Should You Be Eating More Cinnamon Buns?
By David Tetter
Yet another potent example of food as medicine is the magical spice called Cinnamon. Revered by the ancient Egyptians for its efficacy in the embalming process and valued by the Chinese for its heat giving properties in Chinese Medicine, Cinnamon was also one of the first spices sought by European traders.
Not all Cinnamon is created equal, however. Cinnamon Zeylancium (or Ceylon Cinnamon) is superior to the Cassia variety due to its lower of levels of Coumarin. Coumarin is a powerful blood thinner and can interact adversely with certain drugs like Warfarin and diabetes medications.
I have used and recommended doses of one to three grams per day for several years with no adverse side effects. Cinnamon is highly alkaline and is therefore useful in combating acidity in the body. Stress, exercise, coffee and many of the foods we enjoy are very acid forming, and Cinnamon keeps the body’s PH on an even keel. This is particularly important for immune system function and keeping a healthy level of intestinal flora. This is turn helps to combat fungal infections. In one study done in Germany, Cinnamon killed even Candida strains that were resistant to fluconazole ( a common anti fungal) and completely suppressed the bacteria that causes urinary tract infections and also stomach ulcers. It is these anti fungal and anti bacterial properties that have made Cinnamon popular as a food preservative for centuries as well.
Perhaps the greatest area of interest however lies in Cinnamon’s ability to increase insulin sensitivity. Those who have followed my blog will know that insulin resistance plays a major role in obesity, diabetes and heart disease. In a 2003 landmark study on diabetics, subjects took between one to six grams of Cinnamon daily for 40 days with the following results:
- Blood glucose reduced 18 – 29%
- Tryglycerides dropped 23 – 30%
- LDL cholesterol down 7 – 27%
- Total cholesterol down 12 – 26%
This is exciting stuff; reducing abdominal obesity and reducing heart disease – all without the nasty side effects of prescription drugs.
In addition to all of these benefits, Cinnamon is a potent anti inflammatory and has also been shown to improve brain function through inhaling the aroma.
I use Cinnamon on my whole grain organic oats in the morning or in a variety of ways with my wild game recipes. The organic fair trade Ceylon Cinnamon that I recommend can be purchased through the Trade Aid shops thereby ensuring a fair wage for growers and care for the environment.
Yours in health,