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Cinnamon, The Healthy Healing Super Spice

Most people use cinnamon on a daily basis: to flavor their coffee, in baked goods, mixed into an afternoon cup of tea, and in certain savory dishes. Even though it’s an extremely popular spice, the majority of people who use it may not know that it’s also very healthy, especially when taken on a daily basis.

Read on for all the reasons that cinnamon should be something you eat every day! (Especially in your smoothies)

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The History Of Cinnamon

The cinnamon spice we’re all familiar with actually comes from the bark of trees of the genus Cinnamomum variety. The spice made its way to Egypt as early as 2000 BC, and was so highly prized that it was considered a gift for kings and other very important people. It’s even mentioned in the Bible a few times.

There are two types of common cinnamon:  Ceylon cinnamon, which is what many people call “true” cinnamon,  and Cassia cinnamon, the variety of cinnamon that you typically find at your local grocery store.

Cultivation

After a tree is grown for two years, it’s cut at the stems, and has to be processed while the bark is still wet. After the inner bark is peeled off, it’s dried and then sold in long strips.

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Health Benefits

Cinnamon is extremely high in antioxidants. It’s so rich with them that a study actually confirmed it was a clear winner over other potent spices like garlic and oregano.

This spice is also a potent anti-inflammatory, and there have been numerous studies showing the benefits of daily cinnamon consumption and the treatment of chronic issues like arthritis and certain autoimmune disorders. It’s even been said that cinnamon may help with neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases.

Good news for diabetics or those with sensitive blood sugar — regular consumption of cinnamon has been linked to lowered blood glucose. It may also help lower cholesterol and the risk of heart disease, two of the biggest health issues in the US.

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Perhaps one of the best benefits of daily consumption of cinnamon is that it’s been scientifically proven to be a natural anti-cancer agent. As with most natural sources, more in-depth testing has to be done, but a few studies have illustrated cinnamon’s “potential effects in restraining tumor cell growth.”

Smoothies With Cinnamon

If you’re looking to add more anti-inflammatory, cholesterol-lowering cinnamon in your life, try a few of these smoothies!

Cinnamon Chocolate Maca Madness

Foods like avocado and cacao have revitalizing properties that will smooth and strengthen the skin. Cacao contains more than 300 antioxidant varieties. The antioxidants in the South American beans can boost collagen levels and protect the skin against infection. Avocado has plenty of omega fatty acids help de-stress and plump the skin cells. Maca is excellent for skin; it can decrease sensitivity to extreme temperatures and help calm blemishes!

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Superfood Kale Oatmeal

Tahini is a paste made from ground sesame seeds, and along with having 20% complete protein (making it a better source of protein than most nuts), it’s an excellent source of calcium and vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5 and B15. Oats are high in fiber and have cholesterol-lowering properties, and cinnamon is a great anti-inflammatory. Combine these ingredients with fresh kale from Brooklyn Grange (the world’s largest rooftop soil farm), and you’ve got a smoothie so healthy and satisfying you may want to drink it for breakfast every morning.

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Blueberry Crumble

Coming in at only 20 calories, a small yellow squash has virtually no fat, but a lot of fiber and good, complex carbohydrates. It’s also quite a sweet vegetable, and blends seamlessly with the tartness of apple and and blueberries. Acai berry powder contains a good percentage of antioxidants and fiber per serving, and walnuts have a nice dose of vitamin E, which is great for glowing skin.

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Butternut Squash Super Smoothie

Is there anything that says fall more than butternut squash? Because of its sweet taste, this high fiber but low calorie vegetable is a great smoothie ingredient, and when combined with pear, cinnamon, and walnuts, creates a flavor profile that’s like a pie in glass. Mesquite, native to South America and the southwestern United States, invokes the flavor of caramel without any of the sugar, and provides a good amount of fiber, protein, calcium and iron per serving.

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Cinnamon Swirl

A fantastic source of calcium, tahini (which is made from ground up sesame seeds) has 20 percent complete protein, making it a better source of protein than most nuts. It’s also very easy to digest and full of iron. Quinoa flakes are just the pressed version of regular quinoa, and contain all the benefits of the grain, including high protein and fiber, B vitamins and phosphorus. Not only do bananas and squash create a smooth base, they also provide beta-carotene, folate and fiber. Dates provide a natural sweetness and additional fiber, and cinnamon is a perfect anti-inflammatory agent. Snack on this smoothie to satisfy your sweet tooth and keep your stomach full for hours.

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Protein Carrot Cake

What’s so great about pea protein? Well, for one thing, it’s a great complete protein source for vegans, or people who have a hard time digesting whey. It also contains Arginine, which is an essential amino acid for building muscle. Dates are a common sweetener in raw and vegan desserts, and are rich in both fiber and magnesium, and walnuts have more antioxidants per serving than most other nuts. Almond milk and cinnamon round out this delicious, protein-filled smoothie, making it taste just like Thanksgiving morning.

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Lucuma Pecan Pie

With a caramel-like flavor, lucuma powder adds sweetness without calories, and is known for its anti-inflammatory and skin-healing abilities. Cinnamon and nutmeg also provide some anti-inflammatory benefits, and grapes are full of polyphenols, which have been shown to have cancer-fighting effects. Even though it’s not as familiar as kale, broccoleaf is a superfood in its own right, with almost 100 percent of our daily recommended amount of vitamin C per serving, and a good burst of vitamin D as well. Looking to add a little glow to your insides as well as your outside? This smoothie will definitely do the trick!

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Kabocha Squash with Mango

Cozy fall flavors meet tropical sweetness. One serving of mango provides three grams of fiber, as well as 100 percent of the daily amount of vitamin C we all need. Mangos also provide a good dose of vitamin A and folate. Besides having a light but unmistakably fall taste, kabocha squash (also known as Japanese pumpkin) has very few calories per serving. It’s also chock full of beta-carotene, vitamin C and iron. And who can resist the decidedly November flavor of walnuts, which have powerful antioxidants as well as proven satiety effects.

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Superfood Kale Oatmeal

Tahini is a paste made from ground sesame seeds, and along with having 20% complete protein (making it a better source of protein than most nuts), it’s an excellent source of calcium and vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5 and B15. Oats are high in fiber and have cholesterol-lowering properties, and cinnamon is a great anti-inflammatory. Combine these ingredients with fresh kale from Brooklyn Grange (the world’s largest rooftop soil farm), and you’ve got a smoothie so healthy and satisfying you may want to drink it for breakfast every morning.

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Maple Glazed Sweet Potatoes

Luscious yet still ranked low on the glycemic index, sweet potatoes are fat free, full of fiber, and bursting with beta-carotene. They also have proven anti-inflammatory effects. Cinnamon, another great anti-inflammatory, also contains polyphenols, high-powered antioxidants that fight back against cancer cells. Maple syrup (the natural, non-processed kind) also contains polyphenols, so besides being a hearty drink with enough clean fat and carbs to keep you going during a workout, this smoothie will give your immune system a nice, big hug.

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Iced Horchata

A traditional Latin American drink, horchata is usually made with nuts, water and sugar. In the Green Blender version, we’ve amped up the health factor by using natural sugar from dates, and a creamy, potassium-rich base from bananas and rice milk. The protein factor has also been increased with GMO-free, organic tofu, a virtually tasteless vegan protein source made from soybeans. To top it off, there’s a dash of cinnamon, a potent anti-inflammatory that aids in everything from lowering blood sugar to treating the common cold to easing an upset stomach.

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Pecan Oatmeal Cookie

Naturally gluten free and low calorie, tofu is a fantastic source of protein, calcium and iron. (Since tofu is made from soybeans, a highly popular crop, it’s important to make sure to buy organic and non-GMO soy products.) Besides their delightfully sweet flavor, pecans have been shown to lower bad cholesterol, and are the most antioxidant-rich tree nut out there. Oats are another cholesterol-lowering food, and are packed with fiber, as are bananas and raisins. Round everything out with anti-inflammatory power of cinnamon and the zinc and vitamin K in spinach, and you’ve got a complete meal in a glass -- that tastes like a cookie!

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Cinnamon Apple Crumble

Here’s an irresistible comfort food-inspired treat. Swiss chard has a subtle, earthy flavor, which complements the sweetness of apples. Cinnamon is excellent for helping to regulate blood sugar levels. Nutritious grain quinoa is packed with iron, B vitamins, calcium, and fiber. It’s a complete protein and contains all of the essential amino acids. Walnuts offer additional protein plus heart healthy benefits!

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Acai Pear with Cinnamon

Acai is such a powerful superfood, it would almost be easier to list the things it doesn’t do. In addition to being antioxidant rich, Acai helps fight fatigue and high cholesterol. Cinnamon is incredibly anti-inflammatory and helps to regulate blood sugar, which is great if all those summer BBQs have left you feeling a little worse for wear. Combine those with the candy sweetness of a whole pear, and you’ve got vitality in a glass!

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Spiced Cinnamon Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar has been hailed as one of most helpful alternative medicines out there, doing everything from controlling blood sugar spikes, to aiding digestion and weight loss, to even helping cure UTIs and sinus issues. Cinnamon is a tasty anti-inflammatory, and zucchini adds a touch of summer flavor to this decidedly fall-ish smoothie. Did you know that zucchini is actually classified as a fruit? Or that it’s obscenely low in calories for its volume? It also has a very mild taste, often taking on the flavor of whatever its mixed with. Drink in the last days of summer and the first days of fall, all in one healthy green glass!

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Protein Cinnamon Bun

Compared to most other nuts, cashews are relatively low fat, and most of that fat is the healthy monounsaturated kind. This means that cashew butter is better for you than regular peanut butter, and also comes with a dose of protein and magnesium. Tofu is a great vegan protein source (just make sure you’re buying an organic and GMO-free kind), and its soft, creamy texture makes it a perfect smoothie base. Gluten free oats provide a nice dose of fiber, and banana has a kick of potassium and natural sugar for energy. If you need a little extra oomph this week, pour yourself a liquid cinnamon bun and confidently challenge the hoards at your local mall.

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Incorporate more superfoods and super spices like cinnamon into your diet on a weekly basis by joining Green Blender today!