The Love of Cinnamon!

You either love it or hate it. Personally, I love the smell and taste of Cinnamon! It makes certain foods taste incredibly good. I use it multiple times a day, most days. If you also use cinnamon often this information may be important to you.

Caution is needed however, cinnamon is a very hot spice. never put it directly into your mouth. It will burn you. The oils in cinnamon are very volatile. Always mix it with food or a drink. Additionally, using the wrong type of cinnamon in higher amounts can be harmful.

Let’s take a look at some of the properties of cinnamon, one of my favorite spices! I love the flavor and smell.  As I am writing this for you I am sipping on a cup of hot chocolate infused with 1/4 teaspoon of Ceylon cinnamon and raw honey. 

It can be used in sweet dishes and in savory dishes.  It is very versatile and has a very profound and enticing smell.  In the winter it evokes the power of the Holiday spirit.  It’s aroma has the power to shift our mood to that of happiness and improve our cognitive power!

Ceylon cinnamon also known as true cinnamon is the best cinnamon for everyday use. This is why. Cassia cinnamon, the type most commonly found in grocery stores contains a compound called   coumarin, that can damage the liver if consumed frequently in even normal quantities. .

Cassia cinnamon is usually labeled as Saigon or Vietnamese cinnamon. Ceylon cinnamon does not have coumarin. Ceylon cinnamon is not as pungent or aggressive in flavor as Cassia cinnamon. Its flavor is more subtle and a little sweeter.   If you do or plan to switch to Ceylon only buy organic brands. There are a few stores that carry Ceylon cinnamon. You can find it easily online.

The spice cinnamon has been used as a spice and in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years. Did you know in the Bible, Moses was directed to use cinnamon to make Holy Oil for anointing the sick.  Cinnamon has very powerful antioxidant benefits.

Cinnamon comes from the bark of a tree. Although there are four main varieties of cinnamon, Ceylon cinnamon and Cassia cinnamon are the most popular.  Ceylon cinnamon is not as aggressive in its flavor and can be used in larger quantities providing greater antioxidant potential.  The cinnamon from Ceylon is slightly sweeter, more refined and more difficult to find in local markets. If you are going to use and consume a lot of cinnamon I would only recommend you use the Ceylon variety.

A few of the health benefits of cinnamon:

  • May support better blood sugar levels
  • Powerful antioxidant
  • May be Anti-bacterial
  • May be Anti-fungal
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • May support better and healthier digestion
  • May improve blood flow and circulation preventing heart disease
  • May help prevent Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia
  • May improve cognitive function
  • May support lower cholesterol
  • May be heart protective

Just the smell of cinnamon may help you think better. Research led by Dr. P. Zoladz and presented April 24, 2004, at the annual meeting of the Association for Chemoreception Sciences, in Sarasota, FL, found that chewing cinnamon flavored gum or just smelling cinnamon enhanced study participants’ cognitive processing. No wonder I love the smell of cinnamon!

Recent studies have found that cinnamon may have a beneficial effect on blood sugar. One of the first human studies was published in 2003 in a medical journal called Diabetes Care. Sixty people with type 2 diabetes took 1, 3, or 6 grams of cinnamon in pill form daily, an amount roughly equivalent to one quarter of a teaspoon to 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. After 40 days, all 3 amounts of cinnamon reduced fasting blood glucose by 18 to 29%, triglycerides by 23 to 30%, LDL cholesterol by 7 to 27%, and total cholesterol by 12 to 26%.

Some of the health benefits of cinnamon are not conclusive particularly those surrounding blood sugar control.  More research is needed.  You can find more info regarding the  confusion of studies at this site.

Enjoy your cinnamon and try using it in a variety of ways. It doesn’t take much to add a flavorful impact.

Healthy Wishes,

Wally Bishop I.N.H.C., C.N.C., C.I.C.P.

Integrative Nutrition Health Coach

Wellness With Wally

References:

Orally Administrated Cinnamon Extract Reduces β-Amyloid Oligomerization and Corrects Cognitive Impairment in Alzheimer’s Disease Animal Models http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0016564

Cinnamon improves glucose and lipids of people with type 2 diabetes.  Department of Human Nutrition, NWFP Agricultural University, Peshawar, Pakistan. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14633804

A comparison of chemical, antioxidant and antimicrobial studies of cinnamon leaf and bark volatile oils, oleoresins and their constituents. Chemistry Department, DDU Gorakhpur University, Gorakhpur 273 009, India. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17408833

Cinnamon intake lowers fasting blood glucose: meta-analysis. Department of Nutrition, University of California-  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21480806

Medicinal Properties of True (Ceylon) Cinnamon https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3854496/

The contents of this blog are not and should not be considered medical advice. This blog is for informational purposes only. Always consult with your doctor before making any dietary or lifestyle changes. Never quit taking prescription medications unless advised to do so by your doctor.

What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You?

If You Knew the Diet You Are Eating Was a Major Contributor to Alzheimer’s, Heart Disease and Cancer?

I am not an alarmist. However the facts on this subject are very compelling and you have a right to know the facts about what you put in your body. What you do after reading the message is up to you. My hope is that it will resonate with you enough to bring healthy change in your diet and lifestyle.

The Ostrich Syndrome

You can’t ignore this and it will not go away. I hear and read reasons to justify food choices all the time. Such as; “Well I am going to die anyway so I should at least enjoy my food”, It’s genetics and its going to happen anyway so I am going to eat what I want”, My granddad lived to 99 and he smoked and ate fried foods and drank a lot so why should I do any different? Sound familiar?

Regardless, this isn’t something you can hide from or run from. As far as genetics go, studies have told us for years that most disease causing genes are dormant until we fertilize them with a poor diet, exposure to toxic chemicals or unmanaged stress. And some genes are going to express and cause disease regardless what we do, however, that is  a very small percentage of illness and disease. We create the perfect conditions for genes to spring to life to bring us disease. In contrast, a mostly plant-based diet may suppress these rogue genes. Sure, an occasional hot dog, fries or BBQ isn’t going to cause these conditions but consuming then week after week for years can and does.

The hardcore truth is; American’s are getting sicker and our crap foods and stressed lifestyle have a lot to do with it. Regarding Alzheimer’s, America has the 2nd highest rate and Finland has the highest.  America also has some of the highest rates of Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease. The countries with the lowest rates are Asia, Eurasia the Middle East and African Nations.  The countries with the lowest rates of Westernization have the lowest rates of these diseases. Interestingly, 30% of people with Alzheimer’s also have heart disease, and 29% also have diabetes. (Alzheimer’s Association)  Alzheimer’s rates are climbing drastically. Maybe the American diet rich in AGE’s are a big part of the cause. Should we take a closer look at diet more and less towards drugs to find the cure. Hippocrates nailed it when he said “Let Food be Thy Medicine”.

Numerous, peer-reviewed studies show the majority of today’s rapidly growing diseases are diet influenced.

Could This be a Major Player in Disease and Illness?  There are many suspected contributors to disease and illness and the one I am presenting is not the only cause but I believe it is a big one. Read this thoroughly, do your own research and then make your own conclusions.

AGE’s

Advanced Glycation End Products (AGE’s) accelerate our aging at the cellular level. Studies link AGE’s to heart disease, diabetes, stroke, vascular disease, nerve damage, kidney disease, vision problems and cancers, even Alzheimer’s, due to the production of amyloid proteins and free radical damage to brain cells.

“We found that mice kept on a diet high in AGEs, similar to Western diet, had high levels of AGEs in their brains together with deposits of amyloid-β, a component of the plaques characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease, while at the same time developed declines in cognitive and motor abilities. The mice fed a low AGE diet remained free of these conditions. In addition, clinical studies have shown that subjects with higher blood AGE levels, in turn resulting from high AGE diets, are more likely to develop cognitive decline on follow up.” https://www.j-alz.com/content/new-study-postulates-role-dietary-advanced-glycation-end-products-risk-alzheimers-disease

AGEs are harmful compounds that are formed from dry, high heat cooking that combine sugars, proteins and fats. Even cooking certain foods at lower temperatures for longer periods still increases the production of AGE’s. Other cancer causing chemicals are produced as well, such as acrylamides.

AGE’s are another reason to avoid as much sugar as possible. Sugar is very harmful. Fructose (agave nectar or syrup and HFCS) forms AGE’s 10 times faster that glucose (blood sugar). Fried starchy foods (French fries, fried pies) are also rich in AGE’s and acrylamides.

Let’s get real for a moment and look at a few typical foods Americans eat every day high in AGE’s. Grilled meats, hot dogs, donuts, pastries, French fries, BBQ, breaded meats, potato chips, corn chips, crackers and even a baked potato with butter and cream are big providers of AGE’s. If you are eating these you are greatly increasing your risk for future disease and illness. The amount of AGE’s in food varies. In the list provided in this link you can see the foods with the highest AGE content are animal foods and a few roasted nuts.  Eat the nuts raw greatly reduces the AGE content.  There are very few AGE’s in plant-based foods like vegetables, legumes, raw nuts and seeds and fruits.

Research performed in animal studies show a restriction of dietary AGEs slowed the progression of atherosclerosis (causes heart disease) and diabetes. A study in humans found that a low-AGE diet reduced blood levels of C-reactive protein, which is a measure of inflammation and a known risk factor for heart disease.

The Standard American Diet is full of simple sugars like sucrose, fructose and galactose (milk sugar). Many of the sweeteners available today are at least 50% fructose or a fructose derivative such as high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, agave nectar and agave syrup. These added sugars are a major cause of AGE’s when added with fats and proteins in the right environment.

What foods have the most and least AGE’s?

  • Fats, dairy and meat products contain the most AGEs
  • Carbohydrates are relatively low in AGEs
  • Higher cooking temperatures increase AGEs
  • Longer cooking times increase AGEs
  • The presence of liquids in cooking (such as boiling ro steaming) reduces AGEs
  • Processed foods have more AGEs than natural or homemade foods

Looking at this list, we can say for sure a diet rich in vegetables, legumes, fruits, and raw nuts and seeds provides the least damage from AGE’s.   The real problem is with meats, dairy and processed foods.

How cooking influence’s AGE’s

When cooking foods, the higher the temperature, the longer the time and the type of heat determine the amount of AGE’s produced.  Dry heat produces substantially more AGE’s than wet heat.  Boiling, poaching, steaming and stewing are the cooking methods that produce the least amount of AGE’s and cooking, grilling, frying, baking, and broiling produces the most AGE’s.

AGEs form as food browns during cooking, primarily when foods high in protein or fat are subjected to high temperatures. Cooking at a higher temperature for a shorter period of time creates more AGEs than cooking at lower temperatures for longer periods of time. Also, exposure to dry heat produces more AGEs than cooking in liquid. Thus, broiling, frying, or grilling of meats creates more AGEs than boiling, poaching, or stewing. For example, a chicken breast broiled for 15 minutes contains more than five times as many AGEs as the same food boiled for one hour.  If you barbecue or allow meats to char ,not only do you have AGE’s you also have other cancer causing compounds. .

Balance in life

A life of wellness is about balance not perfection. Because certain foods have high amounts of AGE’s it doesn’t mean never consume them. It means be smart about it. Limit the intake and eat as nutritious as you can as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle. If you eat nutritious foods and prepare your foods in different ways, you will cut the risk of health issues from harmful chemicals and compounds present in everyday foods.

Healthy Wishes

Wally Bishop I.N.H.C.

Integrative Nutrition Health Coach

wellnesswithwally

Vive shake 

 

Sources

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3704564/  (Alzheimer’s)

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18473848 (Alzheimer’s)

https://www.j-alz.com/content/new-study-postulates-role-dietary-advanced-glycation-end-products-risk-alzheimers-disease

https://www.hindawi.com/journals/omcl/2017/7039816/  (Alzheimer’s)

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9777946 (Alzheimer’s)

http://www.neurodegenerationresearch.eu/2016/08/study-shows-that-exercise-and-diet-can-reduce-build-up-of-protein-linked-to-alzheimers/

https://www.cnn.com/2014/12/08/health/alzheimers-reversal/index.html

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3583887/ (skin)

http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/114/6/597 (Diabetes and vascular damage)

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18473849 (Vascular disease and diabetes)

http://clinical.diabetesjournals.org/content/21/4/186 (Diabetes)

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16037299  (Cancer)

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28811077 (Cancer)

http://familywellnesshq.com/fructose-in-fruits-veggies-nuts-seeds-legumes-grains/  (Fructose content in foods)

http://inhumanexperiment.blogspot.com/2009/09/age-content-of-foods.html

https://www.niehs.nih.gov/health/topics/agents/acrylamide/index.cfm  (Cancer)

http://www.worldlifeexpectancy.com/cause-of-death/alzheimers-dementia/by-country/

The information in this blog and on our website ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­is presented as is for educational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for the diagnosis, treatment, or advice of a qualified, licensed medical professional. The facts presented in this e-mail, blog or on the website are offered as information only, not medical advice, and in no way should anyone infer that we are practicing medicine. Seek the advice of a medical professional for proper application of this material to any specific situation. No statement in this e-mail or on the website has been evaluated by the United States Food and Drug Administration or any other regulatory authority. Any product mentioned or described on this website is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

We recommend that you do your own independent research before beginning a new lifestyle routine or purchasing anything. Please consult with your physician or health care provider if you have medical issues and before changing your diet or lifestyle or taking herbal or dietary supplements. Never start an exercise program with getting your doctors approval. Never quit taking medications unless advised to do so by your doctor.  Only your health care provider, personal physician, or pharmacist can provide you with advice on what is safe and effective for your unique needs

Seeds of Health for Us Nuts!

nuts and seedsI really do like nuts and seeds. I eat a variety of them every day. They are satisfying, taste great, provide texture to other foods, are a great source of heart healthy fats, protein, fiber, B Vitamins, Vitamin E, many minerals and many antioxidants. What is there to not like about nuts and seeds? I often add them to my smoothies at the end and just blend them a little. I like having the crunchy texture this adds.

A study of more than 34,000 Seventh-Day Adventists, showed that those who consumed nuts at least five times a week had half the rate of heart attack as those who had seldom ate nuts, and those who ate nuts only once a week still had a 25 percent lower risk of heart disease than those that ate few nuts and seeds.  Similarly, the Nurses’ Health Study, involving over 86,000 women, reported a lower rate of heart disease among frequent nut eaters.

Most nuts and seeds contain more than 60% monounsaturated fats which are they same fats found in olive oil. Monounsaturated fats are heart healthy. Some nuts and seeds are also great providers of Omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 3’s from nuts and seeds are our focus today.

Omega 3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory and are protective of our joints, blood vessels and brain. However the American diet is full of unhealthy inflammatory fats.  Most of these come from processed foods that are rich in omega 6 fatty acids and hydrogenated fats (also know as trans fats). One of natures answer to this problem are nuts and seeds. We need to include in our daily diet the nuts and seeds providing the highest levels of omega 3 fatty acids.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18751910

This link provides a list of 61 health benefits from omega 3 fatty acids!

Lets get one nut out of the way that really is not a nut at all; and that is the most famous peanut. Peanuts along with other nuts and seeds were included in the studies mention above. The peanut is actually a legume which includes, beans, peas and lintels. Like nuts and seeds peanuts have many health benefits and are rich in heart healthy monounsaturated oils, B Vitamins, Vitamin E, resveratrol, and many minerals. However, be careful when buying peanut butter or peanuts.  The commercial processing of peanut butter can taint them with molds and other unhealthy ingredients. Many peanut butters have added sugars and other ingredients that make it less healthy. Most peanuts are roasted and salted and may also contain MSG. Just be careful when buying any nut, seed or peanuts. Choose organic if possible.

I suggest you consume all nuts and seeds raw. Some people are sensitive to the phytic acid and enzyme coating that protects raw nuts and seeds from being digested. If you have problems digesting raw nuts (you get bloating, cramping, gas) then you should soak them overnight and then rinse them well. This will remove the phytic acid coating.  Instructions for soaking are at the end of this article. The one downside to soaking is that they will not retain as much of their natural crunchiness. They are going to be a little softer than they would raw but still very healthy!

Seeds tend to have less calories per ounce than nuts because of less fat content but they can contain more protein than found in some nuts.

This is my go to list of nuts and seeds for highest health and Omega 3 intake.

  • Ground flax seeds (very high in omega 3’s and rich in many nutrients and soluble fiber)
  • Sacha Inchi seeds (very high in omega 3’s and protein)
  • Chia seeds (very high in omega 3’s loaded with many nutrients)
  • Black seeds  (has over 1600 healing compounds, may help with many adverse health conditions)
  • Pumpkin seeds (great source of zinc and magnesium which helps us relax and many other nutrients, is great for men’s health)
  • Walnuts (good source of omega 3’s, has the ability to reduce c-reactive protein making it very heart protective) http://www.webmd.com/balance/stress-management/news/20101006/walnuts-reduce-stress
  • Pecans (pecans have the highest antioxidant power of all nuts and rich in many nutrients)
  • Cashews  (helps improve our mood from its magnesium and tryptophan content)
  • Almonds   (protects our brain from dementia and help with neuron activity)

Nuts and seeds may potentially improve;

  • High cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • High blood pressure
  • Arthritis
  • Digestive disorders
  • Heart disease
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Alzheimer’s and dementia
  • Osteoporosis

This is a great chart you can refer to comparing nutrition facts with foods traditionally known for their Omega 3 content including seeds, nuts and fish. As you can see these seeds tend to be higher in Omega 3’s than nuts.

Seeds Nuts Fish
1 ounce of… Sacha Inchi Chia Flax Hemp Almonds Walnuts Pecans Salmon Herring Mackerel
Calories 190 137 150 160 161 173 193 40 45 57
Fat (g) 15 9 12 13 14 17 20 2 3 4
Protein (g) 8 4 5 10 6 7 3 6 5 5
Omega 3 (mg) 7000 4915 6388 2400 2 2542 276 565 488 748

 

Nuts are rich in protein, vitamins, minerals and fat; while seeds are rich in protein, vitamin B, minerals, fat and dietary fibers.

If you want to maximize the nutrients you get from nuts, soak them in distilled or purified water overnight. This helps neutralize enzyme inhibitors and phytic acid both of which may affect digestion and absorption of the nutrients in seeds and nuts. It can also help reduce the amount of pesticides on them if they are not organically grown.

Simple Soaking Directions: Place 4 cups of nuts in a bowl with enough distilled water to cover the nuts completely.  Add a tablespoon of Himalayan sea salt.  The salt helps neutralize enzyme inhibitors. Soaking times can vary so the easiest rule of thumb to remember is to let them soak 7 hours (overnight).  You many or may not like the taste of soggy nuts, so you’ll need to let them dry naturally or dehydrate them in a dehydrator.  And because this is essentially a 24 hour process it makes sense to do several big batches at a time. Afterward compare the flavor of the soaked and dried nuts versus the non-soaked nuts. You might be surprised to find you like them better, depending on the nut and your taste.

One exception: Cashews should soak 6 hours or less and need to dry out quickly at 200-250 degrees or they can get funky.

Go Nuts for health!

Healthy Wishes!

Wally Bishop C.N.C.

WebND

The contents of this blog are not and should not be considered medical advice. This blog is for informational purposes only. Always consult with your doctor before making any dietary or lifestyle changes. Never quit taking prescription medications unless advised to do so by your doctor.