By Liz Lipski, PhD, CNN
We know how delicious cinnamon tastes, but research is increasingly proving its health benefits. A new study, conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and published in the April 2006 Journal of the American College of Nutrition, shows that cinnamon can help lower blood pressure. Lead researcher Richard Anderson, Ph.D., is excited about the new finding. “This is the first time we have seen the positive effects of cinnamon on blood pressure levels, one of the risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease,” he says. Previous research has demonstrated cinnamon's other abilities, notably lowering cholesterol and triglycerides levels as well as glucose levels in people with Type 2 diabetes.
In fact, there's so much good research on cinnamon that it's almost a wonder-spice. Its anti-inflammatory properties help prevent blood clots, plus it's a potent natural antibiotic and anti-fungal. You can get the curative and preventive benefits of cinnamon by using just 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. daily. Try sprinkling it on toast, fruit, cold breakfast cereals or in your pancake batter. Add it to rice, oatmeal and other cooked grains.
You can use it to flavor curries, teas, stir-fries and barbecue marinades. It's a natural in baked goods, particularly cobblers, pies, cakes and cookies and, of course, cooked fruits.
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