What is Cinnamon?
- Cassia or Chinese cinnamon, is usually more affordable but contains high levels of coumarin and may be harmful in large doses.
- Ceylon cinnamon is also called “true” or “Mexican” cinnamon and is native to Sri Lanka and Southern India.
- Korintje cinnamon is most popular in North America and is a very versatile.
Benefits of Cinnamon
Powerful Anti-Inflammatory Agent
This spice also interferes with inflammatory processes in our bodies that lead to inflammation. In one study, it reduced the amount of nitric oxide and TNF-alpha production, both of which are inflammatory agents. In another study, it lowered levels of IL-8 and also positively influenced other compounds that don’t generally have anti-inflammatory properties.
Protects Your Heart
This spice has also been widely studied for its impact on heart disease. Conventional medicine initially screens for heart disease risk through standard blood lipid panels that include cholesterol, LDL, triglycerides and HDL. Although we’ve learned over the years that these markers don’t always show us the big picture, they are a great initial screening tool.
In a number of studies, it has helped to lower the riskier lipid markers. In a review of randomized controlled trials, cinnamon helped reduce triglycerides and total cholesterol, while raising HDL (which is the good cholesterol marker). Heart disease is important among the autoimmune community because some autoimmune diseases increase the risk of developing heart disease.
May Improve Insulin Resistance
Cinnamon can also lower blood sugar. In another 2018 review, multiple studies found that it was effective in lowering both fasting blood glucose and A1c, which is a 3-month average marker of blood sugar levels.
How to Use Cinnamon
Cassia or Chinese cinnamon is better for sweeter dishes and baked goods. You can sprinkle it on oatmeal or use it in cookies or muffins. Here are some other ways to enjoy :
- Sprinkle it on sweet potatoes
- Add it to hot chocolate (or hot carob drink)
- Top grapefruit with cinnamon and coconut sugar
- Mash it into pureed butternut squash
- Sprinkle onto sliced apples and eat raw or baked
- Add it to smoothies