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.

You Have Disrespected This Food Long Enough!

TomatoPie_001It can be sweet yet tart, it may show it`s real colors as yellow, orange, red, and green. This delightful fruit has over a thousand different varieties that can decorate your plate in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. This food is used in more recipes than almost any other food. Although it is a fruit, it is used most often as a savory part of a recipe. But it can also be made into a delicious pie. Do you have a clue which food I am talking about?

Rhubarb? Lychee? Dragon Fruit? Paw Paw? Cherries? Nope!

Keep guessing!!

 

 

 

The star of thousands of recipes, drum roll…………………

 

 

 

The Tomato!!

Tomato, Tamato however you say it, meh… It doesn’t conjure up thoughts of exotic flavors or leave us envisioning it wearing the cape of super nutrition. The tomato is so widely used it’s nutritional super hero status has been forgotten or at the least minimized. We have taken the TOMATO for granted! Shame on us.

I think the tomato is lost in a sea of new super-foods, yet it may be one of the most versatile and most powerful of all  foods.! How many ways can the tomato be used? The versatile tomato; tomato juice, tomato soup, tomato sauce, tomato paste, BBQ sauce, ketchup, spaghetti sauce, marinara sauce, salsa, you get the picture. But what I don’t hear are people talking about is the mighty tomato; it’s health benefits, its great flavor, its boldness or tartness.  The humble tomato has been overlooked and it is now time to bring it to the front where it rightfully belongs. If you think about it, the tomato is what makes many dishes shine. Without it as an ingredient what would spaghetti sauce be, or salsa or seafood gumbo or Manhattan clam chowder? I’m sure you can think of dozens of more dishes where the TOMATO is the star, right?

Tomato’s cross all cultural food boundaries. From African, Mexican, Latin, Spanish, Caribbean, Greek, Italian, Oriental, European and certainly American cuisines.

During the spring and summer growing season in the southeast where I live, nothing is better appreciated than a hand-picked organic tomato sliced and made into the famous BLT or bacon lettuce and tomato sandwich. Everyone has their favorite condiments to go with it and favorite bread. Most of which aren’t so healthy. They slather mayo on white bread then top it off with iceberg lettuce and bacon for a BLT.  I have to admit it does have a marvelous (hear Billy Crystal’s “marvelous darling”) taste but it can be artery clogging also.  There is a much healthier version.  Use Ezekiel bread, fresh organic tomato, Vegenaise, low sodium turkey bacon, Himalayan salt and fresh cracked organic black pepper a dash of cumin and romaine or a crisp butter lettuce. This is a yummy sandwich!!

Disclaimer : If you have an auto-immune condition eating tomato’s and other nightshade plants may make the conditions worse. These plants affect everyone differently. Try a little and if you don’t have any problems try more.

Let’s talk about why the tomato should be a routine part of your culinary pallet.

There are literally thousands of different types of tomato’s meaning you are not stuck with just a Beefsteak or Roma tomatoes. Tomato’s are loaded with vitamins, minerals and many powerful antioxidants. We always hear about lycopene but the tomato, my friend, is packed with several antioxidants! In fact, the tomato comes in different colors like orange and yellow and the lycopene in the orange and yellow tomatos are better absorbed, than the lycopene from the red tomato.

While all tomatoes have good antioxidant capacity, four varieties of tomatoes turned out to have a higher average antioxidant capacity compared with other tomato varieties regardless of whether they were grown conventionally or organically. The New Girl, Jet Star, Fantastic, and First Lady tested highest but only marginally higher in antioxidant capacity. This means all tomato’s have good antioxidant, anti-aging power. What makes the tomato an antioxidant superstar is the variety of antioxidants they contain. If you want super antioxidant power from the tomato don’t peel them. A lot of the antioxidant power is in the peeling. A cooked tomato is going to have a higher absorption rate of the antioxidant lycopene but not necessarily of the other antioxidants. Tomatoes have several types of antioxidants giving them a big cross-section of health promoting benefits.

Tomato’s provide cardiovascular health benefits and reduce total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides levels. They help prevent fatty acid oxidation which can damage our cardiovascular system and heart. Many of the phytonutrients in tomato’s have shown the ability to help keep blood platelets from clumping. This helps reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke.

Tomato’s are a good source of Vitamin A, rich in Vitamin C and a great source of many B Vitamins B1, B3, B5, B6, Choline, Folate and Biotin. Tomato’s are a great source of Vitamin E, Vitamin K, a good source of many minerals including iron, potassium, magnesium, zinc, copper, manganese, phosphorous. Tomato’s are also a great source of fiber and 1 cup of tomato’s has 3 grams of protein!

Tomato’s Health Benefits

  • Tomato’s provide bone building health properties. Lycopene, Vitamin K, Vitamin C and Vitamin A are very important for bone health. Studies show lycopene is particularly important at preventing oxidative stress in bones.
  • Tomato’s offer many cancer preventing benefits, particularly prostate cancer.
  • Tomato’s help prevent our stored fats (triglycerides) from becoming cellular damaging oxidized fatty acids.
  • Tomato’s protect our blood vessels by providing nutrients that keep the cell membranes flexible and protect against blood vessel cell wall oxidative damage.
  • Tomato’s help keep blood platelets from clumping together.
  • Tomato’s help prevent premature-aging by providing a super arsenal of anti-oxidants that protect our DNA
  • Tomato’s provide health promoting and protective benefits for our vision.
  • Tomato’s provide nutrients that keep our skin soft and flexible and help protect against sun damage.

When you look closely at the nutritional profile of tomato’s you will want to have them everyday. Inside that round or oblong shaped fruit is a powerhouse of health promoting and anti-aging nutrition. Check this out.

A 1 cup serving of tomato’s can offer; (source www.whfoods.com)

  •  33% RDI of Vitamin C
  •  24% RDI of Biotin
  • 20% RDI of Molybdenum
  • 16% RDI of Vitamin K
  • 12% RDI of Potassium
  • 12% RDI of Copper
  •  11% RDI of Manganese
  • 9% RDI of Fiber
  • 8% RDI of Vitamin A
  • 8% RDI of Vitamin B6
  • 7% RDI of Vitamin B3
  • 7% RDI of Folate
  • 6% RDI of Phosphorus
  • 6% RDI of Vitamin B1
  • 6% RDI of Vitamin E
  • 5% RDI of Magnesium
  • 4% RDI of Chromium
  • 3% RDI of Iron
  • 3% RDI of Zinc
  • 3% RDI of Choline
  • 3% RDI of Pantothenic Acid
  • 3% RDI of Protein

And these antioxidants;

  • Naringenin
  • Chalconaringenin
  • Rutin
  • Kaempferol
  • Quercetin
  •  Caffeic Acid
  • Ferulic Acid
  • Coumaric Acid
  •  Lycopene
  •  Lutein
  •  Zeaxanthin
  • Beta-Carotene
  • Esculeoside A
  •  9-Oxo-Octadecadienoic Acid

Face the fact’s, you have eaten tomato’s and have been disrespecting their nutritional super status haven’t you? It’s time you give the tomato the respect it deserves. Repeat after me; Tomato I am sorry I under appreciated your nutritional super-stardom and promise to always keep you in high regards every time I eat you!

Every time you see a tomato regardless of its color or shape just remember it is a powerhouse of life promoting and healing nutrition and phytonutrients.

I wish you the very best in health and wellness,

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.

 

Raw Honey, Natures Unique Healing Food!

honeyWould you have every thought something so simple from nature could be so powerful, actually heal and prevent so many health issues? I knew raw honey was healthy but really didn’t know it was this powerful until I began reading the studies and research on honey. Honey belongs in your kitchen next to every NutriBullet or Vitamix and should be eaten everyday!

Honey is an amazing substance. It’s use a food goes as far back as 8,500 years ago in murals found in Spain and as medicine as far back as 5,000 years ago in Greece, India and China.

Literally, a gift from the honeybee! The honeybee makes honey as food for its baby bees (larvae) and for food for the hive when nectar is in short supply during the winter. Honey is mostly sugar comprised of fructose and sucrose, smaller amounts of other sugars and other nutrients in a water base.

The honeybee transforms nectar into honey through regurgitation of an enzymatic substance into honeycombs and then, through evaporation of enough water, you have honey. Yes, that is how bee’s make honey!

Now the good stuff!

Honey has outstanding health properties. It’s amazing when you see honey is just sugars, water and a small amount of other nutrients. Fake honey does not provide the health benefits that real raw honey does.

The reviews on raw honey for diabetes is mixed, however if consumed in small amounts the studies are positive and show it can lower fasting blood sugar levels. However, some studies show no increase in fasting blood sugar reading but an overall increase in A1c levels (a measure of blood sugar levels over three months).

Research studies tell us many positive things about honey. Let’s look at a few.

1) Honey has antioxidant properties that reduce inflammation through out our body.

2) Honey is heart protective and can help prevent cardiovascular disease.

3) Honey has very powerful immune boosting and heart protecting enzymes and antioxidants.

4) Honey has antibiotic properties. It cured a case of MRSA when powerful antibiotics couldn’t. I personally witnessed this event. Doctors a century ago used honey as a surgical dressing because it is very antibiotic.

5) Honey can keep skin supple and can help reduce scaring because it keeps skin hydrated.

6) Honey is great for digestive support because it acts as prebiotic and kills bad bacteria. Studies show honey can help heal ulcers.

7) Honey is very effective for a sour throat when mixed with lemon juice and sipped on as a warm tea.

8) Studies show honey lowers blood LDL (bad kind) cholesterol levels, raises blood HDL (good kind) levels and lowers blood triglyceride levels.

9) Honey is a great source of energy for athletes and helps athletes recover from vigorous exercise. It is a superior energy source and it’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects are muscle and cardio protective.

10) Honey mixed with Ceylon cinnamon, ginger, turmeric and green tea makes a very powerful anti-inflammatory drink. If you use a lot of cinnamon you should only use Ceylon cinnamon. The other type of cinnamon found in most grocery store is a variety called cassia cinnamon. Cassia cinnamon has coumarin, a toxic compound that can damage your liver if consumed in higher quantities.

11) Honey is an excellent sugar replacement for diabetics. Some studies show raw honey can lower fasting blood sugar levels, while other studies show it also raises A1c levels and lowers fasting blood sugar levels. This may sound confusing. If you are diabetic I would recommend using raw honey in place of any other sugars. Because honey is much sweeter than sugar it takes much less for the same sweetness effect.

A Special Honey

Unique Manuka Honey (or UMF Honey) is a honey made from the pollen of the Manuka Tree in New Zealand. It has additional medicinal value because of compounds made specifically from this trees pollen. The call it the The Unique Manuka Factor (UMF). Manuka Honey comes with different ratings of medicinal strength specifying how much of the UMF is in the batch.  There are imitators out there. Active Manuka is not the same as Unique Manuka Honey. Additionally, look for the UMF Certification and the container or bottle should state it is bottled and labeled in New Zealand. Manuka Honey only comes from New Zealand.

These are the UMF ratings specifying its healing activity level.

  • UMF5 to UMF9 are very low activity levels
  • UMF10 to UMF15 are useful levels
  • UMF16 and over are superior levels with very high activity 

Cautions on honey

Always use Raw Unfiltered Honey from local bee growers. Local raw honey retains all of its natural healing nutritional properties when it is raw. Once pasteurized and filtered most of the health benefits are destroyed. Do not give honey to children under 1 year of age.

Do not eat honey made from pollen of the rhododendron flower. It can possibly make you sick. http://www.honeybeesuite.com/a-rare-case-of-honey-intoxication-in-seattle/

Summary

Honey has very powerful healing properties, can be used with a variety of spices for additional super health boosting potential. Honey is a healthy sugar replacement and can make recipes and foods taste great while giving us health.  Make this very anti-inflammatory smoothie by mixing 16 ounces of fresh brewed green tea, 1 tbs. of raw honey, 1 tsp. turmeric, 1 tsp Ceylon cinnamon, 1 tsp. fresh ginger, 1/4 tsp cayenne, 1/2 cup organic blueberries, 1/2 cup organic strawberries, 1/2 cup organic watercress juice. Blend and drink throughout the day!

Now that you know how good raw honey is for you, start using it everyday. It will keep you buzzzzzzing, your taste buds and your body will love you for it!

Healthy wishes

Wally Bishop C.N.C.

Integrative Nutrition Health Coach

viveshake

wellnesswithwally

@WallyBishopCNC

The contents of the email or written communication are not medical advice and should not be considered as such!  This blog is for informational purposes only. 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.

References:

Comparative gastroprotective effects of natural honey, Nigella sativa and cimetidine against acetylsalicylic acid induced gastric ulcer. Bukhari MH1, Khalil J, Qamar S, Qamar Z, Zahid M, Ansari N, Bakhshi IM. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3609166/

Antioxidant, Anti-inflammatory, and Antiulcer Potential of Manuka Honey against Gastric Ulcer in Rats. Almasaudi SB1, El-Shitany NA2, Abbas AT3, Abdel-dayem UA4, Ali SS5, Al Jaouni SK6, Harakeh S7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26770649

Honey with high levels of antioxidants can provide protection to healthy human subjects. Schramm DD1, Karim M, Schrader HR, Holt RR, Cardetti M, Keen CL. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12617614

The Potential Role of Honey and its Polyphenols in Preventing Heart Diseases: A Review M I Khalil and S A Sulaiman http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3005390/

Cardioactive and vasoactive effects of natural wild honey against cardiac malperformance induced by hyperadrenergic activity. Rakha MK1, Nabil ZI, Hussein AA. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18361743

 Antibacterial Efficacy of Raw and Processed Honey P. Mohapatra, V. Thakur, and S. K. Brar  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3042689/

Natural honey lowers plasma glucose, C-reactive protein, homocysteine, and blood lipids in healthy, diabetic, and hyperlipidemic subjects: comparison with dextrose and sucrose.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15117561

Effects of natural honey consumption in diabetic patients: an 8-week randomized clinical trial.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19817641

Nutraceutical values of natural honey and its contribution to human health and wealth http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3583289/

Manuka honey inhibits cell division in methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Jenkins R, Burton N, Cooper R. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21903658