Fall is underway and Halloween is right around the corner with Thanksgiving not far behind. It is the season for all things pumpkin and cinnamon!! Pumpkin is tasty and good for you (we should talk about that next time), but today I want to talk about cinnamon!

Cinnamon is probably the tastiest and healthy spice out there! And it smells divine! It comes from the inner bark of the Cinnamomum Tree that is dried (and creates cinnamon sticks) and then ground. There are two types of cinnamon: Ceylon cinnamon which is referred to as true cinnamon and Cassia cinnamon which is what most of us are familiar with. Cinnamon is high in a compound called cinnamaldehyde which is the biggest reason cinnamon is so good for our health and metabolism (and why it smells and tastes so divine)!

Now for the health benefits!! Cinnamon is loaded with antioxidants! Cinnamon outranked other spices and even beat garlic and oregano with its antioxidant power! The antioxidants in cinnamon also make it an excellent anti-inflammatory.

Cinnamon reduces the risk of heart disease! It is helpful in those that have Type 2 Diabetes (it helps sensitivity to insulin and lowers blood sugar levels) and it also lowers the “bad cholesterol”, and lowers blood pressure!! It is also an excellent appetite suppressant!

Test tube studies have also shown that true cinnamon is one of the most effective treatments for the HIV-1 virus (human studies are still needed)!!

Cinnamon reduces the build up of protein in the brain which is one of the signs of Alzheimer’s. It also protects neurons in the brain which help those with Parkinson’s.

Cinnamaldehyde (the compound that makes it smell and taste so good) is an excellent antibacterial and antifungal! It helps treat infections and also fights tooth decay and bad breath.

As with all things, large amounts can be toxic, especially if you are consuming the cassia variety of cinnamon.

So sprinkle it on your pumpkin, sweet potato, squash, oatmeal, or treats and enjoy the health benefits of cinnamon!!