Use cinnamon to reduce cholesterol

Edited by Christine dela Cruz, Joely, Eng


Cinnamon has been known since ancient times as an organic way to prevent or treat certain illnesses. It is rich in minerals such as manganese and calcium. In addition, it also very rich in fiber. It is for theses reasons that cinnamon may be able to assist in maintaining the right level of cholesterol in the body.

Christinedelacruz Cinnamon on Coffee.jpg

Cholesterol Explained

Cholesterol is actually a lipid, which is in simple terms fat, that is a by-product of the liver. Although many diseases are often associated with cholesterol, in fact, cholesterol is very important to the normal function of the body.

Christinedelacruz Cholesterol Chemistry.jpg

Every cell in our body is enclosed by an outer layer of cholesterol. The body requires a nominal level of cholesterol in order to produce hormones, substances that aid in food digestion, and vitamin D.

All animals have cholesterol being transported through their blood plasma. Plants also synthesize a relatively smaller amount.

There are two kinds of Lipoproteins that transport cholesterol throughout the body:

  1. 1
    Low-Density Lipoproteins
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  2. 2
    High-Density Lipoproteins
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Both of which must be in proper moderation in order to cause the desired effects to the body.

Different Kinds of Cholesterol

  • HDL. This is good cholesterol and aids in removing fat from the bloodstream. This is the one that helps prevent heart attacks from occurring.
  • LDL. This is bad cholesterol and the type that would clog arteries.
  • Triglycerides. This is another type of fat found in the blood. Combined with high levels of HDL's, the likelihood of a heart attack is greatly increased.

Benefits of Cholesterol to the Body

  • It serves as one of the building blocks of cell membranes because it is the outer layer and provides integrity to the entire structure.
  • It plays an important role in filtering substances that can enter the cells.
  • It provides sufficient insulation to nerve fibers.
  • It participates in the adrenal glands' production of hormones.
  • It creates vitamin D from the sunshine.
  • It facilitates in the production of bile.
  • It is crucial for the metabolism of fat soluble vitamins such as vitamin A, D, and E.

When Cholesterol Becomes Too Much

The amount of bad cholesterol in the body must not be greater than 5 mmol/liter. Doctors often give categories in terms of what levels are ideal and what needs to be given attention to as follows:

  • Ideal - less than 5 mmol/liter
  • Slightly high - 5 to 6.4 mmol/liter
  • Moderately high - 6.5 to 7.8 mmol/liter
  • Very high - more than 7.8 mmol/liter

When the body reaches very high cholesterol levels, the benefits of cholesterol are diminished and the opposite effects can occur.

Causes of High Cholesterol

There are several factors that cause high cholesterol:

  • Diet. Consuming high levels of saturated fat, even trans fat, and other foods that are packed with cholesterol would definitely lead to a high bad cholesterol (LDL) level. Examples of which are meat, egg, butter, cheese, and even whole milk. It would be noticed that saturated fat and bad cholesterol would normally come from food coming from animals, while trans fat comes from packaged food like chips and cookies.
  • Lack of physical activity. Inactivity would lead to cholesterol staying put in the body. They are not broken down through any chemical reaction in the body.
  • Age. As people age, the tendency towards having bad cholesterol in the body also increases. People beyond 20 years of age should be more watchful of this as that's when cholesterol starts to build up.
  • Genes. There are several cases in which this is genetic. If there are other immediate members in the family with bad cholesterol, there are high chances that you also have it.
  • Other disorders. There are certain disorders that raise cholesterol levels too. An example of which is hypothyroidism.

How Cinnamon can help reduce Cholesterol

When Cinnamon is ingested, the combination of the calcium and fiber contained in cinnamon will react with the bile salts in the intestine in turn attaching to the bile and exiting the body. When bile is depleted from the body, it requires the further break down of cholesterol in the body to create new bile. As excess cholesterol is being utilized by this process of bile excretion, the intake of Cinnamon is considered a very significant factor in the reduction of Cholesterol in the body.

Cinnamon in Everyday Diet

With this knowledge of how cinnamon helps in the break down of ingested cholesterol, one can see why it is important to include cinnamon in your daily diet.

  1. 1
    Start with a healthy breakfast
    1. Sprinkle cinnamon on your latte instead of topping it off with cream.
    2. Replace jams or sugars with half teaspoon of cinnamon powder on whole wheat bread toast. You may want to use flax seed oil instead of butter.
    3. Add a dash of cinnamon to cereals.
    4. Top pancakes with sprinkles of cinnamon along with fruits like kiwi, blueberry, or strawberry.
    5. Soy milk with a bit of honey and then cinnamon is such a delicious treat in the morning.
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  2. 2
    Smarten up your morning snack with bits and pieces of raw cinnamon
    1. Some teas are better complimented with pinches of cinnamon powder.
    2. Opt for cinnamon muffins or biscuits.
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  3. 3
    Indulge on cinnamon equally as you give in to that big chunk of pork belly or huge slab of steak for lunch
    1. As you cook rice, place several pieces of broken cinnamon stick on top of it. You need to break it so that the flavor further comes out. When it's done, the rice will have a nice aroma and taste.
    2. Pair your lunch with a hot cup of tea mixed with about a teaspoon of cinnamon.
    3. Sauteed lamb with vegetables, raisins, and cinnamon sticks would create an interesting Middle Eastern meal.
    4. Adding bits of cinnamon sticks to your salad would definitely be a nice variety.
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  4. 4
    Maintain a cinnamon-filled diet all through dinner
    1. Cinnamon goes well with Mexican and Indian foods. Add a dash of cinnamon to your curries, beans for tacos and nachos, and you will notice the uniqueness in taste.
    2. 1 - 2 teaspoons of cinnamon powder to steaming hot green tea or Hawaiian tea would be a great way to wash off excess cholesterol from your system.
    3. Have a bit of cinnamon before you head off to bed.
    4. Dip cinnamon sticks onto your warm glass of milk and you will automatically be comforted by that lovely blend of taste.
    5. Take half teaspoon of cinnamon and follow with a full glass of water.
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If you keep these suggestions in mind as you dine everyday, your intake of cholesterol from other foods should not be a problem because you are equally able to bring in much fiber and calcium into your body that will help in the breakdown of cholesterol.

Types of Cinnamon Food Additive

Cinnamon can indeed be added to various types of dishes. It is also rather easy to purchase cinnamon, and more often than not, it is readily available in grocery stores. There are two most popular forms of cinnamon that can be used as a spice:

  1. 1
    Cassia cinnamon
    This has a darker color compared to Ceylon cinnamon. This is popular to be able to decrease blood sugar among people with diabetes.
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  2. 2
    Ceylon cinnamon
    This type is easier to grind and therefore easier to sprinkle through dishes.
    Christinedelacruz Cassia Ceylon Cinnamon.jpg
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Tips Tricks & Warnings

  • There is no such thing as an overdose of cinnamon. However, should you have certain blood conditions, please keep in mind that cinnamon may have an effect on the your bloods clotting ability.
  • With cinnamon, you can be as experimental as possible when it comes to adding it to dishes. Don't be misled that it is just appropriate for desserts or sweet beverages.
  • When taking cinnamon for the first time, check for allergic reaction and do not consume too much right away.
  • Cinnamon may sometimes cause mouth sores if too much is consumed or if the person is sensitive. Check for this first before engaging in a high-cinnamon diet.
  • Cassia cinnamon is not advisable for people with liver problems. It may end up to be toxic if too much is ingested.

If you have problems with any of the steps in this article, please ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.


Article Info

Categories : Noindexed pages | Cinnamon Usage & Benefits

Recent edits by: Joely, Christine dela Cruz

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