Cinnamon could be considered one of the world’s most famous and loved spices. It is included in many meals and desserts and in fragrances and beauty products.
What you may not know is that cinnamon has been found by research to have many health benefits. In this article, we will outline a few.
What is Cinnamon?
Cinnamon bark, scientifically known as Cinnamomum zeylanicum, and Cinnamon cassia, contains vital oils and other derivatives that are specifically used for medicinal purposes.(1) The most important constituents of cinnamon are cinnamaldehyde and trans-cinnamaldehyde (Cin), which are present in the essential oil, thus contributing to the fragrance and to the various biological activities observed with cinnamon. (2)
Cinnamon bark also contains strong antioxidants known as procynadins. These antioxidants are important to preventing and fighting many disease states.
Cinnamon inhibits fatty acid oxidation (which can create free radicals or toxins within the body) and scavenges free radicals in general. (3, 4) What this means in plain English is that Cinnamon acts as a strong antioxidant that can decrease any damage caused by toxins within the body.
To understand what inflammation is, imagine what you feel like the day after a difficult workout. Your body is sore and you feel tired. This is the body’s natural response to building muscle, inflammation occurs to heal. However, if there is constant inflammation within the body, either from eating a very processed diet or from stress, this is where disease can begin.Cinnamon has been found to decrease inflammation in the body and can therefore protect you from developing certain illnesses.
Cinnamon protects against neurological disorders
There have been some studies that show promise in cinnamon’s role as a therapy for neurological disorder such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. The ingredients extracted from cinnamon have been shown to decrease plaque and protect against toxins building up in the brain. (5,6)
Cinnamon regulates blood sugar levels
There have been several studies that show that cinnamon regulates blood sugar levels by increasing the effects of insulin within the body.(7) In fact, cinnamon was 20 times more effective at regulating blood sugar levels than other spices. (8)
Cinnamon fights bacteria
The essential oil from cinammon has been proven to have antibacterial properties and fight bacteria and yeast like Staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans respectively. (9)
Cinnamon lowers cholesterol levels
Cinnamon has been found enhance one’s lipid profile by lowering bad cholesterol, total cholesterol, and triglycerides. (10)
Cinnamon has anti-cancer properties
Cinnamon actively destroys certain factors that are known to cause cancer. Studies have found that it could definitely have a role in cancer prevention. (11)
So, go ahead! Use cinammon in your favorite muffins, add it to a curry sauce, include it in your smoothies, or drink it every morning with some warm water, lemon, and raw honey.