Of all the items in my pantry, the one I never want to run out of is cinnamon. My dogs and I enjoy this amazing, deliciously fragrant spice every single day of the year!! The dogs sometimes get a pinch of cinnamon sprinkled over their food. I like it in and on everything from toast, lemonade, and chai tea to baked apple pie, hot chocolate, coffee and rice pudding!!
Not only does cinnamon smell and taste great, it has many health benefits!!
Cinnamon is a small tree that grows in India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Brazil, Vietnam, and Egypt; its bark is dried and rolled into cinnamon sticks, then ground into powder.
There are four varieties, but Ceylon cinnamon and Cassia cinnamon are the most popular; Ceylon, also called true cinnamon, is sweeter, lighter in color, and more expensive than Cassia, which is the darker type of cinnamon more commonly found in supermarkets and Starbucks. Whichever variety you choose, it's definitely worth it to spend a bit more on organic cinnamon, which tends to be even more fabulously fragrant than its non-organic counterpart.
Traditionally, cinnamon has been used around the world to remedy flatulence, nausea, and diarrhea. It is also believed to boost energy, vitality, circulation, cognitive function and overall brain health, AND to improve the digestion of dairy products.
In one study, sniffing cinnamon was shown to result in improved brain function - test subjects performed better at memory and attention after a whiff of this FABULOUS spice. So if you're working with your dog on learning new tricks, definitely offer him or her a sniff of cinnamon before you begin your training session!
Recent studies have shown that just half a teaspoon of cinnamon a day helps to regulate blood sugar and raise insulin resistance; it actually boosts the body's ability to use insulin to improve blood glucose levels. This is vital for anyone at risk for Diabetes.
Other studies reveal that cinnamon is antifungal; it works to combat Candida albicans, the fungus that causes yeast infections. These infections are often resistant to medication, but not to cinnamon. (Dogs who suffer from allergies are often prone to yeast infections).
Cinnamon is also antibacterial, and slows down the spoilage of food. Researchers at Kansas State University found that cinnamon even prevents the growth of E. Coli bacteria in unpasteurized juices!