Since I first published the Superhuman Food Pyramid, I’ve received many questions about why the pyramid is structured the way that it is.
So in this series, you’re going to learn every detail that you need to know about how choosing the right types of foods can help you Become Superhuman, and why certain foods appear as “eat”, “moderate” or “avoid” on the pyramid.
Rather than rushing through the entire pyramid without getting into detail, we’re going to take our time with this series, and focus on practical aspects of one specific food component at a time.
Although you can certainly take every recommended food on the Superhuman Food Pyramid and add it to your diet immediately, you don’t necessarily have to use that approach. Instead, you can simply implement foods that pique your interest as you read this series over the course of the next year.
Here is how the series will go, from the apex to the base of the pyramid:
Part 1: Herbs, Spices & Sweeteners
Part 2: Fruits
Part 3: Grains & Legumes
Part 4: Proteins
Part 5: Vegetables
Part 6: Fats
Part 7: Drinks
In each part, you’ll learn which nutritional components to eat, which to moderate, which to avoid and the details of each.
So let’s get started with the first recommended component of the Herbs, Spices & Sweeteners section: how to use cinnamon.
Cinnamon has a long history both as a spice and as a medicine, and it’s unique healing abilities come from the essential oils found in its bark, which contain three active components called cinnamaldehyde, cinnamyl acetate, and cinnamyl alcohol. The cinnaldehyde in cinnamon helps prevent unwanted clumping of blood platelets, which makes cinnamon anti-inflammatory.
Cinnamon’s essential oils also qualify it as an “anti-microbial” food, and cinnamon has been studied for its ability to help stop the growth of bacteria as well as fungi, including the yeast Candida (associated with GI distress and resistance to weight loss). Seasoning a high carb food with cinnamon can help lessen its impact on your blood sugar levels, since cinnamon slows the rate at which the stomach empties after meals, reducing the rise in blood sugar after eating. In addition to its essential oils, cinnamon is also an excellent source of fiber, and the minerals manganese and calcium.
Finally, the odor of cinnamon has been observed to improve participants’ scores on tasks related to attentional processes, memory and visual-motor speed.
Cinnamon Practical Use:
As you should do with other dried spices, you should try to get organic cinnamon when you can find it, since this will assure the cinnamon has not been irradiated, which can lead to a significant decrease in cinnamon’s vitamin C and carotenoid content.
Cinnamon should be kept in a tightly sealed glass container in a cool, dark and dry place. Ground cinnamon will keep for about six months, while cinnamon sticks will stay fresh for about one year. You can extend cinnamon’s shelf life by storing it in the refrigerator.
To take advantage of the benefits of cinnamon, try to use about 1-2 teaspoons of cinnamon per day. Here are some ideas:
- Simmer cinnamon sticks with almond milk and manuka honey for a delicious tea.
- Add cinnamon to any dish that calls for beans, to give the beans a unique taste.
- Saute lamb with eggplant, raisins and cinnamon sticks to create a healthy Middle Eastern meal.
- Add ground cinnamon when preparing curries.
- Sprinkle cinnamon on oatmeal, quinoa, amaranth or millet as part of a breakfast cereal.
- For enhanced mental function, diffuse cinnamon essential oils in a cold air diffuser in your office.
- If you don’t like the taste of cinnamon, or need a more convenient delivery method, use organic cinnamon capsules.
If you have questions, comments or feedback about how to use cinnamon, the Superhuman Food Pyramid, this website, or other aspects of Becoming Superhuman, then leave your thoughts below, as well as any tips you have on how to use cinnamon.