various kinds of infection. Cinnamaldehyde, an essential oil in the bark, displays anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal properties. It inhibits certain bacteria like salmonella and also controls respiratory infections caused by fungi.
2: Is a natural food preservative
Cinnamon is rich in antioxidants such as choline, beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, etc. Cinnamon is so powerful that it acts as a natural food preservative.
3: Reduces inflammation
Cinnamon fights against infections and can repair damaged tissue. Cinnamon can also be helpful in acute as well as chronic pain conditions such as arthritis. It enhances blood circulation and pushes circulation to the joints where blood circulation is disturbed.
4: Manages type 2 diabetes
Insulin is an important hormone to control blood sugar levels and regulate metabolism. Daily consumption of cinnamon improves insulin sensitivity and helps to regulate blood sugar levels. It slows down the breakdown of carbohydrates in the digestive tract, resulting in less glucose entering circulation.
5: Reduces the cholesterol levels
Cinnamon contains a compound called cinnamate that may decrease enzyme activity that makes cholesterol, thus reducing the number of fatty acids in the blood. It helps to reduce bad cholesterol in your body, lowering the risk of heart disease.
6: Reduces blood pressure
Some evidence suggests that the consumption of cinnamon is associated with a short-term reduction in blood pressure. It also helps to reduce the cholesterol levels that help to reduce the risk of heart problems.
7: May protect against cancer
Cinnamon has anti-cancerous properties. It inhibits the growth of cancer cells and prevents the formation of blood vessels in tumors. Daily consumption of cinnamon can protect against cancer, particularly colon cancer.
8: Combats acne
Cinnamon is best for skin health. It helps to reduce acne-forming bacteria. To make an acne mask, combine three tablespoons of honey with a tablespoon of ground cinnamon to form a paste. Leave it on your skin for 10 minutes, then wash it off.
9: Softens the skin
Cinnamon keeps your skin shiny and smooth. As skin ages, skin loses its elasticity due to the reduction of collagen and elastin that make your skin dull. Many lotions may provide this protein to regain natural elasticity, but the cinnamon extract is best.
10: Reduces symptoms of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease
Cinnamon is a neuro-protective that helps neurons and improves motor function. Compounds found in cinnamon inhibit the growth of a protein (named tau) in the brain, which is one of the trademarks of Alzheimer's disease.
I hope you will join me in adding a cup or two of cinnamon tea to your daily tea consumption. Your body will thank you for it.
Disclaimer: If you are taking medications, please consult your physician before adding cinnamon to your diet, as there can be contraindications.