Cinnamon trees are part of the Lauraceae family and cinnamomum genus. The cinnamon itself is the inner bark of these trees. Cinnamon is a very popular and versatile spice. It is particularly useful in these winter months where it can work as an enjoyable addition to warm foods and beverages. It plays a large role in traditional Chinese medicine, for an array of ailments. So other than tasting great, what benefits can it provide to our body?
- Lowering blood glucose levels. In 2013, a systematic review and meta analysis of ten RCTs was undertaken to evaluate the effect of cinnamon on blood glucose and lipid levels – for which there has been mixed evidence. The results showed that cinnamon can actually help to lower fasting glucose levels in those who have diabetes or pre-diabetes! It also decreased LDL cholesterol, total cholesterol, triglycerides and increased HDL cholesterol. However, cinnamon should be used in conjunction with medication, not as a substitute.
- It is affordable, readily available and safe
- Cinnamon can be a flavourful replacement for added sugar or salt. This is a much healthier swap and will help to manage or lose weight!
- Versatility. It can be used in many different ways from hot to cold foods and savoury to sweet.
How to have more cinnamon
- Add it to your porridge of a morning – this is a popular one
- Sprinkle it over yoghurt
- Have it in a warm glass of milk (or hot chocolate)
- Try adding it to your tea or coffee
- Sprinkle it on toast
Ginger is a herb and is also popular in traditional Chinese medicine. Ginger is actually a rhizome (or underground stem), not a root.
Ginger benefits to your health
Ginger helps with nausea related to cancer treatments, pregnancy, motion sickness, post surgery (2) Eases pain and inflammation resulting from osteoarthritis (2,3) Eases muscle pain and menstrual pain (2,3) It can also provide relief for upper respiratory tract infections and bronchitis (2)
Contact us for results focused nutritional advice
This article was written by our dietitian Belinda Elwin who is a Dietitians Association of Australia member and Accredited Practising Dietitian and Nutritionist. If you have questions about spices or any nutrition related issues, make an appointment. We‘ll provide you with a simple and effective routine targeted to your concerns. Contact us today.
- Allen R, Schwartzman E, Baker W, Coleman C, Phung O. Cinnamon use in type 2 diabetes: an updated systematic review and meta-analysis. Annals of Family Medicine. Pomona, California; 2013. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
- Medline Plus. Ginger. Medline Plus. March 2014. Available from: www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus
- Black C, Herring M, Hurley D, O’Connor P. Ginger (Zingiber officinale) Reduces Muscle Pain Caused by Eccentric Exercise. The Journal of pain. Milledgeville, Georgia; 2010.