Scientific research shows that the smell of cinnamon is the most Christmas-y smell – hardly surprising considering the seasonal overload of spicy mulled wine, aromatic biscuits, ridiculously expensive candles and Costa’s cinnamon latte.
Cinnamon is the dried bark from the Cinnamomum tree and the reason for its delicious and distinctive aroma is a compound called cinnamaldehyde. Scientific research has also shown this compound to have significant health benefits. This is also not surprising, considering the spice has been used in medicine for thousands of years. In fact cinnamon could be classed as the original superfood; It is mentioned in one of the earliest books on Chinese botanical medicine dated around 2,700BC and was so highly treasured in Ancient Egypt it was considered more precious than gold. Here’s why:
1) Reduces blood sugar levels
Cinnamon slows the rate at which the stomach empties after meals, this curbs the sharp rise in blood sugar after eating and reduces the risk of diabetes and heart disease. One study has shown that adding cinnamon to a meal can lower its glycemic index by as much as 30%.
2) Anti-inflammatory properties
Inflammation in the body, vital for correct tissue function, has recently become public enemy number one. Modern societies’ high-fat, high sugar diet has resulted in inflammation becoming out of control leading to a multitude of diseases. Cinnamon has been shown to have potent anti-inflammatory activity.
3) An anti-microbial food
Cinnamon helps stop the growth of bacteria and fungi, including the problematic yeast candida. It is an effective alternative to traditional food preservatives and can even help prevent tooth decay and bad breath.
In addition, studies have shown cinnamon to help fight the HIV virus, reduce the growth of cancer cells and be effective against the onset of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. In fact, it seems that the mere smell of the spice can boost brain activity – amazing!
So, if you’re feeling a little fuzzy in the head after all the Christmas extravagance, or you’re keen to benefit from all the other marvellous health properties of Cinnamon, check out Pip & Nut’s delicious Baked Honey, Cinnamon and Cashew Cheesecake recipe.
You can get your hands on the new Pip & Nut flavour – Honey Cinnamon and Cashew Butter at our #MoveYourFrameShop here.