Benefits of having cinnamon milk regularly

Cinnamon has been used in Indian ayurvedic remedies as a healing agent for thousands of years. Here are 6 benefits of having cinnamon milk.

Cure for insomnia

It’s popular wisdom that having a glass of warm milk before going to bed will help you with a sound sleep. Although, the drink’s properties will be greatly enhanced if you make one small addition to the milk while boiling; cinnamon. Being a warming tonic, cinnamon milk improves blood circulation (great for people who get cold hands and feet at night) and relaxes the body thereby allowing it to gradually wind down and drift off to sleep. It also prevents you from waking up suddenly in the middle of the night by regulating blood sugar levels (avoiding sudden spikes and crashes).

Strong bones

Cinnamon milk is great for maintaining a healthy bone density. Cinnamon itself reduces bone breakdown and helps prevent osteoporotic bone loss. Combine it with milk (which has calcium) and it becomes a powerful bone-health tonic.

Blood sugar

Cinnamon helps regulate blood sugar levels and reduce insulin resistance, thereby making it a must for diabetics, weight watchers and basically anyone looking to stay healthy. It also inhibits inflammatory substances and prevents blood platelet clumping

Immunity to diseases

Healthy immune system is something which goes a long way in enjoying life, and this drink enables just that. It is a healthy practice for kids to have cinnamon milk regularly because it will help with increased immunity, which is very important especially during their growth years.

Digestion

In Ayurveda, cinnamon has been used to pacify stomach disorders and balance digestion. Cinnamon milk is also an excellent remedy for people suffering from gas trouble.

Skin

Improved blood circulation (due to cinnamon milk) will take care of most of your skin problems, as it helps bring blood and oxygen to the outer surface of the skin, causing flushing away of toxins and a fuller complexion.

Note: Cinnamon in milk may be used as a powder or as a whole stick (for those who find cinnamon powder a little uncomfortable while consuming the drink). It is best if cinnamon is boiled for a few minutes with milk or steeped in hot milk for some time.

Apart from adding aroma and taste to food, spices have lots of health benefits. With some variations, milk with spices, or masala doodh (spiced milk) has been an ancient ayurvedic health tonic in India for centuries. Let us use some ancient wisdom and add a touch of good health to our hectic lives.

Reduce sugar intake, naturally

An article in a medical journal has claimed that sugar can be as addictive as abusive drugs such as cocaine. While the debate is still on, we all can agree on thing. Too much sugar is not good for you.

Sugar and insulin

As sugar is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream, the body releases insulin, in order for the cells to use the sugar for energy or storage. But when one consumes a high amount of sugar on a regular basis, the insulin levels in the blood go high on a regular basis. The problem with too much insulin in the blood is that it  inhibits the fat burning process and rather makes the body absorb some of the fatty acids and glucose in the blood, turning them into body fat.

It therefore comes as no surprise that the first thing a dietician tells everyone trying to lose weight and eat healthy is to eliminate or reduce sugar intake. If you been a regular sweet eater, quitting sweets suddenly might be difficult for you.

How to reduce sugar intake

Reduce the fixed sources

If you know micro-economics, reducing fixed costs always generates more savings than trying to save on one-time variable costs. What that means is, find out what contributes to your sugar intake on a daily basis. For most people it is their tea / coffee. If you take about 2 teaspoons of sugar for a cup and 3 cups of tea / coffee in a day, you consume about 25-30 grams of sugar in a day. For perspective, one piece of gulab jamun contains around 16 grams, and a donut contains about 25 grams. So reducing your sugar intake in your daily tea / coffee is much more effective than trying to avoid even that occasional sweet.

Switch to natural alternatives

Honey is rich in antioxidants and also helps improve cholesterol and lower blood pressure. Jaggery is rich in minerals such as zinc and selenium and also aids digestion. These are better and healthier replacements of refined sugar which have traditionally been used in most Indian households and many ayurvedic medicines. However, for diabetics, they are only half as bad as sugar, and therefore should be consumed in moderation.

Avoid processed food

Processed food is usually anything that comes out of a packet. Processed foods tend to contain large amounts of sugar and salt as a preservative and to make the taste consistent. That includes all types of candy, jams, canned juices and soda pop. If you feel like having candy, opt for a piece (only a piece) of dark bitter chocolate. It contains comparatively less sugar and the cocoa is good for you.

 

Moderation is key; do not binge

Just because you have reduced sugar as a shift to eating clean and cheat days are allowed, do not overcompensate by binging on sweets every once in a while. These sudden spikes in sugar and thereby in insulin can potentially cause more damage to your system. Therefore, having loads of sugar even once a month won’t help.

 

Check added sugarNutrition Facts label

If you must have something out of a packet (ready-to-eat snack), be sure to check the amount of added sugar per 100g of the product. Nutrition stats on packaged food are now mandated and it makes sense to make use of it. The magic number is 22. If any packaged food contains more than 22g of sugar per 100g, or simply, higher than 22%, it’s probably not a good idea to have it.

 

Sweets are one of those entities that add pure joy to eating. And if you want to keep having sweets for a long time in your life, it makes sense to have them in moderation. Have a little, have it for long. I hope these cues to reduce sugar intake are something that you can incorporate daily and early in life as to avert risk factors for many diseases later on in life.

5 adverse effects of having a cold drink with your meals

An ancient shloka in Sanskrit goes like this

अजीर्णे भेषजं वारि, जीर्णे वारि बलप्रदम् ।
भोजने चामृतं वारि, भोजनान्ते विषप्रदम् ॥

Water is curative (if had) in indigestion, water is nourishing (if had) after digestion;
water is appetizing (if had a little) during meal, and akin to poison (causes ill-effects if had) immediately after food.

Clearly, less people today paying attention to that, is why today we see gastro problems becoming chronic illnesses. This is not against sipping a little water with your meal, but a gulp of ice cold drink after every few morsels.

Indigestion

Nobody can overstate the importance of digestion in everyday well-being. If your digestion is in top shape, your immunity is too. When you have a cold drink with your meal, the chemical reaction that takes place during digestion is impeded as your stomach temperature suddenly decreases. More energy is spent maintaining the stomach temperature than digesting food. Read more about it here.

Acidity and Constipation

When the stomach is cold and slow, food taking too long to digest starts fermenting, causing belching, gas and bloating. Also, icy cold liquids make the intestines contract, which hampers bowel movement and therefore causes constipation. The low pH factor of cold drinks can interfere with digestion cause acidity.

Obesity

As you chew your food, it becomes warm and mixes with the enzymes in your saliva, after which it moves from your mouth to your stomach, and the fats are in a form which can be easily digested. But a gush of a cold drink can solidify the fats in your food making them difficult to digest. This could lead to fat accumulation, and can make you pile on some unhealthy kilos. Also, constantly having an induced slow metabolism can result in food stasis, and an accumulation of fluids under the skin than can make you swell up a little.

Cholesterol

This one is linked with constipation and obesity. If one suffers with constipation regularly, cholesterol in bile can get reabsorbed back into the bloodstream and cholesterol levels are most likely to rise. For obese people, accumulated fat in the midsection is one of the most common risk factors for high cholesterol and/or heart disease. According to a 2011 study published in the American Journal of Medicine, chronic constipation in women is linked to increased risk of heart disease.

Sore throat

This is a no brainer. We have been told this by our parents all through our childhood. Having a lot of cold drinks / chilled water causes mucus formation, which is bad for your throat. It is no surprise than most successful singers, dubbing artists and basically all those who need to take care of their throat and voice avoid ice-cold drinks.

These are the 5 most common ill-effects of having cold drinks with your meals. You will definitely not lose your good health if you give it a try and avoid them.