Cinnamon: a Sweet Treat Sugar Can’t Beat

By Steven Kakehashi; First Year Project Manager

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What’s the first ingredient that comes to mind when you think of something sweet? Most people would say sugar. Sugar is used in many desserts because of its sweet flavor, but did you know that cinnamon is also sweet? Unlike sugar, cinnamon is much healthier for you, so much that it can even be considered good for you!

The first thing to know about cinnamon is that there are two different types: Cassia and Ceylon. Cassia is the cinnamon you might see most often as it is the cheapest, while Ceylon, or “true”, cinnamon is a bit more expensive. Other than price, the main difference between the two is the presence of Coumarin. Cassia cinnamon contains more coumarin than Ceylon, which in high doses can cause liver damage. Normal consumption of cinnamon shouldn’t reach a toxic dose, but if you plan to consume more cinnamon, it is recommended to use Ceylon cinnamon.

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One benefit of cinnamon is that it’s loaded with antioxidants. This protects your body from oxidative damage and may help prevent cancer. It can also help reduce the risk of heart disease because it has been shown to reduce LDL, or “bad” cholesterol in the body and increase the good cholesterol. Also, for people who have Type 2 diabetes, cinnamon has been shown to increase insulin sensitivity and reduces blood sugar levels. On top of that cinnamon can be a sweet substitute for sugar, potentially lowering sugar consumption too. There are many more potential benefits of cinnamon such as reducing inflammation, assisting the immune system, protecting brain function and more!

With all the health benefits of cinnamon, it is important to remember that too much of anything can be harmful to you. When using Ceylon cinnamon, limit daily consumption to a maximum of 6 grams a day for 6 weeks or fewer. With that in mind, try adding cinnamon to your next meal! Some recommendations are to add it to yogurt, oatmeal, fruit, or even as a substitute for sugar in coffee. There are so many health benefits of cinnamon, it’s one super food you can’t miss out on!

References:

http://www.organicauthority.com/health/11-health-benefits-of-cinnamon.html

https://authoritynutrition.com/10-proven-benefits-of-cinnamon/

http://www.webmd.com/diet/supplement-guide-cinnamon

http://www.health.com/nutrition/health-benefits-of-cinnamon

http://herbs.lovetoknow.com/Health_Benefits_of_Ceylon_Cinnamon

Images:

http://indieobscura.com/article/990/word-cookies-all-cinnamon-cheats—page-3

http://sirtfooddiet.net/articles/cinnamon-sirtfood/

http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2013/12/30/255778250/cinnamon-can-help-lower-blood-sugar-but-one-variety-may-be-best

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