4 Surprising Facts on Holiday Candy
Cinnamon, peppermint, nutmeg and cloves have a host of surprising health benefits.
These wintry spices don't just make your pies and lattes tastier. They're also great for your body.
Red and white candy canes are ubiquitous with the season, but don't just leave them for the tree, as Huffington Post reports. The site says it works wonders for stomach trouble, ranging from nausea to menstrual cramps to irritable bowel syndrome. Peppermint oil also curbs your appetite (wonderful for meal-heavy December), eases tension and headache, and may even give us increased concentration. And just in time for cold season, the menthol in peppermint is also great to un-stuff your nose.
Cinnamon is a super spice, as Care2.com writes. "Numerous studies show that cinnamon regulates blood sugar, making it a great choice for diabetics and hypoglycemics alike." It has also shown to reduce harmful cholesterol levels, thus reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. Cinnamon has been shown in some studies to reduce cytokines linked to arthritic pain and even the proliferation of cancer cells. It also has been proven effective for menstrual pain and infertility, as "cinnamon contains a natural chemical called cinnamaldehyde, which studies show increases the hormone progesterone and decreases testosterone production in women, helping to balance hormones."
When it comes to nutmeg, go nuts (sorry). As FitDay.com explains, the spice has been around since ancient times for good reason. The Romans and Greeks used it as a "brain tonic" because it stimulates your brain and eliminates fatigue and stress (try sniffing it the next time you Christmas shop). The Chinese also use nutmeg oil as a sedative for aching joints, muscle pain, arthritis, etc. Nutmeg also removes excess gas and also helps with digestion-related problems like diarrhea, constipation, bloating and flatulence. The spice has antibacterial properties and can treat bad breath, which is why you'll see nutmeg in some toothpaste brands. Also for skincare nuts, nutmeg scrub helps reduce skin impurities.