Our Better Health

Diet, Health, Fitness, Lifestyle & Wellness


Why Cinnamon Is Insanely Good for You

Scientists have long suspected that cinnamon can help prevent blood-sugar spikes and protect against insulin resistance, a risk factor for diabetes. But how, exactly, has remained a mystery—and while some studies have suggested a strong effect, others have been inconclusive.

New research presented Saturday at the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology annual meeting suggests a potential mechanism for these effects, lending support to the idea of cinnamon as a metabolic powerhouse. In fact, researchers say, the spice’s benefits may extend far beyond blood-sugar control.

Amy Stockert, associate professor of biochemistry at Ohio Northern University Raabe College of Pharmacy , has been studying cinnamon for years. In 2015, her research showed that type 2 diabetics who took daily cinnamon supplements saw greater reductions in blood sugar than those who took a placebo.

Some of these effects lasted even after participants stopped taking the supplements, says Stockert, which suggested that lasting changes had been triggered at the cellular level. “We started to suspect that one of the proteins involved in gene expression was being influenced by cinnamon,” she says.
Her new research, which has not yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal, focuses on Sirtuin-1 (also called Sirt-1)—a protein that’s active in insulin regulation. “We know that Sirt-1 acts on another protein that affects how glucose is transported,” says, “so it made sense that it might be the key player.”

Scientists know that Sirt-1 is activated by resveratrol, an antioxidant found in red wine that’s been touted for its anti-aging and cholesterol-lowering properties. Cinnamon contains similar compounds, known as phenols, which Stockert thought might also bind to Sirt-1 molecules in the same way. She and her colleagues used a computer model to test this hypothesis, and discovered that the cinnamon phenols had similar, sometimes even stronger interactions with the protein.

This suggests that the phenols in cinnamon also activate Sirt-1, providing a possible explanation for their beneficial properties. “If that’s true, it means cinnamon is doing more than just lowering blood sugar,” says Stockert. “It’s acting on a protein that affects lipid metabolism, cell growth changes, and the expression of a variety of genes.”

Stockert’s previous research found that people who consumed 1 gram a day of cinnamon saw blood sugar reductions comparable to what would be expected from prescription drugs. But she believes that even smaller quantities—like those used in cooking and seasoning—could also have benefits.
“If cinnamon interacts with this enzyme in the way our model suggests, it could possibly be linked to anti-aging, antioxidant control, a lot of really important health benefits,” she says. “And it shouldn’t take one gram a day to see those effects.”

Stockert recommends buying cinnamon—whole or ground—from reputable spice companies. Her team is now studying the effects of cinnamon on fat cells, and hope to expand their research to muscle and liver cells, as well.

Nancy Farrell, a registered dietitian and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, says that while the research on blood sugar is still inconclusive, it’s encouraging that the topic is being studied further.

“Cinnamon, in moderation and in daily foods, is generally a good habit,” says Farrell.
Farrell recommends adding cinnamon to oatmeal, toast, butternut squash, chili, and more. She cautions that above-average doses can worsen liver function for people with existing liver damage, and “use of cinnamon supplements should always be discussed with your physician.”This isn’t the first time cinnamon’s been touted for its health benefits beyond blood sugar control—and it’s certainly not the final word. But given the low risk and reported benefits, it seems a worthwhile addition to your diet, if you like the taste.

Amanda MacMillan   Apr 24, 2017    TIME Health
source: time.com

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The Common Spice That Boosts Learning Ability

One cause of low learning ability is an imbalance of proteins in the hippocampus that can be corrected.

The common household spice cinnamon could be used to enhance learning ability, a new study reveals.

Some people seem to have more difficulties with learning than others.

Some lab mice are the same.

But when lab mice that were poor learners were fed cinnamon their learning improved, the researchers found.

Dr Kalipada Pahan, who led the study, said:

“This would be one of the safest and the easiest approaches to convert poor learners to good learners.”

One cause of a low ability to learn is thought to be an imbalance of proteins in the hippocampus, the part of the brain vital for memory and learning.

Cinnamon, though, is transformed by the body into sodium benzoate: a drug used to treat brain damage that rebalances critical proteins.

In the study, mice were fed cinnamon for a month.

The results showed that the poor learners improved dramatically in terms of their learning and memory.


Dr Pahan said:

“We have successfully used cinnamon to reverse biochemical, cellular and anatomical changes that occur in the brains of mice with poor learning.”

Cinnamon, though, did not have any effect on the mice who were already good learners.

Dr Pahan said:

“Individual difference in learning and educational performance is a global issue.
We need to further test this approach in poor learners. If these results are replicated in poor learning students, it would be a remarkable advance.”

Cinnamon has also been found in previous research to reverse changes related to Parkinson’s in the brains of mice.

Along the way, they have discovered the best type of cinnamon to use (Ceylon versus Chinese), Dr Pahan explained:

“Although both types of cinnamon are metabolized into sodium benzoate, we have seen that Ceylon cinnamon is much more pure than Chinese cinnamon, as the latter contains coumarin, a hepatotoxic (liver damaging) molecule.”

The study was published in the Journal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology (Modi et al., 2016).

source: PsyBlog  July 13, 2016


5 Reasons to Love Cinnamon

November 21, 2014      By Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD

Cinnamon is one of my feel-good foods. The scent reminds me of fall, my favorite time of year, and brings back memories of making apple pies with my mom, and celebrating the holidays.

While I’ve always been a fan of its flavor and aroma, as a nutritionist, I’m also thrilled to spread the news about cinnamon’s health benefits. For example, one teaspoon of cinnamon packs as much antioxidant potency as a half cup of blueberries, and cinnamon’s natural antimicrobial properties have been shown to fight strains of E. coli, as well as Candida yeast. Also, while technically not sweet, “sweet spices” like cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger have been shown to boost satiety and mimic sweetness, which allows you to cut back on sugar in nearly anything, from your morning cup of Joe to a batch of homemade muffins.

Pretty impressive, but that’s not all.
Here are five more potential health benefits of spicing things up!

Better heart health
In a recent study from Penn State, researchers found that a diet rich in spices, like cinnamon and turmeric, helped curb the negative effects of downing a fatty meal. After a high-fat meal, levels of fats in your blood known as triglycerides rise, and chronically high triglycerides raise the risk of heart disease. In this small study (in just six overweight but otherwise healthy men between 30 and 65) the results of adding spices were significant. On two separate days, volunteers added two tablespoons of spices, including cinnamon, to a fatty meal, which was tested against an identical control meal without spices. Blood samples drawn after meals revealed that in addition to 13% higher blood antioxidant levels, the spices reduced triglycerides by about 30%.

Blood sugar regulation
In research led by U.S. Department of Agriculture, scientists found that antioxidant-rich cinnamon extract helped reduce risk factors associated with diabetes and heart disease. In the study, 22 obese volunteers with prediabetes were divided randomly into two groups. One was given a placebo, the other a dose of dried water-soluble cinnamon extract twice a day, along with their usual diets. Fasting blood samples collected at the beginning of the study, and after six and 12 weeks revealed that the cinnamon extract improved antioxidant status, and helped reduce blood sugar levels.

Diabetes protection
Cinnamon has been shown to slow stomach emptying, which curbs the sharp rise in blood sugar following meals, and improves the effectiveness, or sensitivity of insulin. A University of Georgia study also found that cinnamon can prevent tissue damage and inflammation caused by high levels of blood sugar. When blood sugar levels are high, sugar bonds with proteins to form compounds called advanced glycation end products, or AGEs. AGEs activate the immune system, which triggers the inflammation and tissue damage associated with aging and diabetes. In the study, researchers found a strong and direct link between the antioxidant content of common herbs and spices, including cinnamon, and their ability to prevent AGEs from forming. This effect also further decrease the risk of heart damage, since AGEs contribute to hardening of the arteries.


Better brain function
Research shows that just smelling cinnamon enhances cognitive processing, but consuming it significantly ups brain function. Scientists at Wheeling Jesuit University asked volunteers to complete computer-based tasks while chewing no gum, plain gum, or gum flavored with cinnamon, peppermint, or jasmine. Cognitive processing was boosted the most in those given cinnamon, which sped up visual-motor responses and improved attention scores. This aromatic spice may also help the brain heal. One study from scientists at the Agricultural Research Service found that cinnamon extract prevented brain cells from swelling in the ways typically seen after a traumatic brain injury or stroke.

Parkinson’s protection
In animal research supported by grants from National Institutes of Health, scientists found that after ground cinnamon is ingested, it’s metabolized into a substance called sodium benzoate, which enters into the brain. In mice with Parkinson’s, the positive effects included neuron protection, normalized levels of neurotransmitters, and improved motor functions.

Plus, 10 ways to use it
To take advantage of cinnamon’s potential benefits, incorporate it into more meals. One of the things I love about this spice is how versatile it is. I use it in both sweet and savory dishes, and I feel like I’m always finding new ways to add it to meals, snacks, and beverages. Here are 10 easy ideas:

  • Sprinkle cinnamon into your coffee, or add it to your coffee grounds before brewing.
  • Add a dash or two of cinnamon to hot oatmeal, overnight oats, or cold whole grain cereal.
  • Fold cinnamon into yogurt, along with cooked, chilled quinoa, fresh cut fruit, and nuts or seeds.
  • Freeze cinnamon in ice cubes to add zest and aroma to water or cocktails.
  • Season roasted or grilled fruit with a sprinkle of cinnamon.
  • Stir cinnamon into almond butter, or any nut or seed butter, and use as a dip for fresh apple or pear wedges or a filling for celery.
  • Add a pinch of cinnamon to lentil or black bean soup, or vegetarian chili.
  • Season roasted cauliflower, sweet potatoes, spaghetti, and butternut squash with a pinch of cinnamon.
  • Sprinkle a little cinnamon onto popped popcorn.
  • Stir a little cinnamon into melted dark chocolate and drizzle over whole nuts to make spicy ‘bark’ or use as a dip or coating for fresh fruit.

NOTE: While cinnamon is healthful, just be sure not to overdo it. Don’t take cinnamon supplements unless they have been prescribed by your physician, and check out this info from the National Library of Medicine about the potential risks for some of consuming too much cinnamon.

Cynthia Sass is a nutritionist and registered dietitian with master’s degrees in both nutrition science and public health. Frequently seen on national TV, she’s Health’s contributing nutrition editor, and privately counsels clients in New York, Los Angeles, and long distance. Cynthia is currently the sports nutrition consultant to the New York Rangers NHL team and the Tampa Bay Rays MLB team, and is board certified as a specialist in sports dietetics. Her latest New York Times best seller is S.A.S.S! Yourself Slim: Conquer Cravings, Drop Pounds and Lose Inches. 

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Cinnamon’s Dirty Little Secret

By Daily Health Post     March 13, 2015

Cinnamon is one of those spices that go well in just about every type of food!

It’s added to your desserts, your main dishes, and even your drinks, thanks to its tangy flavor and its ability to enhance the taste of every food it’s added to.

But are you cooking with Ceylon or cassia cinnamon?

Most people have no idea what the difference between Ceylon and cassia cinnamon is, but the distinction MUST be made. Both cinnamon and cassia come from the same plant family, but not the same plant.

Ceylon Vs. Cassia

Cinnamon–the real deal–comes from the plant Cinnamomum zeylanicum, also known as the Cinnamomum verum plant. If you looked at the name of this plant, you’ll see that it means “true cinnamon”. This is the Ceylon cinnamon that everyone knows as “cinnamon”.

Cassia, on the other hand, comes from a cinnamon plant known as the Cinnamomum cassia or the Cinnamomum burmannii. The former produces “Chinese” or “Saigon cinnamon”, while the latter produces “Padang cassia” or “Java cinnamon”. None of these types of cinnamon are “true” cinnamon, and only the stuff that comes from the Cinnamomum verum is considered the real deal.

The two plants share many of the same characteristics, and they offer many of the same health benefits as well. For example, cinnamon is known to regulate blood sugar levels, and cassia offers the same control over blood glucose. Both cinnamon and cassia are potent antibacterials.


The Main Difference – Coumarin Content

Both cinnamon and cassia contain a plant compound called coumarin. When consumed in large quantities, coumarin can be toxic, affecting the nervous system and the liver. Cassia contains higher traces of this compound (around 4%), while the amount of coumarin in ceylon cinnamon is only around 0.04%.

Consuming large quantities of cassia could lead to a wide range of health problems, while consuming ceylon is fairly safe.

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) established a tolerable daily intake (TDI) of 0.1 mg/kg body weight according to this University of Mississippi study of April 2013. The chart below shows an extract of these findings.

Type of Cinnamon Coumarin Content
Ceylon Cinnamon, True Cinnamon. Mexican Cinnamon 0.017 g/kg
Indonesian Cinnamon, Korintje Cinnamon, Padang Cassia 2.15 g/kg
Saigon cinnamon, Vietnamese cassia. Vietnamese cinnamon 6.97 g/kg
Cassia Cinnamon or Chinese Cinnamon 0.31 g/kg

But How Can You Tell Them Apart?

The sad truth is that ground cinnamon could be either Ceylon or cassia cinnamon. The differences between Ceylon and cassia cinnamon are not visible when they are ground into powder. Both types of cinnamon look exactly the same, so that powdered cinnamon you’re sprinkling into your food could very well contain cassia. Unless you buy from a company that specifically only sells Ceylon cinnamon.

If you want to be certain you’re actually getting Ceylon cinnamon and not cassia, it’s best to buy the cinnamon sticks instead of ground cinnamon. Cassia cinnamon sticks look like one solid layer of bark, while Ceylon cinnamon sticks will have multiple layers of bark visible. That’s the best way to tell the two apart, so it’s smart to check your cinnamon sticks before you buy them. Once you know that you’ve actually purchased cinnamon and not cassia, you can grind up the sticks yourself to make cinnamon powder–the real deal that is safe!

The good news is that using both cinnamon and cassia should be fairly safe if you are adding them into your food in normal amounts. Cassia cinnamon shouldn’t cause any problems if you are just sprinkling it into your porridge, using it to make tea, or spicing up your dishes. If, however, you consume large quantities of cinnamon (as so many in Asia do), you would do well to find Ceylon cinnamon instead of cassia. It’s much safer, and the risk of health problems is much lower. True cinnamon has the same flavor as cassia, but it’s much lower in coumarin and thus much less likely to be toxic!

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10 Reasons To Add Cinnamon To Your Diet

The delectable spice has amazing healing propensities you may not be aware of.

August 27, 2014 

Many of us love to sprinkle cinnamon over our toast, drink it in our beverages, devour it in pastry desserts and cook with it for aromatic flavor, but did you know this exotic spice which comes from the dried inner bark of a tropical evergreen tree has been used medicinally since ancient times due to its healing propensities.  In fact, cinnamon is one of the most common and popular ingredients in homeopathic medicine today, treating everything from muscle spasms and vomiting to loss of appetite and erectile dysfunction.

Yet, the veracity of its health benefits continue to be hotly debated in medical circles, particularly over an ingredient called coumarin which has been linked to liver damage in a small number of people when taken in high dosages.  What’s more, there has been no consensus over what are ‘safe’ levels for consumption or which variety is more beneficial.  Consequently, the FDA has yet to approve the use of the spice for medical purposes.

Nonetheless, there have been dozens of promising medical studies illustrating that when taken in moderation, cinnamon offers a variety of health benefits that make it well worth adding to your diet.  So here’s a list of 10 scientifically backed reasons why it’s time for you to spice up your life with some sassy cinnamon.

1. Controls Blood Sugar Levels. Research shows cinnamon can lower blood sugar levels in those who have Type 2 diabetes and may prevent insulin resistance. In fact, a 2003 study found that cinnamon improved glucose and lipid levels in patients with Type 2 diabetes and reduced risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease. Cassia cinnamon, found in the grocery store, was determined to be more effective than the Ceylon variety in as far as controlling blood sugar levels even though Ceylon was considered safer because it has far less coumarin. Yet, whether Ceylon offers the same health benefits to diabetic patients remain inconclusive.

2.  Delays Effects of Alzheimer’s Disease. Alzheimer’s Disease is a neurological disorder affecting almost 5 million people over the age of 65 in the United States. While no cure has been found to date, an Israeli study conducted at Tel Aviv University found that cinnamon can delay the effects of five aggressive strains of Alzheimer’s inducing genes.  According to one of the authors, an extract found in cinnamon bark has healing properties that can inhibit developing the disease.  More research reveals orally administered cinnamon extracts can correct cognitive impairment in the diseases in animal models.

The most recent study in 2013 by two scientists at UC Santa Barbara found that two compounds in cinnamon – cinnamaldehyde and epicatechin — are effective in delaying the onset and warding off the effects of Alzheimer’s by preventing the “development of filamentous ‘tangles’ found in the brain cells that characterize the disease.”

3. Fights Yeast and Fungal Infections. According to the National Institute of Health, a chemical found in cassia cinnamon may help fight fungal and bacterial infections. Studies have also shown that cinnamaldehyde found in cinnamon has a remarkable ability to stop medication-resistant yeast infections. A medical study in 2011 found that cinnamon oil was one of three essential oils effective in fighting Candida while another study found it was effective against three strains of candida, Candida albicans, Candida tropicalis, and Candida krusei which commonly cause yeast infections, Cinnamon Vogue reported.

4. Prevents Foodborne Illness. Cinnamon it is said to be one of the most effective oils for killing off E-coli and salmonella because it has anti-microbial properties. In fact, a recent 2014 study found that in 24 hours, concentrated cassia cinnamon oil successfully killed several strains of Shiga toxin-producing E-coli which causes about 110,000 cases of foodborne illness every year. The authors concluded that it has the potential to be used as a natural antibacterial agent in the food industry.

Another scientific report found that a concentration of 2 microl/ml of essential oils including cinnamon mixed in apple and pear juice was enough to inactivate Salmonella Enteritidis, E. coli, and Listeria. Likewise, cinnamon oil was found to be a promising force to fight hospital-acquired infections like the deadly Staphylococcus aureus or MSRA.

5. May Combat Infertility. A small study this year found that cinnamon might jumpstart a woman’s menstrual cycle which would help fight infertility.  Researchers from Columbia University Medical Center found that over a period of six months, women with polycystic ovary syndrome who took a daily 1500mg cinnamon supplement experienced twice the menstrual cycles as those women with the same condition given an inactive placebo.  Two women even reported pregnancies during the trial, WebMD reported.


6. Can Ward Off HIV. Cinnamon has been used together with anti-retrovirals to help improve the health of those living with the HIV virus. While there is ongoing HIV research to find a cure, a 2000 study analyzing Indian medicinal plants found that out of 69 screened, 16 were effective against HIV-1 and HIV-2 with the most effect extracts revealed to be cinnamon cassia and the shoot and fruit of the plant (cardiospermum helicacabum) respectively. Likewise, cinnamon can also fight off HIV and other viruses according to a study which showed a cinnamon derivative may turn HIV infected people into HIV controllers – those who carry the virus but don’t develop full blown AIDS.

Interestingly, eugenol a chemical compound found in Ceylon cinnamon was also found to be effective against Herpes and cinnamaldehye, the primary ingredient in Ceylon cinnamon bark oil, was able to combat the adenovirus, the most common respiratory infection virus, Cinnamon Vogue reported.

7. Weight Loss Aid. Want to shed some pounds? Just add a spoonful of cinnamon to your daily diet. According to research, the main ingredient in cinnamon, couramin may have the effect of thinning your blood, which can increase blood circulation and cause certain people to weight loss.  However, most of the scientific research thus far has been related to blood sugar and insulin management correlating with obesity related problems, so the data are not concrete.  Nonetheless, the studies do show that increased blood flow generally boosts your metabolism, which scientists say can help with weight loss and help you to burn fat faster. But doctors caution against using cinnamon with other blood thinning medications because of the anti-clotting property in couramin.

8. Cancer Preventer. Cinnamon oil has been shown to treat several different types of cancers including tumors, gastric cancers and melanomas, according to medical studies. The study showed a cinnamon-derived acceptor could impair cancer cell proliferation.  What’s more, Cinnamon Vogue cites a 2009 medical study whereby two chemical constituents of cinnamon were used to develop “nutraceuticals” that proved moderately effective in fighting human colon cancer cells and human hepatoma cells which suggested that introducing cinnamon into the digestive tract may have a mitigating effect on blood sugar levels in the body by “essentially starving off the cancer cells of the sugar needed to sustain them.”

9. Lower Cholesterol and Triglycerides. Besides cinnamon’s ability to control blood sugar levels, one study found that up to 6 grams of cinnamon per day not only reduced serum glucose but also triglyceride – a type of fat, LDL cholesterol (the bad kind) and total cholesterol in people with Type 2 diabetes. After 40 days, researchers found that cinnamon reduced triglyceride by 23-30 percent, LDL cholesterol by 7-27 percent and total cholesterol by 12-26 percent.

A later review of the data in 2013 published by the Annals of Family Medicine again confirmed that consumption of cinnamon is associated with a significant decrease in levels of total cholesterol, LDL, and triglyceride levels, and an increase in HDL cholesterol (the good kind) levels, but qualified it by saying that applying it to patient care is difficult because of the uncertainty of the dose and duration of cinnamon use.

10. Reduce Depression and Irritability. Although sometimes discounted as an old wives’ tale, there is evidence to show that a whiff of cinnamon may actually lift a person’s mood. In fact, a study by the Wheeling Jesuit University found that the scent of cinnamon reduced driver irritability and frustration and increases driver alertness. Moreover, there is some evidence that claims certain types of stomach bacteria may make you more susceptible to depression. Therefore, alternative medicine proponents suggest that consuming cinnamon may help remove the bad bacteria and therefore lift your mood based on its powerful anti-bacterial propensities. Just don’t forget to supplement it with a probiotic.


While such research is great news for cinnamon lovers, doctors recommend against consuming cinnamon in excessive amounts, especially cassia, which can be toxic.  Moreover, it is not recommended to substitute cinnamon for prescription medication.  For those interested in adding cinnamon to your diet, doctors recommend limiting your cassia cinnamon intake to one or half of a teaspoon a day, especially for those whose stomachs upset easily.

Jodie Gummow is a senior fellow and staff writer at AlterNet.

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Spices and Herbs With a Huge Impact

Medicinal herbs and spices have been used with great effectiveness from ancient times.

Find out how these seven spices & herbs can make a huge impact on your daily health.

Cloves – Found to have the highes
t antioxidant content of all spices an be used as a painkiller and has been used for centuries to treat tooth aches and gum pain. Eases cold and allergies, and oil of clo
ves is useful as antiseptic in mouthwash.

Oregano – 1/2 tsp has the same amount of antioxidants as a quarter cup of almonds and four times the antioxidant activity of blueberries…Go greek make a greek salad and sprinkle on the oregano Oregano is rich in Vitamin K, iron, maganese, and kills e.coli, salmonella, and virtually all food-borne pathogens.

Ginger – Over 50 antioxidants have been found in ginger. It helps increase circulation, calms digestive problems. Ginger has also been used to treat food poisoning, shown to lower cholesterol, treat arthritis, reduce inflammation, and can be used to help increase insulin sensivity in diabetics.

Cinnamon – Plays an important role in regulating blood sugar in people with diabetes. Clinical studies have shown a consistent intake of cinnamon daily help reduce glucose, triglyceride, and LDL cholestrol with type II diabetics.

Tumeric – The bright neon yellow color comes from the phytochemical Curcumin and can eliminate cancer cells, help reduce obesity, and metabolic diseases. Scientists have found by creating a new molecule from curcumin, called CNB-001, this molecule triggers the mechanisms that safeguard and restore brain cells after a stroke.

Rosemary – Blocks HCAs or carcinogenic compounds found your favorite grilled meats. Rosemary oil can improve cognitive performance and fight off free radical’s that cause Alzheimer’s, stroke, and dementia.

Mustard – The compound AITC compound found in mustard seed is known to be an anti-cancer compound – this plant compound is also found in wasabi & horseradish. Studies show that AITC, stopped the growth of bladder cancer by 33%.

source: www.foodlve.com

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Surprising Facts About Cinnamon

Alisa Rutherford-Fortunati   September 8, 2013

Cinnamon has long been enjoyed both as a culinary spice and natural medicine.

Health benefits of Cinnamon:


Anti-Clotting: Cinnamaldehyde (a volatile/essential) oil in cinnamon may help stop blood from clotting unnecessarily. According to whfoods.com, cinnamon accomplishes this, “by inhibiting the release of an inflammatory fatty acid called arachidonic acid from platelet membranes and reducing the formation of an inflammatory messaging molecule called thromboxane A2.)”

This same property (inhibiting the release of arachidonic acid) makes cinnamon a natural anti-inflammatory.

Anti-Microbial: The essential oils in cinnamon are also “anti-microbial” and have been shown to stop many types of fungal and bacterial growth.

“Cinnamon’s antimicrobial properties are so effective that recent research demonstrates this spice can be used as an alternative to traditional food preservatives.” – whfoods.com

Blood Sugar Control: Cinnamon is a powerful antioxidant and also may help to control blood sugar on many levels, which helps

  • slow the rate at which the stomach empties after meals.
  • improve insulin response in people with Type 2 Diabetes.

As little as one gram of cinnamon a day has been shown to reduce blood sugar levels, triglycerides, LDL cholesterol, and total cholesterol, in individuals with diabetes. According to whfoods.com, cinnamon will help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease in people with type 2 disease.

Boosts Brain Function: Smelling the scent of cinnamon can boost brain activity.

In research reported by whfoods.com, cinnamon “enhanced study participants’ cognitive processing,” with the following activities:

  •      Tasks related to attentional processes
  •      Virtual recognition memory
  •      Working memory
  •      Visual-motor speed while working on a computer-based program

Improved colon health and protection against heart disease:

Cinnamon is an excellent source of fiber, calcium and certain minerals, such as manganese.

Calcium and fiber combine to help remove bile salts from the body, which helps to protect the colon and reduce the risk of colon cancer.

Through this process, cholesterol levels may be lowered, helping prevent atherosclerosis and heart disease.

The fiber in cinnamon may also provide relief from constipation or diarrhea.

Warming Effects:

Cinnamon has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine, for its warming properties, such as during a cold or flu.

– Whfoods.com

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Honey & Cinnamon


Cinnamon has a long history of use in both Eastern and Western cultures as a medicine. Some of its reported uses are in cases of arthritis, asthma, cancer, diarrhea, fever, heart problems, insomnia, menstrual problems, peptic ulcers, psoriasis, and spastic muscles. There are scientific studies to support some of these uses. Some of the confirmed effects of cinnamon are as a sedative for smooth muscle, circulatory stimulant, carminative, digestant, anticonvulsant, diaphoretic, diuretic, antibiotic, and antiulcerative. One recent investigation of sixty people with type 2 diabetes demonstrated that 1 to 6 grams of cinnamon taken daily for forty days reduced fasting blood glucose by 18 to 29 percent, triglycerides by 23 to 30 percent, LDL (bad) cholesterol by 7 to 27 percent, and total cholesterol by 12 to 26 percent. In contrast, there were no clear changes for the subjects who did not take the cinnamon.

Cinnamon’s unique healing abilities come from three basic components in the essential oils found in its bark. These oils contain active components called cinnamaldehyde, cinnamyl acetate, and cinnamyl alcohol, plus a wide range of other volatile substances.

Cinnamon is often used in multicomponent Chinese herbal formulas, some of which have been studied for clinical effects. For example, cinnamon combined with Chinese thoroughwax (Bupleurum lactiflora) was shown to produce satisfactory results in the treatment of epilepsy. Out of 433 patients treated (most of whom were unresponsive to anticonvulsant drugs), 115 were cured and another 79 improved greatly. Improvements were noted not only by clinical symptoms, but also by improvements in brain wave patterns. Other clinical studies have shown cinnamon-containing formulas to be useful in cases of the common cold, influenza, and frostbite. However, it is not really known to what degree the improvements noted are actually due to the cinnamon versus the other components.


Referred to in ancient Sumerian, Vedic, Egyptian, and biblical writings, honey has been employed since ancient times for both nutrition and healing medicine. For centuries honey has been a multipurpose food, used to give homage to the gods and to help embalm the dead, as well as for medical and cosmetic purposes. Some evidence suggests that despite the risk of bee sting, collection of honey has occurred since 7000 B.C.E., and since at least 700 B.C.E., beekeeping for the production of honey (apiculture) has been used. To the surprise of the Spanish conquistadors, the natives of Central and South America were already keeping bees for the purpose of collecting honey when they arrived. Honey was considered a food of the rich for many years. More recently, honey has decreased in popularity as refined sugar, which is cheaper and sweeter, has replaced the sweet, viscous liquid in common households all over the world.

Honey is a source of riboflavin and vitamin B6. It also provides iron and manganese. A 3.5 ounce (100 gram) serving of honey provides 304 calories, mostly as 82.4 grams of carbohydrate, almost all of which is sugar, 0.3 grams of protein, and 0 grams of fat. However, honey is more likely to be consumed by the tablespoon (15 grams), which provides 64 calories, 17.3 grams of carbohydrate, and 0.1 grams of protein.

The health benefits of a particular honey depend on its processing as well as the quality of the flowers the bees utilize when collecting the pollen. Raw honey is honey that has not been pasteurized, clarified, or filtered, and this form typically retains more of the healthful phytochemicals lost to the standard processing of honey. Propolis is a product of tree sap mixed with bee secretions that is used by bees to protect against bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Propolis is unfortunately lost in honey processing, thus greatly reducing the level of phytochemicals known to protect against the germs; recent research suggests that these may also prevent certain types of cancer. Also important, healthy organic flowering plants will provide the raw nectar that will confer a higher-quality nutrient profile to the honey produced.

Within the propolis are well-researched phytochemicals that have cancer-preventing and antitumor properties. These substances include caffeic acid, methyl caffeate, phenylethyl caffeate, phenylethyl dimethycaffeate. Researchers have discovered that these substances in propolis prevent colon cancer in animals by shutting down the activity of two enzymes, phosphatidylinositol-specific phospholipase C and lipoxygenase, that are involved in the production of cancer-causing compounds.

The following sections address the complete health benefits of honey in its raw form and of bee pollen, propolis, and royal jelly:

      Antioxidant Effects

Honey, particularly darker honey, such as buckwheat honey, is a rich source of phenolic compounds, such as flavonoids, that exert significant antioxidant activity.

      Energy-Enhancing Effects

Honey is an excellent source of readily available carbohydrate, a chief source of quick energy.

      Wound-Healing Properties

The wound-healing properties of honey may be its most promising medicinal quality. Honey has been used topically as an antiseptic therapeutic agent for the treatment of ulcers, burns, and wounds for centuries.

      Anticancer Benefits

Propolis contains well-researched phytochemicals that have numerous cancer-preventing and antitumor properties.

source: The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods 

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10 Habits That Will Help You Become The Healthiest, Slimmest Version Of You

By Mary Vance

Looking to get in the best shape of your life this year? Here are 10 foods and habits to help you get there.

1. Eat protein. 

It’s essential because your body uses it for muscle and tissue repair, and it breaks down into the amino acids used to synthesize feel-good neurotransmitters in your brain responsible for good mood, sex drive, appetite control, sleep, and regulating cravings. 

Lack of quality protein is one of the most common factors I see with clients having difficulty with weight loss. They’re either eating too many grain-based foods for their physiology (and the lectins present in grains can cause inflammation that prevents weight loss), or they’re just not eating enough protein with meals, so they’re not satisfied. 

Examples of quality protein are: grass fed beef and lamb; organic poultry; cage free eggs, preferably from a local farm; and wild fish. For vegetarians, legumes are not a complete source of protein, meaning they do not provide all essential amino acids, so combine with quinoa or brown rice.

2. Eat good fats. 

If you are fat phobic, listen up: eating the right kinds of fat will not make you fat. You know what will? Sugar. Gluten. Processed foods (and yes, that includes your “healthy” morning boxed cereal). Good fats stoke your metabolism and encourage weight loss! Your brain is mostly fat, and your cell membranes need fat to stay permeable, allowing nutrients to enter. Good fats are coconut oil, olive oil, grass fed butter, avocado, and fats present in organic meat. Avoid refined vegetable oils and hydrogenated fats.

3. Get some cinnamon. 

This amazing and antioxidant-rich spice has a blood sugar and insulin balancing effect for stable energy and reduced hunger, and it may lower cholesterol and reduce inflammation. Add 1 teaspoon to your morning smoothie.

4. Drink green tea. 

It’s thermogenic, contains antioxidants, and is an all around miracle beverage as far as I’m concerned. Drink it in the mornings instead of coffee, which jacks your blood sugar and can leave you with a crash accompanied by wicked sugar cravings in the afternoon. Green tea gives you a pleasant boost and may reduce cravings. Have a cup after lunch to ward off the dreaded 3pm crash.

5. Drink more filtered water. 

It flushes toxins and helps regulate metabolism. We sometimes confuse thirst for hunger, so if you’re feeling hungry when you shouldn’t be, drink a glass of water. Add cucumber slices and lemon wedges to spice it up.

6. Do some burst training and yoga. 

Instead of pounding the pavement for hours (I can’t tell you how many marathon-training clients have come to me befuddled by the fact that they’re actually gaining weight), try medium to high intensity interval training. 

How it works: Walk for 1 minute; sprint for 30 seconds. Repeat this circuit for 15 to 20 minutes at whatever intensity is right for you. It’s a much more effective way to burn fat than running for hours. Alternate with yoga to elongate muscles and center yourself, and you’re golden.

7. Sleep 7 to 9 hours every night. 

Seven to nine hours of sleep is essential to maintain healthy body composition. Your body perceives lack of sleep as a stress, which raises cortisol, increasing sugar cravings and fat storage. Ever notice how you crave sugar and carbs the day after you haven’t slept well? Also, if you’re chugging coffee because you’re not sleeping enough, you’re burning out your adrenals and driving up cortisol. Unplug from your devices, and get to bed by 11pm latest.

8. Enjoy some dark chocolate. 

It may contribute to lower overall blood glucose levels; it makes you feel good; and it is chock full of antioxidant-rich dreamy deliciousness. Various studies show that dark chocolate eaters have lower body fat. Choose 70% or higher dark chocolate, which has far less sugar than milk chocolate, and doesn’t contain dairy.

9. Eat 35 to 50 grams of fiber daily. 

Fiber binds to toxins in the gut and helps to whisk them out of the body, scrubbing your colon clean in the process. I’ll spare you a lecture on insoluble and soluble fiber, but you need a certain amount of both because soluble fiber (fruit, legumes) makes you feel full and stabilizes blood sugar, and insoluble fiber (grains, leafy greens) feeds the good bacteria in your gut and fosters regularity.

10. Eat probiotic foods. 

Studies show that probiotics, the beneficial bacteria in your gut, play a role in weight loss and help prevent weight gain. Probiotics are essential for synthesizing certain vitamins, good digestive function, and immune health. Get them from raw kraut, beet kvass or kombucha, or kefir if you tolerate dairy.

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A 3-Step Plan to Get Rid of Inflammation Naturally

By Angelina Helene

Chronic inflammation is the root cause of many diseases and health issues, everything from heart disease and Alzheimer’s, to fibromyalgia and even obesity!  
While many doctors are finally jumping on the bandwagon, offering anti-inflammatory diets and supplements, there are many practices you can do at home that will help in the fight.  
Here’s a quick primer on my 3-prong approach to an inflammation-free body!  
Start to integrate a few of these strategies today to see a difference within a few days. The more you do, the better you’ll feel!
1. Eat a healthy diet. 
Anyone dealing with chronic issues needs to choose organic as much as possible. While some doctors recommend eliminating carbs in general, I feel there is an easier and more sustainable way to quell inflammation while enjoying life! 
  • Aim to eat 80% unprocessed foods. Shoot for only 20% of your food coming from processed items – this would include pastas, breads, snack foods etc.
  • Give gluten the heave-ho! Even people who aren’t gluten intolerance see marked changes once they eliminate this toxic grain! 
  • High veggie diets are the way to go. Be sure to limit the infamous nightshades that increase inflammation – such as tomatoes, peppers, eggplants and potatoes. (Limit to 2 times a week.)
  • Choose sprouted grains and legumes. Many health food stores and even Whole Foods carry a wide array of sprouted products, from pastas to breads and even legumes. While sprouting doesn’t change the flavor of these products, it does enhance the body’s ability to digest them and unlocks the nutrients that wouldn’t be available in the un-sprouted form!

2. Be sensible about supplementation. 

There’s no need for a giant supplement arsenal here. All you need are a few key products:

  • Whole foods multi vitamin. This should be part of everyone’s regime, it will pick up where a less than stellar diet drops off. Even those uber-healthy eaters should include a good multi from time to time.
  • Whole food Stress B formula. This is generally a broad spectrum B that helps the body defend against stress. Extras such as Vitamin C, Zinc and Vitamins D & E can also be helpful.
  • Omega 3’s. They’re THE inflammation busters when it comes to supplements. I like to include more than one and rotate every month or so. Ideally the ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 should be 3:1 or better yet 2:1. Some great choices besides the standard fish oils are seeds such as flax, chia and hemp.
  • Spice it up! Spices as supplements? You betcha. Two great ones that are in the forefront as anti inflammatories are ginger and turmeric – use these as often as possible! Fresh or dried, in foods or desserts.



3. Take some “Me time.” 
Stress is a big contributor of chronic inflammation. One of the easiest ways to combat added stress is to get in touch with yourself and really take care of your body. 
Taking a few minutes out of each day to meditate is a great start as is taking up yoga. Striking a pose not only helps with physical symptoms of inflammation like sore, tight muscles but pranayama (yoga breathing) increases oxygen and lowers stress.  
Finishing up your day by soaking in a tub also helps the body release stress and by adding a few everyday items you can increase the power of the bath tenfold – try some Epsom Salt & Hydrogen Peroxide.
While this list isn’t exhaustive and seems simple, it’s a step in the right direction and shows you that fighting inflammation can be achieved cheaply and easily at home!  
And to start out on your anti inflammatory quest try out my delicious  Anti Inflammatory “Cure All” drink that I recommend to all my clients to quell their inflammation (also kills candida!)
Enjoy this Anti-Inflammatory Cure-All
  • 1 cup non dairy milk alternative (coconut, almond or other nut/seed milk)
  • 1 tbs Coconut Oil
  • 1 tsp Turmeric
  • 2 tsp fresh grated ginger or 1 tsp dried
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp cardamom
  • Stevia to sweeten
Simply drop 1tbs Coconut oil in small saucepan on the stove. When melted, add grated ginger and turmeric. 
Stir to combine and simmer for 1 to 2 minutes.  Add non-dairy alternative, stir to combine, and finally whisk in other ingredients.  
Simmer to warm and enjoy!