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spices-834114_640Cinnamon.  Most of us are familiar with this common spice that is usually found alongside foods that are not the best options for effective weight loss.  Cinnamon, apart from some of these confectionery treats, has numerous benefits.  Cinnamon is derived from the bark of Cinnamomum trees.  After the inner bark is removed from the woody portion of the tree, it dries, curls up, and becomes cinnamon sticks.  Once the sticks are ground, you can smell the cinnamon’s distinctive fragrance.  This fragrance is created by cinnamaldehyde, which gives cinnamon not only its smell and taste but also its healing properties.

Below are five benefits of adding a few dashes of cinnamon into your daily routine.

Great Source of Antioxidants

Cinnamon contains powerful antioxidants.  Antioxidants neutralize free radicals, which have been linked to cancer and aging.  Your body depends on antioxidants that are naturally produced as well as from supplements and a healthy diet.

Reduce Risk of Heart Disease

Several studies have shown a link between cinnamon intake and reduced risk of heart disease.  Studies highlight the relationship between ingesting 1 gram of cinnamon a day and a reduction in LDL cholesterol (or bad cholesterol) and an increase in HDL cholesterol (or good cholesterol).  Even though cinnamon is connected to lower cholesterol, it is important to remember that in order to lower LDL cholesterol in the long-term, you must have a healthy diet and exercise regimen in order to see effective weight loss.

Anti-Inflammatory

Cinnamon also has anti-inflammatory properties.  Cinnamon helps boost circulation and thereby aids in reducing inflammation.  Research also suggests a connection between cinnamon intake and treatment of certain types of headaches.  As cinnamon helps push circulation to the joints, it has also been linked to arthritis management.

Helps Lower Blood Sugar Levels

Regular cinnamon intake may help lower blood sugar levels, which can help with more effective weight loss.  Cinnamon interferes with digestive enzymes that slow the breakdown of carbohydrates.  It has also been linked to lowering insulin resistance.  Cinnamon may have a positive effect on blood markers for people with type 2 diabetes, too.

Anti-Bacterial

Cinnamon is also said to have anti-bacterial properties.  Several studies have highlighted cinnamon’s ability to kill bacteria such as e-Coli, salmonella, and MRSA.  It has even been linked to reducing yeast levels.

Although cinnamon has great health benefits, nothing can replace healthy eating and smart choices when your goal is effective weight loss.  Cinnamon is not just for sweets!  Try sprinkling cinnamon into herbal tea or on some Greek yogurt.

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