During the holiday season, almost every grocery store has a barrel of cinnamon brooms set up in their floral section. It’s impossible to walk past the display without getting a hint of the spicy-sweet aroma — and it always puts me in the mood for a mug of apple-cinnamon cider.
Cinnamon is known in the health community for stabilizing blood sugar levels and boosting cognitive function. Additionally, it is thought to have an effect on cancer cells.
Cinnamon and Cancer Cells
Cinnamon has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. One study found that it “strongly inhibited tumor cell proliferation” and “induced active cell death of tumor cells” by blocking signals that would otherwise tell cancer cells to divide and spread across the body.
Cinnamon extract can also inhibit the production of a protein known as vascular endothelial growth factor. Studies show that pleural mesothelioma tumors often test positive for this protein.
Furthermore, a study in the most recent issue of BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine found that mice treated with cinnamon water extract showed decreased levels of TNF-alpha in their blood serum. TNF-alpha (tumor necrosis factor) plays a critical role in the development of malignant mesothelioma by increasing the number of asbestos-damaged cells that are susceptible to malignant transformation.
While ground cinnamon is recommended for many recipes, cinnamon extract is the ingredient that most frequently yields the positive health benefits in laboratory tests. The following recipe for cinnamon orange cider gets much of its flavor from the extract — so cozy up with a mug and enjoy!
Makes 4 servings
- 3 cups apple cider (not apple juice!)
- 1 large orange
- 2 tablespoons cinnamon extract
- 1 tablespoon fresh honey (helpful for soothing a mesothelioma-related cough!)
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- Small pinch of cardamom (helps improve circulation to the lungs)
Juice the orange (and cut several slices of the rind for garnish). Add all ingredients to a pot.
Simmer over low-medium heat for 30 minutes to an hour. Serve warm with an optional orange peel garnish. Since most brands of apple cider already contain sugar (and the additional honey will add more), you probably will not need to add any additional sweeteners to the cider.
If you try this recipe, come back and let us know how you like it in the comments below or on Facebook! And feel free to share any other healthy holiday recipes you plan to make this year!