A blog by runners. For runners.

Natural healing: cinnamon

Natural healing: cinnamonCinnamon. This warming, delicious, comforting spice is omnipresent in the fall – from pumpkin muffins to apple pies to PSLs (pumpkin spice lattes). And the spice does more than just tickle your tastebuds. It also has many health benefits.

Cinnamon …

  • … is anti-microbial: Cinnamon has been studied for its anti-microbial effects on the body. What does this mean? It can help slow or stop the growth of harmful bacteria in the body; this includes a bacteria female runners may be all too familiar with – candida.
  • … has warming properties: Cinnamon is warming and soothing to the body. To take advantage of this warmth, add a sprinkle of cinnamon to your morning smoothie (try our pumpkin spice smoothie) to feel the effects from the inside out.  If you’re looking for a little extra warmth, you can also add a dash of cayenne along with your cinnamon. The combination will make a frozen smoothie seem less daunting in the cooler months.
  • … regulates blood sugar: Studies show consuming 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon before a meal can reduce the rise in blood sugar. It’s not recommended to simply eat a spoonful of cinnamon, though. Mix it with water and a little lemon and ginger, add it to your tea, or mix it with your coffee grounds before brewing your favorite cup for a lovely fall taste.
  • … helps with digestive issues: Cinnamon can help ease common digestive issues such as flatulence or slow digestion by stimulating salvia and increase gastric juices to help break down foods.
  • … reduces leg cramps: Researchers have found mixing honey and cinnamon into a paste and massaging directly into sore muscles or joints can relieve leg cramps and some arthritic conditions.  To make the paste, mix 1/4 cup honey with 2 teaspoons of cinnamon, apply to the affected area several times per day. You can alternate the paste with an ice pack.

So next time you see your little jar of cinnamon on the spice rack, don’t skip over it. It’s benefits are plentiful and powerful!

Written by Lisa Chase / Photo Creative Commons Image