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Cinnamon is the Key Ingredient in Anti-Mold Wrappers

September 20, 2008 | 54,473 views
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cinnamonIn addition to its other qualities as a flavoring, cinnamon kills microbes. Researchers have taken advantage of that property to develop an anti-mold wrapper.

Even with bread already tainted with mold, wax paper made with 6 percent cinnamon oil inhibited mold growth by 96 percent, prolonging freshness by up to 10 days. Plain wax paper did not slow the mold at all.

The environmentally friendly wrapper may also be effective in keeping fruits, vegetables and meats fresh.

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Dr. Mercola's Comments:

A cinnamon-infused wrapper that naturally keeps foods fresher longer is right up my alley. This is the type of ingenuity that we need to see more of. And it makes perfect sense, considering that cinnamon’s essential oils are anti-microbial.

A study in the International Journal of Food Microbiology found that adding a few drops of cinnamon essential oils to carrot broth inhibited the growth of bacteria for 60 days. So powerful was the effect that the researchers called it a viable “alternative to traditional food preservatives.”

With all of the food waste going on today, a natural mold inhibitor such as cinnamon could greatly help to extend the shelf life of some fresh foods, reducing waste and doing it in a safe manner (unlike most food preservatives).

Cinnamon extracts fight not only bacteria, but also fungus, including the yeast Candida, and some experts have suggested using its anti-viral properties to:

• Disinfect the air against infectious diseases in airports
• Act as an alternative to the flu vaccine
• Use it in air conditioning systems in hospitals to prevent the spread of infectious diseases

Of course, you can also use cinnamon as a warming spice in your meals. It’s actually extremely healthy.

Use Cinnamon Freely if You Enjoy It

Among this spice’s most impressive health benefits is its impact on blood sugar and ability to improve diabetes.

For example, just half a teaspoon of cinnamon a day was shown to significantly reduce blood sugar levels, triglycerides, LDL (bad) cholesterol, and total cholesterol levels in people with type 2 diabetes.

Another study found that the spice increased glucose metabolism by about 20 times, which would significantly improve your ability to regulate blood sugar. Cinnamon has even previously been indicated as a potential insulin substitute for those with type 2 diabetes -- researchers have found that cinnamon contains a bioactive component with "insulin-like" effects.

Interestingly, cinnamon lowers your blood sugar by acting on several different levels. It slows the emptying of your stomach to reduce sharp rises in blood sugar following meals, and improves the effectiveness, or sensitivity, of insulin. It also enhances your antioxidant defenses.

Researchers have suggested people with diabetes may see improvements by adding 1/4 - 1 teaspoon of cinnamon to their food, and I see no reason not to give this a try if you enjoy cinnamon (along with doing the other essentials to improve diabetes: eliminating sugar and grains and exercising daily).

Cinnamon's other benefits include:

• Supporting digestive function
• Relieving congestion
• Relieving pain and stiffness of muscles and joints
• Anti-inflammatory compounds that may relieve arthritis

• Helping to prevent urinary tract infections, tooth decay and gum disease
• Relieves menstrual discomfort
• Blood-thinning compounds that stimulate circulation

For those of you who still believe that everything good for you tastes bad, cinnamon is a simple example that that’s just simply not true. It happens to be one of my favorite spices but if it’s not one of yours, don’t worry. There are other health-promoting herbs and spices out there. Among the most potent, aside from cinnamon, are:

1. Cloves (ground)
2. Jamaican allspice (ground)
3. Apple pie spice (mixture)
4. Oregano (ground)
5. Pumpkin pie spice (mixture)
6. Marjoram
7. Sage
8. Thyme
9. Gourmet Italian spice

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