Try Eating This Spice Before Your Next Important Meeting
Some of us are simply better learners than others. If you struggle with memory problems, you may want to try this simple diet change.
Peter Drucker says that learning is a lifelong process, not ending once we finish school. Every day, we encounter opportunities to build our knowledge. For some of us, this comes easily. But for others, we struggle to remember what we learned to be able to apply the knowledge to our lives.
If you are one of those “poor learners,”, there may be something you can do about it. New research from Rush University Medical Center suggests that eating cinnamon may help improve learning ability.
The study, carried out in laboratory mice, found that ground cinnamon is metabolized into sodium benzoate, a chemical used as a drug treatment for brain damage. When sodium benzoate enters the brain, it increases CREB – a protein involved in memory and learning. It also decreases GABRA5, a protein that may inhibit nerve conduction in the hippocampus, the part of the brain that generates, organizes and stores memory.
"This would be one of the safest and the easiest approaches to convert poor learners to good learners," said Kalipada Pahan, PhD, the lead researcher of the study and a Professor of Neurology at Rush University.
Cinnamon is a very common household spice that is made from the inner bark of trees called Cinnamomum. There are two main types of cinnamon: Ceylon (also known as “true” cinnamon) and Cassia (the one you are most likely to find in your local grocery). Using cinnamon regularly is linked to several additional health benefits, including:
• Anti-Inflammatory: Cinnamon may be helpful in lessening inflammation in the body that leads to chronic disease
• Anti-Microbial Activity: Cinnamon’s essential oils may help stop the growth of bacteria, including the problematic yeast Candida.
• Blood Sugar Control: Including cinnamon as part of a diabetic diet may help improve blood sugar levels.
• High in Calcium, Manganese and Fiber: Cinnamon is an excellent source of fiber which can promote colon health. Calcium and Manganese are both important for bone health.
Don’t like the taste of cinnamon? Past research has found that there are benefits to just smelling it’s wonderful odor! In 2004, a study presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Chemoreception Sciences found that just smelling cinnamon enhanced cognitive processing. Specifically, it improved participants’ scores on tasks related to attention, memory, and visual-motor speed.
Khushbu K. Modi, Suresh B. Rangasamy, Sridevi Dasarathi, Avik Roy, Kalipada Pahan. Cinnamon Converts Poor Learning Mice to Good Learners: Implications for Memory Improvement. Journal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology, 2016; DOI: 10.1007/s11481-016-9693-6
World’s Healthiest Foods
Photo Credit: By Janet Hudson - originally posted to Flickr as Cinnamon Crisps, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons