This 7 part herb, nut and fruit series gives you a way to slide these health gems into your week with minimum effort. What better way to keep the doctor away?
Herb in Focus: Cinnamon
Cinnamon is a powerful spice that has been used medicinally around the world for
thousands of years. It has a unique smell, color and flavor due to the oily part of the tree that it grows from.
Cinnamon can be obtained in the form of pure bark, essential oils, ground spice (bark powder) or in extract form.
Like many wonder herbs, it has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, anti-microbial, immunity-boosting and potential cancer and heart disease-protecting abilities.
Cinnamon has long been used for not only making food taste better and sweeter, but also for home remedies and medicinal purposes. Clocking in at only six calories per teaspoon, cinnamon is an excellent guilt-free addition to many dishes and drinks.
Here are four ways a daily dose of cinnamon (about 1/4 to 1 teaspoon per day) could be worth it’s weight in gold — besides the fact that it’s delicious, of course.
- Cinnamon helps lower blood glucose levels in people with type 2 DIABETES
- Thanks to the antibacterial effects of bioactive phytochemicals, cinnamon could help clear ACNE. Read on to know for a simple pimple-fighting topical face mask recipe. Cinnamon extract “significantly promotes type I collagen biosynthesis within dermalfibroblasts.” In other words, it protects against wrinkles and aging skin. Try this easy to-do cinnamon face mask recipe below to keep your skin feeling fresh and young.
- Research shows that cinnamon intake improved scores on tasks related to attentional processes, virtual recognition memory, working memory, and visual-motor response speed! Want to ace that next exam or sharpen your grey cells? Get a load of this MEMORY BOOSTER.
- WEIGHT LOSS! Cinnamon has a regulatory effect on blood sugar levels and simultaneously increases insulin levels in the body. It imitates the biological activity of insulin and increases the metabolism of glucose. Since high blood sugar levels can lead to increased storage of fat by the body, cinnamon helps prevent this increased storage of fat and enables you to lose weight. In addition, it influences the manner in which sugar is metabolized by the body and prevents the transformation of the metabolized sugar into fat. Cinnamon also delays the passing of food from the stomach into the intestine. Hence, you feel satisfied for a longer time and eat less. This helps you lose weight. Cinnamon also helps the body to process carbohydrates more efficiently and this assists you in losing a few pounds. Studies show that abdominal fat is more sensitive to the effects of cinnamon than fat from other parts of the body.
How to Cinnamon
Face Mask: combine 2 tsps of raw, organic honey (another antibacterial treat), and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Apply to your face for about ten minutes and then rinse gently with a washcloth and warm water.
Weight loss & heart protection: A teaspoon of honey and half a teaspoon of cinnamon powder added to a cup of boiling water consumed every morning helps you shed weight and lowers your risk of heart disease.
Hair mask: to avoid hair loss and promote hair growth.
Start by warming in a bowl. Mix together 1 tsp each of cinnamon powder and honey with half a cup of warm olive oil and stir. Work this mixture onto your scalp, leave on for 15 minutes and wash off.
Nausea relief: When ingested, cinnamon tea works well in helping relieve nausea because of the catechins in the spice. Boil 1 teaspoon of cinnamon bark in a cup of water for about 10 minutes, strain the liquid and drink. Caution: not recommended in pregnant women
Nut in the spot: Hazelnut
Rich in unsaturated fats (mostly oleic acid), high in magnesium, calcium and vitamins B and E, Hazelnuts are good for your heart, help reduce the risk of cancer, and aid in muscle, skin, bone, joint and digestive health.
You may enjoy hazelnuts as an afternoon snack, which is great, as they’re packed with
vitamins, proteins and good fats. Those fats can also be pressed from the nuts to create
hazelnut oil, which has wonderful benefits for the skin. Because of its high vitamin E content, hazelnut oil is slow to go rancid, as the antioxidant protection of the vitamin E preserves it.
Not only is hazelnut oil moisturizing, its also help balance natural oils.
Hazelnuts are naturally hydrating, but their unique makeup produces an oil that helps unclog pores.
Here are several great arguments in favour of upping your hazelnut intake:
- Fiber & Folate: They’re also a good source of dietary fiber, which can promote healthy digestion, and deliver about a third of the daily requirement for folate in one serving, which is important for women of childbearing age.
- Prevent Cholesterol: If you eat approximately 40 grams of hazelnuts daily you will be more likely to have low LDL levels (bad cholesterol) and high HDL levels (good cholesterol)
- Excellent for Vegetarians: thanks to high protein content
- Control Blood Pressure: Hazelnuts contain approximately 193 grams of potassium which is an essential to regulate, control and lower blood pressure
- Wound Healing can be hastened by using hazelnut oil which has astringent properties.
- Keep safe from UV rays. Screen your skin from the sun through application of hazelnut oil.
- Good For Menstrual Cramps- thanks to its high amounts of magnesium, calcium, and Vitamin E that relieve the pain.
How to Hazelnut
DIY Nutella: blend 1 cup hazelnuts, half cup cocoa powder, 1 cup dates and 2 tsps of any plant based oil (optional). You can also add a dash of vanilla essence and salt. Dates replace the need for sugar.
5-ingredient granola bars: 1 cup each of Hazelnuts (or almonds, cashews) and dates. Half cup each of peanut (or almond) butter and honey and 1 1/12 cup oats. Roast the nuts and oats and then chop into pieces. Blend the dates to a smooth texture. Warm the peanut butter with the honey. mix all ingredients together. Press firmly into a tray until flattened. Put into fridge or freezer for 15-20 minutes to harden. Cut into bars and store in an airtight container
Fruit of interest: Apple
The myriad health benefits of apples include prevention of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, heart, stomach, and liver disorders, gallstones, constipation, anemia, and diabetes. They also lower your risk of suffering from rheumatism, eye disorders, a variety of cancers, and gout. Apples provide relief from dysentery, and promote digestion.
They also aid in dental and skin care.
Apples are rich in pectin which helps bulk up the stool to treat diarrhea and constipation.
Apples also contain some chemicals that kill bacteria, they are high in vitamin C and Iron.
Apple peel contains a chemical called ursolic acid that is suspected to have a role in building muscle and metabolism.
Apples Are High in Weight Loss Friendly Fiber. A medium-sized apple contains 4 grams of fiber. High fiber and low calorie content make apples an excellent food to lower body weight and reduce the risk of obesity. Eating fiber slows the digestion of food and makes you feel more full with fewer calories and hence; lose weight.
Cancer research on the apple effect:
Liver Cancer: apple juice, apple pectin and apple peel has been experimentally confirmed
to kill liver cancer
Breast Cancer: apples have been found to both prevent and to suppress mammary
Esophageal Cancer: An apple-derived procyanidin has been found to suppress esophageal
Stomach Cancer: apple constituents inhibit Helicobacter pylori, one of the main infectious agents linked to gastric cancers.
How to Apple
ABC Smoothie: blend 2 apples, a carrot and a beetroot. Mix in water to get the desired consistency. This is great for detoxing, for those deficient in iron and Vitamins A & C
Baked Apple Delight: Peel apples, scoop out the centre. Place a stick of Cinnamon in the center and bake for 10-15 mins or until apples are soft. While still hot, fill the centre with vanilla icecream and enjoy!