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Embrace Cinnamon, Avoid the Cinnamon Challenge

Talk about ruining a good thing. You take something wonderful like cinnamon, throw in teenagers and YouTube, and you have a growing recipe for disaster. The foolish internet craze referred to as the “cinnamon challenge” is causing a major commotion.

If you haven’t heard of the cinnamon challenge, it is very simple. It refers to the attempt to consume a spoonful of cinnamon in a hurry. No liquid is allowed to aid in washing it down. As one might imagine, cinnamon is very effective at drying out the mouth and the flavor can be spicy. YouTube is littered with videos of teens taking the challenge, and they are often seen gagging and coughing as the cinnamon goes flying everywhere.

Seems like harmless, albeit stupid, fun, right? Wrong. Dr. Alvin Bronstein is the medical director for the Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Center recently released this statement.

“We urge parents and caregivers to talk to their teens about the cinnamon challenge, explaining that what may seem like a silly game can have serious health consequences.”


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Your Complete Guide to Cinnamon

There’s a reason why cinnamon stars in all sorts of pies and cakes: it is a warming spice, excellent for balancing the winter chill and “waking up” the sluggish Kapha dosha.

In traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine, cinnamon has been used for centuries along with honey, ginger and tea to cure cold and flu.

Regular use of cinnamon improves the body’s ability to utilize blood sugar. In fact, just one gram of cinnamon taken daily can reduce fasting blood sugar, triglycerides, total cholesterol and LDL (“bad’) cholesterol. Researchers are now recommending that Type 2 diabetics take up to 1 tsp of cinnamon daily.

In a study, participants were exposed to four scents: zero odor, peppermint, jasmine, and cinnamon. Guess what? Cinnamon emerged the clear winner in boosting brain function, especially memory and motor co-ordination. Just chewing cinnamon-flavored gum or smelling the spice does the trick. Inhale some cinnamon essential oil and feel the alertness kick in.


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Supplements for Better Blood Sugar Control

You’re sweating like crazy, nauseous, dizzy, and feel weak. Sounds like how you might feel after an intense workout, but it may also be the sign of hypoglycemia or low blood sugar. It can happen when your body uses up the sugar in your blood that we get from our food and if gone untreated can lead to diabetes. If you are concerned this could be you, you may want to look into using supplements to keep blood sugar levels more stable.

High blood sugar can do a lot of damage to the body over time and can lead to nerve damage, vision problems, and kidney damage that can lead to eventual kidney failure. Many other disorders go hand in hand with diabetes such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure and heart disease.

The best way to control blood sugar naturally is by exercising consistently and following a diabetic diet. The diet consists of counting carbohydrates (less than 130 grams a day), limiting fat calories to less than 30% of all calories, and increased amounts of protein and fiber. Carbohydrates should be of the whole grain variety as they are shown to cause less of an increase in blood sugar than white flours. However, sometimes diet just isn’t enough.


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Paprika and Cinnamon Said to Protect Your Body From Fatty Foods

Spices have always been an easy, low-calorie way to add flavor to your food without extra fat. According to the Daily Mail, a research team from Penn State University has found that a diet rich in spices, including turmeric and cinnamon, can reduce the stress that high-fat foods can place on the heart.

Scientists report that turmeric and cinnamon, two of the healthiest spices, may protect you from the physical damage caused by high-fat meals.

“Normally, when you eat a high-fat meal, you end up with high levels of triglycerides, a type of fat, in your blood,” study leader, Sheila West told the Daily Mail. “If this happens too frequently, or if triglyceride levels are raised too much, your risk of heart disease is increased.”

By adding healthy spices to a high-fat meal, researchers found that the triglyceride response reduced by about 30% when compared to a similar meal with no spices added.


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The Medicine Cabinet in Your Spice Rack

By Steven V. Joyal, MD, VP of Medical & Scientific Affairs at Life Extension.

Spices add delicious flavors and tantalizing aromas to food, but many people don’t realize that spices offer a variety of beneficial, potentially lifesaving, health benefits. Consider your spice rack as a kind of natural medicine cabinet, and unleash amazing health benefits while you spice up your life with the following five spices!

Cinnamon: Derived from the bark of the tree bearing the same name, cinnamon is high in antioxidant activity. Clinical studies show beneficial changes in blood sugar control in patients with type 2 diabetes dosed with cinnamon spice from one to three grams daily. Experimental research suggests that cinnamon may reduce the likelihood that cells in the colon undergo cancerous changes. Essential oils of cinnamon have antimicrobial activity, too, and this helps provide a scientific basis for cinnamon’s traditional use as a natural treatment for diarrhea.


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