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Photo by Mariah Wilson

Use cinnamon to manage mid-semester stress

By Christie Melhorn, October 24 2017 — 

Pumpkin spice reigns as the flavour of fall but one of its main ingredients, cinnamon, is a spice-cupboard staple relevant all year round. Like pumpkin spice, cinnamon is abused by artificial counterparts in things like toothpaste, gum and those little heart candies that you find on the floor for months after Valentine’s Day. But natural cinnamon, whether in powder or stick form, adds warmth and aesthetic flare to just about everything. Its scent is universally comforting and triggers a mouthwatering response — especially in fresh-baked goods.

Aside from the sensory pleasure of cinnamon, it’s loaded with nutritional benefits. Check out the following facts and be inspired to whip up a big batch of cinnamon buns this weekend.

Controls blood sugar

Feeling shaky, lethargic and incessantly hungry are symptoms of unstable blood sugar levels and usually a result of following traditional, carb-heavy North American diets. University of California research nutritionist Paul Davis found that regular consumption of cinnamon lowers fasting blood sugar levels by three to five per cent. Davis says that though this might not seem drastic, it’s comparable to the effects of some diabetes medication. This can not only provide mental clarity but also helps manage cravings and prevents overeating — which comes in handy when you’re beckoned by the smell of rising dough at Bake Chef after already eating lunch.

Lowers inflammation

When we’re injured, the affected area may swell as our cells try to defend themselves and heal. Certain foods, such as refined flour, sugar and even dairy, can trigger inflammatory responses that may not generate visible reactions but create unnecessary work for our bodies.

On his healthcare blog, draxe.com, clinical nutritionist Josh Axe explains that anti-inflammatory foods like cinnamon reduce and prevent inflammation, acting as effective pain-management tools. This gives our bodies a break and helps our cells function more optimally. It can even facilitate quicker muscle recovery after a workout. Dust cinnamon over apple slices with peanut butter as a nourishing and tasty post-workout snack.

Boosts immune system

Between all-nighters, stress and too much caffeine, it’s almost impossible not to get sick while in university. However, proper nutrition can prevent or stunt a cold. According to a Heibel Medical University study, cinnamon is a natural anti-fungal and anti-viral agent that bolsters your immune system.

These are just a few of the many potential benefits of eating more cinnamon. While not to be relied on as a cure for health issues, the simple spice is a delicious and accessible preventative tool. Dosage recommendations are unclear but half to a full teaspoon a day is plenty. Consuming large doses of cinnamon is not recommended and has toxic effects — so sprinkle it liberally on your latte but don’t add it by the spoonful!

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