Back in the early 2010s, a highly inadvisable internet dare game called ‘The Cinnamon Challenge’ tasked participants with swallowing a tablespoon of the dry spice. (Spoiler: they couldn’t.) With a number of embarrassing videos still circulating, we’d imagine most wish that they could just forget it ever happened. Which, according to the latest science, is ironic...
A study by researchers in Taiwan and China found that supplementing your diet with cinnamon could have impressive benefits to your working memory. When people with high blood glucose levels – a common, memory-impairing issue in men over the age of 40 – were surveyed on their diets, those who reported consuming cinnamon regularly were shown to have sharper powers of recall in tests.
Cinnamon contains compounds that improve insulin sensitivity, which inhibits the inflammatory processes that can lead to mental impairment. And you don’t need to knock back a spoonful, Challenge-style, either. A generous daily sprinkle on your porridge, yoghurt, shake or cappuccino will suffice.
Indeed, the spice is so potent that a US study found the scent of it alone can elevate scores on tasks related to focus and memory. The same study found that chewing cinnamon gum had a similar effect, so it might be worth picking up a pack ahead of a big presentation or deadline. It’s the easiest way to make sweet memories.
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