Cinnamon bark (Cinnamomum verum) has been used for centuries as a medicine as well as a delicious way to spice up a meal. Documented evidence indicates the use of cinnamon for many ailments. It is extremely high in antioxidants - in fact, in a study that compared 26 different medicinal herbs, cinnamon had the highest antioxidant activity of them all (Shan, Cai, Sun & Corke, 2005). Cinnamon and it’s extracts also have claims of anti-inflammatory effects, heart disease lowering effects, the ability to improve insulin sensitivity, lowering blood sugar, and possible protective effects on cancer and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
Cinnamon has been popular recently because of it’s ability to help in the treatment of Type 2 diabetes and other metabolic issues. Cinnamon supplementation of 120mg/d to 6g/d (that's about 2 teaspoons) show significant decreasing effects on fasting blood glucose, total cholesterol, and LDL cholesterol levels, and an increase in HDL in 10 different studies (Allen, Schwartzman, Baker, Coleman & Phung, 2013).
A delicious way to include cinnamon in your day is to drink it! I found a recipe for a cinnamon turmeric latte that sounds amazing, and packs an anti-inflammatory punch with both cinnamon and turmeric.
Cinnamon Turmeric Latte Recipe (adapted from http://portandfin.com/turmeric-cinnamon-latte/)
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
- pinch of black pepper
- 1.5 cups milk of choice
- Honey or other sweetener, to taste
- Heat milk on stovetop over low heat, or steam using steamer wand
- Measure cinnamon, turmeric, and pepper into a blender, and pour hot milk over spices
- Add sweetener if desired
- Blend in high powered blender for 30 seconds or until frothy ***
- Pour into a mug and enjoy!
*** Alternatively, if you don’t have a blender, you can vigorously shake the spice mixture and milk together in a mason jar or other vessel to mix, and heat the whole mixture on low heat in a saucepan until desired drinking temperature is reached. DO NOT BOIL.
Allen, R. W., Schwartzman, E., Baker, W. L., Coleman, C. I., & Phung, O. J. (2013). Cinnamon use in type 2 diabetes: an updated systematic review and meta-analysis. The Annals of Family Medicine, 11(5), 452-459.
Shan, B., Cai, Y. Z., Sun, M., & Corke, H. (2005). Antioxidant capacity of 26 spice extracts and characterization of their phenolic constituents. Journal of agricultural and food chemistry, 53(20), 7749-7759.