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Why cinnamon is so much more than just a festive spice

With its evocative perfume and distinctive, aromatic flavour, there is nothing which sums up Christmas more than cinnamon. However, you may be interested to learn that cinnamon offers a whole array of impressive health and wellbeing benefits, which makes it so much more than just a festive spice.

At The QHotels Collection Health Clubs, we think you should enjoy adding cinnamon to your diet all year round, and there’s no better time to start than now given the shops are full of it. For centuries, cinnamon has been considered a panacea and it has quite a history. It was first used in 2000 BC by the Ancient Egyptians, who employed it during the embalming process. The Old Testament mentions cinnamon as an ingredient in anointing oil. Medieval doctors believed cinnamon treated everything from sore throats to arthritis. And Portuguese traders discovered cinnamon in the early 16th century when they ventured to Ceylon, now Sri Lanka.

Cinnamon has countless recorded benefits and it appears that our predecessors may have known a thing or two regarding its health and wellbeing prowess. Thanks to modern medicine and scientific research, we can now understand that cinnamon does offer genuine benefits and there are many reasons why it should feature in our daily diets. So with this in mind, let’s take a closer look:

1. It has been proven that adding a little cinnamon to your diet could help to stabilise your blood sugar levels. For a start, stable blood sugar levels will help to prevent your desire to snack which means you are more likely to either maintain your weight or lose a few
pounds. Cinnamon does actually ‘mimic’ sweetness which can help to satisfy any cravings. Furthermore, cutting back on sweets and sugar will help to lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

2. Cinnamon contains an essential oil called cinnamaldehyde. Research has demonstrated that cinnamaldehyde may offer antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties. This important essential oil finding, coupled with cinnamon’s large quantities of antioxidants, means that it could help to support your immune system, fight against nasty infections, potentially reduce levels of inflammation, and protect your body from a number of diseases.

3. Cinnamon may help to support brain function and enhance your cognitive processing. Furthermore, there is some research which suggests that the effects of eating cinnamon can help to increase the speed of visual-motor responses and improve your levels of concentration. Eating a snack of some yoghurt with a sprinkling of cinnamon and a piece of fruit may just help to prevent that mid-afternoon energy slump.

4. For many years, cinnamon has been used to help support digestive health and to relieve and alleviate the discomfort associated with gastrointestinal complaints. Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, it can help to calm the unpleasant cramps and pains associated with IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), as well as treating flatulence and other digestive imbalances. Cinnamon is taken as an infusion, or a tea, where the ground cinnamon bark is steeped for approximately 5-minutes in boiling water.

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