My goal and mission is for all of us to live healthier, more vibrant lives! Because let’s face it, without our health everything else can be a struggle.
Our physical well being is the foundation that supports the rest of our existence – it is so closely interconnected with our mental, emotional, and spiritual well being!!
In this series of FB Live sessions, I have been talking about the very powerful health benefits of herbs & spices.
The WHAT, WHY, and HOW of integrating spices in your daily diet. Ounce for ounce, herbs and spices give you the most bang per calories. In fact, most often they are a powerhouse of nutrition without even adding calories!!!
Two weeks ago I talked about the compelling scientific studies conducted with saffron in relation to depression and Alzheimer’s. I also shared my Saffron Green Smoothie. I highly recommend everyone to make green smoothies a part of your family’s daily health routine.
Last Sunday, I shared a ton of information about Turmeric. It has countless medicinal and healing properties. I made my super antioxidant powered Turmeric Almond Milk recipe. Andre and I drink it every single day.
Today’s First Topic Is Cinnamon
- Cinnamon originally comes from Sri Lanka.
- There are 2 main types of cinnamon: “true cinnamon” which comes from Sri Lanka; and “cassia cinnamon” also known as Chinese cinnamon.
- It came to Egypt around 2000BC…was used as a fragrance and anointing oil.
- The flavour comes from an essential oil called “eugenol”.
- Cinnamon bark is a great source of minerals like potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, zinc, and magnesium.
TIPS for Storage
Cinnamon should be kept in a cool, dark place with a tight seal to reduce oxidation of its powerful nutrients. Ground cinnamon will stay good for six months; cinnamon sticks will last about a year. Refrigeration helps extend its lifespan. If the cinnamon does not smell sweet than it is no longer fresh and should be thrown away
Ceylon or also called true cinnamon has a sweeter taste and more earthy in colour. It can be 5-10 times more expensive than other varieties.
Cassia cinnamon, also known as Chinese cinnamon has a reddish brown colour and is more spicy, bitter and intense.
Cassia cinnamon contains a compound called “coumarin” (a blood-thinning agent) which may be toxic to the liver at high doses (no more than a 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon/day).
Ceylon cinnamon contains only small amounts of coumarin. Cassia cinnamon contains a much higher level.
Healing and Health Benefits
Cinnamon is well known for its ability to help stabilize blood sugar. It does this by stimulating insulin receptors — causing the body to produce less insulin to get the same desired effect.
Most of the studies for blood sugar effect have been conducted using Cassia cinnamon. So it’s not conclusive if Ceylon cinnamon is as effective in regulating blood sugar levels or if it’s the higher dose of coumarin in cassia cinnamon which actually does that.
If you are concerned about the toxic downside of cassia cinnamon, but want to use it for it’s blood sugar controlling benefits, you can safely use Ceylon cinnamon without worrying.
Cinnamon is one of the most antioxidant rich spices on the planet, second only to cloves. Its powerful essential oils are known for their “anti-microbial” properties. Studies have shown it to be highly effective at halting the growth of bacteria as well as fungi, including Candida.
Due to its antibacterial, anti fungal properties – the essential oil can be used as a food preservative. In one study, they extended the storage life of carrot broth in the fridge for 60 days with just a few drops of essential oil!
Cinnamon is also known to reduce inflammation, improve immunity, and promote brain health.
It is one of the most loved spices around the world. Unfortunately, we tend to eat it with way too much sugar and fat… in things like cinnamon buns and other baked goods.
Eating a good thing with a whole bunch of bad things…a healthy diet does not make!!
- It comes from the same family as turmeric and cardamom – which may explain why it has such extraordinary health benefits.
- It is the most widely used condiment in the world.
- Chinese and Indians have used it for millennia, both for cooking and medicine.
- Same as turmeric, you can buy it fresh, dried or powdered. But fresh or dried turmeric is not as readily available as ginger.
- Ginger is available in so many forms – crystallized, pickled, ginger tea, ginger ale, essential oil.
Ginger is an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-nausea, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal; it supports digestion and our immune system; and is also a very powerful pain suppressant!!
Ginger is a highly potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent. Of the 115 different chemical components found in ginger, the therapeutic benefits come from the oily resin known as gingerols. These bioactive ingredients have been the subject of many clinical studies, and the research backs up why you should use ginger on a regular basis.
Digestion and Nausea
Ginger helps promote digestion, metabolism of your food, and a strong immune system. Known for centuries for it’s digestion and anti-nausea properties, but not scientifically proven by modern medicine until 1982 when it beat out Dramamine (a leading anti-nausea drug).
It is now considered to be an effective and safe treatment for nausea due to motion sickness, pregnancy, chemotherapy, and post surgery.
Immunity and Respiratory Function
Ayurvedic medicine has praised ginger’s ability to boost the immune system before recorded history.
By opening up our lymphatic channels and keeping things clean, ginger prevents the accumulation of toxins that build up in your organs and make you susceptible to infections, especially in the respiratory and lymphatic systems.
Bacterial and Fungal Infections
A study published in 2011 tested the effectiveness of ginger oil to kill Staphylococcus and Streptococcus bacteria. The leading antibiotics couldn’t stand up to ginger extract!
TIP: When visiting someone in a hospital, take a few drops of ginger essential oil in a glass of water to boost your resistance to dangerous infections. Other oils that work well are Oregano, Clove and Melaleuca.
Ginger oil is equally as effective in treating fungal infections.
Migraines (ginger as a pain suppressant)
The most fascinating thing I learned about ginger is its effectiveness in treating migrane headaches. In a double blind, controlled clinical trial, they put ginger against Sumatriptan (one of the top selling billion dollar drugs in the world). Just 1/8 of a teaspoon of powdered ginger worked just as well…and just as fast as the drug!!!
In a different study, ginger (1/8th tsp) also worked as well as Ibuprofen (400mg) in treating menstrual cramps.
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Research Into Ginger and Cancer
I also learned that ginger essential oil may be effective in inhibiting the growth of colorectal and ovarian cancer cells. This was a study done on mice by scientists at the University of Minnesota.
Now that we know more about the nutritional benefits and healing powers of cinnamon and ginger…I thought why not create something delicious to get the most value from this powerful duo! Voila, my Overnight Cinnamon Ginger Oatmeal was born!
RECIPE: The Overnight Cinnamon Ginger Oatmeal
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1 1/2 cups almond milk (unsweetened)
- Handful of walnuts
- Handful of pistachios
- Handful of dried cranberries (unsweetened)
- 1 Tbs almond butter (optional)
- 2 tsp maple syrup
- generous sprinkle of cinnamon (Ceylon)
- generous sprinkle of ground ginger
- Add your choice of fresh fruit on top
- Makes 2 – 3 servings
Thank you for reading. I hope you found this information to be useful. Please share with your friends.
I hope it will inspire you to use these spices regularly. Use food as preventative medicine for optimal health so that your body can withstand the test of time! Who wants to become dependent on others in their old age? I certainly don’t!
Source for some information: www.organiclifestylemagazine.com