Nothing may beckon the senses quite like fresh cinnamon. This sweet-smelling spice can tantalize, invigorate and stimulate, even before the first tiny brown fleck reaches your mouth. You may think you know the basics of cinnamon: that it’s great on treats, provides a rich, savory depth to some sauces and boosts the taste of certain food staples like oatmeal and yogurt, but in truth, the versatility of this spice extends far beyond its ability to liven up a dish. Here are 7 things you probably don’t know about cinnamon but should!
Cinnamon can make you a more alert driver: A recent study suggests that the scent of cinnamon added to your car may increase your level of alertness and even enhance your performance, while decreasing fatigue, frustration and feelings of anxiety.
Cinnamon acts as a preservative: Cinnamon has natural anti-microbial properties, which help prevent the growth of bacteria and mold. In fact, Cinnamon is so effective at inhibiting spoilage that it was once used in mummification processes to preserve the bodies of Egyptian royalty!
Cinnamon can lower your blood-sugar: Recent studies suggest that consuming up to 6 g (grams) of cinnamon daily can reduce serum glucose levels in your blood, thereby lowering your blood sugar levels and reducing your risk of type-2 diabetes.
Cinnamon can make you smarter: A recent study linked enhanced brain activity to the inhalation of certain odors. Participants in the study, who were given cinnamon-flavored gum, showed improved cognitive function, better memory, faster reaction time and enhanced problem solving abilities.
Cinnamon can improve your heart health: Studies indicate that consuming just half a teaspoon of cinnamon daily can help lower LDL cholesterol, which contributes to potentially dangerous arterial plaque buildup. Cinnamon oil also contains anti-inflammatory compounds that help reduce arterial inflammation, a major contributor to heart disease.
Cinnamon can treat indigestion: Cinnamon is a carminative, or herb that helps prevent gas from forming in your gastrointestinal tract-which can lead to the unpleasant sensation of indigestion.
Cinnamon is an ant repellent: The next time you have an ant invasion in your home, try sprinkling some cinnamon around the points of entry into your house. Ants possess a neurotransmitter which is disrupted by the oil in cinnamon. Cinnamon safely deters ants without causing harm to plants, pets or family members.
Take between one-half to one teaspoon of cinnamon daily (dissolved in tea or lightly sprinkled on or in food) to safely enjoy this sweet, savory spice. Cinnamon not only provides a wonderfully flavorful experience for your taste buds, it also offers many benefits to your health, along with a few other interesting uses. So add a little of this versatile spice to your day to boost your brain power, keep pesky picnic-crashers away, make your daily commute a bit safer, or to simply top off your favorite confection. All these fascinating facts, benefits and uses make it official: Just a dash of cinnamon will help spice up your life!
- http://www.clemson.edu/extension/hgic/pests/pesticide/hgic2770.html (ant repellent)
- http://www.wju.edu/about/adm_news_story.asp?iNewsID=1484 (driving alertness)
- http://www.spurlock.illinois.edu/explorations/online/mummification/pages/materials1.html (mummification)
- http://www.wju.edu/about/adm_news_story.asp?iNewsID=960 (brain booster)
- http://cms.bsu.edu/news/articles/2013/2/study-finds-a-spoonful-of-cinnamon-improves-health (blood sugar)
- http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/cinnamon_for_health (preservative, embalming agent)
- http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20815702 (anti-inflammatory properties)
- http://www.wju.edu/about/adm_news_story.asp?iNewsID=960 (cognitive functions)
- http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/26/12/3215.long (heart health)
- http://www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/hn-2069003#hn-2069003-uses (indigestion)
Photo by Butterfly Psyche
Originally posted 2013-11-13 12:40:49.