Cinnamon is more than just another food that adds flavor to your dishes and pastries. While the irresistible delicious spice can add a certain zest to your meals, the health benefits of cinnamon also lend great reason to consume the spice. The next time that you have the urge to indulge in a cinnamon-based treat, maybe you should give in a few times– your body will thank you. After all, cinnamon has a plethora of serious wellness benefits that should not be overlooked.
The Health Benefits of Cinnamon
Particularly rich in fiber, manganese, and calcium while being used for thousands of years as a flavorful spice and medicine, cinnamon truly has made it’s mark in numerous cultures. It has been mentioned in ancient Chinese writing, used in Egypt as a medicine and embalming fluid, rested as one of the most revered spices in Medieval Europe, and has been mentioned several times in the bible. Today, almost all countries around the world rely on the wonderful flavor that rouses from cinnamon. In addition, many cultures were — and still are — fully aware of cinnamon’s healing characteristics.
Use Cinnamon for Diabetes
The most widely known health benefit of cinnamon revolves around the spices ability to not only protect against diabetes, but also reverse it. In one study published in the Journal of Diabetic Medicine, researchers divided adults with type 2 diabetes into 2 different groups. Those on the daily regimen of cinnamon experienced lower fasting glucose (blood sugar) levels than the other group and showed reduced body fat overall. Another 2003 study involving 60 people in Pakistan found that those who consumed 1 grams of cinnamon daily over 40 days experienced a significantly decrease in blood sugar levels.
The cinnamon for diabetes treatment is so popular because:
- Cinnamon improves the sensitivity of insulin by slowing the emptying of your stomach following meals.
- Cinnamon enhances your antioxidant defenses.
- Glucose metabolism can be increased nearly 20-fold thanks to cinnamon. This increase greatly improves blood sugar regulation.
- Cinnamon acts as an insulin substitute and possesses “insulin-like effects” due to a bioactive compound.
- Proanthocyanidin, a bioflavonoid in cinnamon, could alter insulin-signaling activity in your fat cells.
Promote Heart Health, Fight Heart Disease
Lowering cholesterol levels is one of the most recognized health benefits of cinnamon. The components of cinnamon can reduce the amount of “bad” cholesterol and triglycerides within the body, promoting cardiovascular and overall wellness alike. Cinnamon and other spices have even been found to fight heart disease as a whole. Further, blood sugar can also be regulated by this spice, which can be beneficial for both diabetic and hypoglycemic individuals.
Cinnamon and Alzheimer’s
Researchers from Tel Aviv University found that extracts from cinnamon bark inhibit toxic compounds found in Alzheimer’s Disease brain plaque formations. They found that cinnamon reduced s-amyloid plaques associated with the pathology of Alzheimer’s Disease, which in turn can improve mental cognition. According to NaturalNews, “cinnamon extract resolved AD associate reduced longevity, helped recover locomotion defects and completely abolished tetrameric species of plaque in the brain.”
Some Other Cinnamon Health Benefits – What Cinnamon Has to Offer
- Cancer – Cinnamon is anti-inflammatory and harnesses anti-cancer properties. Numerous studies have demonstrated cinnamon’s anti-cancer, effects, with one study from the Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology finding that the spice leads to cancer cell death. The study abstract concludes with “Hence, further elucidation of active components of cinnamon extract could lead to development of potent anti-tumor agent or complementary and alternative medicine for the treatment of diverse cancers.”
- Arthritis – Cinnamon works for those who are suffering from arthritis too. Studies have shown that cytokines, which trigger the pain in arthritis-stricken body parts, can be lowered by cinnamon. In effect, the intolerable pain would become more manageable
- Relieves Menstrual Pain and Cramps – For women, regular intake of cinnamon is also a reliable relief for menstrual pain. In fact, this can also improve problems that are related to infertility. These health benefits of cinnamon are attributed to something known as cinnamaldehyde — a compound that is found in cinnamon.
- Anti-Microbial, Halts Bacteria and Fungi – Cinnamon has been shown to stop the growth of bacteria and fungi – especially yeast Candida. “If cinnamon can knock out E.coli 0157:H7, one of the most virulent food-borne microorganisms that exists today, it will certainly have antimicrobial effects on other common food-borne bacteria such as Salmonella and Campylobacter,” Professor Daniel Fung, an expert in food science at Kansas State University said.
- Digestive Health – Cinnamon is full of fiber, which is great for digestive health. Fiber helps to prevent constipation by softening stools and helps maintain a clean, working digestive system overall.
Cinnamon Benefits Overview: Cinnamon is Great for:
- Promoting cardiovascular health, Preventing heart disease
- Treating arthritis and releiving joint pain
- Alleviating menstrual pain
- Reducing inflammation
- Stopping vomiting
- Relieving nausea
- Providing anti-infectious benefits
- Helping to balance hormones, alleviating menstrual pain, and promoting fertility thanks to the active compound cinnamaldehyde
- Blood clots
- Weight loss
- Alleviating mental stress
- Improving memory and attention due to scent
- Promoting digestive health
- Fighting cancer
- Preventing candida and fungal infections
- Preserving food
- Treating and preventing headaches
To experience some of cinnamon’s positive effects, start by adding ½ teaspoon of cinnamon powder to your daily meal. You could also add some in your coffee and tea. Even if you don’t have diabetes or hypoglycemia, adding cinnamon to your diet could make for better mood control.
Note: Be cautious when taking cinnamon in larger doses, as it can be toxic when consumed in larger amounts. To get an idea, studies have safely used daily doses of anywhere from 1, 2, 4, or 6 grams of cinnamon. Additionally, Cinnamon contains a compound called coumarin, which acts as a blood thinner and can cause bleeding if taken in high doses. For this reason, be cautious if pregnant or if you’re looking to take high doses of cinnamon while on blood-thinning medication.
The health benefits of cinnamon are many. Matched with a great taste, cinnamon is an excellent choice for anyone looking to spice up their meals with both added taste and powerful nutrition.