Use Cinnamon As a Digestive Aid
Edited by Christine dela Cruz, Eng, Lynn, Nuance
Eating definitely makes life more enjoyable. It is such a pleasurable experience that some people become so obsessed with it that they cannot control their intake any more. Still, eating the right foods will not cause problems as long as proper digestion occurs. What's even better is that there are various organic products that can be used as a digestive aid, and one of them is cinnamon.
- 1 About Digestion
- 2 Issues with Digestion
- 3 Characteristics of Cinnamon
- 4 Cinnamon Dishes
- 5 Cinnamon Drinks
- 6 Tips and Warnings
- 7 Comments
What is digestion?
Digestion is a mechanical process in the body of breaking down ingested food that leads to further chemical processes so that food becomes absorbed into the blood stream. This entire process is categorized under catabolism, which is the breakdown of larger molecules of food into smaller ones that easily penetrate the body.
Digestion actually occurs in two ways:
Parts of the Digestive System
- 2This is a long tube that connects the mouth and the stomach. Its walls contract and create the peristaltic movement.Esophagus.
- 3This is a big, sac-like organ that breaks down food with the help of all of its acidic components.Stomach.
- 4This part of the digestive tract begins with the duodenum and then jejunum and ileum. This is where bile and other enzymes work together to finalize the digestion of food.Small Intestine.
- 5This is the last part of the digestive tract, where water and other electrolytes are removed from food and are expelled from the body later on.Large Intestine.
Process of Digestion
- 1This is the first step in digestion. It is in fact just a mechanical form of digestion, but is assisted further through the contact of food with saliva. Saliva is a dense liquid produced by the salivary glands that contains an enzyme called salivary amylase. Salivary amylase is the main chemical that begins the process of digesting starch contained in food.Mastication.
- 4As soon as the food reaches the stomach, the gastric juices in the stomach starts what is called protein digestion. Hydrochloric acid and pepsin are the main components of the gastric juice, and because these are rather acidic and may damage the wall of the stomach, mucus forms part of the liquid in the stomach. Mucus is like a shield that ensures the chemicals contained would only create the desired effects on the food and not damage the inner part of the stomach. Hydrochloric acid and pepsin work together to breakdown the proteins, further assisted by peristaltic movement of the stomach walls. Aside from digesting protein, this entire process also allows for the food to combine with the other digestive enzymes.Protein digestion.
- 7Digestion further continues as soon as chyme goes through the small intestine. This is where chyme becomes fully digested and then absorbed into the blood stream. Nutrients are absorbed by the body when the digestion process is already in the small intestine. About 95 percent of nutrient absorption happens here.Full digestion in the small intestine.
- 8In the colon, both water and minerals are reabsorbed into the blood. In here, the pH level is more on the acidic side (5.6 - 6.9), which is ideal to allow this process to occur. Also, other vitamins produced by certain types of bacteria in the colon are reabsorbed in this process.Reabsorption of water and minerals in the colon.
Steps Toward Better Digestion
- 1Make sure the components of each dish do not contradict the components of another. For example, too much milk does not go well with acidic food.Plan every meal in a way that different dishes combine well.
- 2The burning process in cooking helps to better breakdown of food.Opt for food that is cooked instead of raw and cold food.
- 3Ideally, food ingested must be chewed at least 30 times before swallowing. This kind of pace allows the salivary enzymes to work well first in digesting food.Do not be in too much of a rush when eating, and chew food well.
- 4Avoid thinking of stressful things and situations while eating. This allows the body to produce the necessary enzymes properly and these will assist in better digestion.Eat while the mind is at peace.
- 5Hot water is known to be effective for getting rid of toxins in the body as well as building the strength of the digestive system.Drink hot beverages while eating, and in between meals.
- 6The feeling of being full is a good indication that your digestive system has enough to process already. Do not force further food down if you have this feeling already. Too much of anything is harmful.Avoid eating more than you can digest.
- 7Do not engage in heavy physical activities directly after eating Let your body stand still for a while to allow the food to glide downwards more smoothly. A little bit of walking, however, can help in better digestion.Relax after eating.
- 8This can cause acid reflux/heartburn.Tempting as it is, don't lay down after meals.
Issues with Digestion
Common Digestion-Related Problems
- 1This is usually characterized by a burning feeling from the middle part of the abdomen to lower chest. In most cases, a sour taste in the mouth is felt at the same time. When this happens during the night, it is not uncommon to find fluid or food particles inside the mouth, which have which have worked their way upwards from the gut.Reflux or heartburn.
- 2This is usually characterized by harsh stomach pains. This is caused by not having enough mucus in the stomach that protects the walls from absorbing too much of the acid inside the stomach.Peptic ulcers.
- 3This is caused when the body does not have the enzymes necessary to digest the sugars contained in milk.Lactose intolerance.
- 4The two most common types of inflammatory bowel diseases, normally characterized by abdominal pain, diarrhea, bleeding in the rectum, weight loss, and many other annoying symptoms. They are:Inflammatory bowel disease.
- Crohn's disease
- Ulcerative colitis
- 5This is an autoimmune digestive disorder. People affected by this normally don't eat gluten, which is a kind of protein found in wheat, barley, rye and other grains. This attacks the small intestine and causes intensive abdominal pain, vomiting, chronic diarrhea or constipation, smelly gas and very smelly stools.Celiac disease.
- 6This is when bowels are unable to move smoothly and is primarily caused by insufficient fibre in food, as well as insufficient water.Constipation.
Causes of Poor Digestive Health
Symptoms of Indigestion
- 1You have not eaten much yet but you have this sensation of being full already. This leads to not being able to finish a meal.Feeling full early in the meal.
- 2This could be a mild or sharp pain in this area.Uneasy feeling in the upper abdomen.
- 3This could be a feeling of heat or a tingling sensation.Burning sensation in the upper abdomen.
- 4This is a feeling of tightness around the abdomen area.Bloating.
- 5You have the urge to vomit the food that you have just eaten.Nausea.
Characteristics of Cinnamon
How Cinnamon Helps in Digestion
- 1Cinnamon has a warming and calming effect on the digestive system, which is very beneficial during cases of diarrhea, nausea, indigestion, and colic.
How to Use Cinnamon as a Digestive Aid
- 1Select fresh cinnamon.
- Smell it before you buy cinnamon. The sweet taste is the best indication whether it is still fresh. If the smell is already weak, choose something else because it's not fresh anymore.
- Cinnamon sticks usually last longer than cinnamon powder. If you think you'll be storing cinnamon for quite some time, you might as well go for cinnamon sticks instead.
- 3Take advantage of it as much opportunity as possible to add cinnamon to your meals.Combine cinnamon to your daily diet.
- Cinnamon may also be taken on its own, although it may not taste as great as when you mix it with food.
- Cinnamon goes very well with hot drinks, particularly those that include honey or. Put ½ a teaspoon in your coffee grounds before you brew your coffee.
- Cinnamon adds a unique flavor to various types of soups. Sprinkle on almost any type of soup and cinnamon will complement the existing flavors very well.
- Cinnamon may be added to many types of dishes. If you want to spice up your cooking, a dash of cinnamon can create so much difference in the taste.
- Cinnamon is not degraded by cooking, so it can also be added to baked products like pastries, cakes, cookies, and the like.
Enjoy some delicious recipes.
Island Curry Chicken With Vegetables
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- salt and black pepper to taste
- 1 medium onion, preferably yellow or white, chopped
- 2 garlic gloves, minced
- 1 small ginger root, peeled and sliced thinly
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 pieces of carrots, sliced thinly
- 4 small pieces of red-skinned potatoes, cut each into 8 portions
- 1 short cinnamon stick (2 inches)
- ½ lemon, juice extracted
- 2 teaspoons curry powder
- 1 can chicken broth, preferably fat-free and low in sodium
- 1 pack frozen lima beans
- 1.5 kilo of chicken breasts, boneless and skinless, cut into smaller pieces
- Heat the vegetable oil in a non-stick pan.
- As soon as the oil is hot, gradually add the small pieces of chicken. It's best to do it in batches so that it won't crowd the pan. This will avoid you having chicken that isn't fully cooked.
- Season the cooked chicken with salt and pepper.
- Remove all remaining chicken from the pan, and add the minced garlic, onions, and ginger. Sauté until the onions have become translucent.
- Add the broth and mix further with curry powder, cinnamon, red pepper flakes and a dash of salt.
- Add the cooked chicken to the mixture of broth. Reduce the heat and simmer for 45 minutes.
- Add the vegetables (lima beans, potatoes, and carrots) plus the lemon juice. Simmer further for another 20 minutes.
Pork Tenderloin with Cinnamon
- Preheat over to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a roasting pan, marinate the pork tenderloin with a mixture of soy sauce, sugar, salt, ginger, mustard, cinnamon, sherry, and lemon juice.
- Bake for 60 minutes.
- Slice according to preference and include the pan juices in the serving.
Cinnamon and Ginger Tea
- 1Five to seven slices would do.Take a few thin slices of ginger.
- 2Drop the ginger slices into boiling water and let it sit for about 10 minutes.
- 3Add a teaspoon of cinnamon and stir thoroughly.
- 4Add a bit of honey if you prefer sweeter taste, but overall, the cinnamon and ginger alone should be enough.
Spiced Cider Drink With Cinnamon
- 1Turn the crockpot onto high.
- 2Add two liters of apple cider to a crockpot.
- 3Add five to seven cinnamon sticks.
- 4each of nutmeg, cloves and allspice.In cheesecloth, make a tiny bundle with ½ tsp.
- 5Slice one orange and add the slices.
- 6Heat for two hours - turn to low or 'keep warm'.
- 7Drink and enjoy, especially during winter.
===Hot Apple Cider With Butter, Cinnamon, And Rum.
- 1It is best to use a plastic spatula to do this.Combine butter, cinnamon, brown sugar, nutmeg, and salt in a bowl.
- 2Fold over the mixture and create a tubular log shape. Twist the sides to seal it off and refrigerate.Transfer the mixture onto a 12" X 12" plastic sheet.
- 3Heat the apple cider in a pot over medium heat for about 10 minutes, then slowly turn the heat to low after that.
- 4Drop them one by one into the apple cider pot and stir until everything has melted.Cut the cinnamon and butter mixture from the refrigerator into thin slices.
- 5Add a cinnamon stick to each mug of cider.Transfer to mugs and add a shot of rum or brandy.
- 1Combine equal parts of apple cider, lemon juice, and orange juice and put it over low heat.
- 2Add a teaspoon or two of cinnamon depending on the amount of the mixture.
- 3Add a pinch or two of nutmeg and ginger powder.
- 4It is best served when it's hot and you can add one to two cinnamon sticks in it.Simmer until it's time to serve.
- 1Prepare one cup of unsweetened and unflavored coconut water.
- 2Puree a piece of banana in the blender.
- 3Add the entire cup of coconut water into the banana puree.
- 4Add 1 teaspoon of flaxseed oil.
- 5Add ½ teaspoon of powdered cinnamon.
- 6Add 2 tablespoons of almond butter and run the blender again for about 2 minutes.
- 7Add milk as desired, but it's already nice without it.
- 1In a blender, put about 2/3 cups of white uncooked rice and 3 cups of warm water.
- 2Blend until you cannot feel the grit of the rice anymore.
- 3Transfer the mixture to another bowl and pour some more warm water over it.
- 4Add one cinnamon stick.
- 5It's even better if you can leave it overnight.Cover and put in the refrigerator for at least eight hours.
- 6Keep running it until the entire mixture is very smooth.After at least eight hours, remove the cinnamon stick and run the mixture in the blender again.
- 7It's even better to use cheesecloth instead. Squeeze as much as you can in order to extract most of the rice flavor.Strain the mixture through a very fine strainer.
- 8You can use normal milk, but using rice milk would complement the taste very well.Add in milk.
- 9Add in sugar or honey then refrigerate.
- Sprinkle ground cinnamon on top for added flavor.
Cinnamon Eggnog Smoothie
- 1Simmer 1 cup of full cream over low heat.
- 2Pour the warm cream over a cup of unsweetened chocolate and stir until the chocolate has melted and the entire mixture is blended.
- 3Continue whisking until the entire mixture is similar to shaving cream.In a separate bowl, whisk the whites of eight eggs for about 30 seconds.
- While whisking, add about half-part sugar and continue until they have combined well.
- 4Set aside for a while.
- 5Place it in a mixer and run it until the entire mixture is pale yellow in color.In another bowl, mix the egg yolks, the remaining half-part of the sugar, and half-teaspoon of cinnamon.
- 6Mix until totally combined.Add into the egg yolk mixture, the mixture of warm cream and chocolate.
- 7Finally, add in the egg white mixture.
- 8Serve in separate desert dishes or goblets and garnish each with a cinnamon stick.
Tips and Warnings
- If digestive problems persist, consult your doctor to determine if more serious conditions are present.
- A visit to the nutritionist from time to time would be good for promoting long-term digestive health. Nutritionists will know if certain digestive aids, such as probiotics, are necessary.
- Judging a dish or a drink as healthy just because it has cinnamon in it is not right. The overall composition of a dish would dictate whether it is healthy or not. For example, you may be using a lot of cinnamon in a dish, but if a lot of pork fat is also included, then it could still lead to digestive problems.
- To avoid getting tired of the taste of cinnamon, be experimental in mixing it with other types of spices. For example, adding cinnamon to various types of Mexican or Middle Eastern spices will end up tasting rather different as compared to when you add cinnamon to light-tasting spices like salt or vinegar.