8 Awesome Health Benefits of Cinnamon
It seems that more often than not, the foods that are really good for you aren’t necessarily described as delicious, while some of the tastiest foods offer little health benefit. Few would object to Oreo cookies with the nutritional profile of broccoli, for example, and it would be nice if a bowl of lentils and kale were as appealing at dinnertime as a piping hot pizza with your toppings. favourites.
Luckily, there are plenty of delicious foods that are packed with health benefits, including spices and seasonings like garlic, cayenne pepper, and cinnamon. We often think of cinnamon as just a savory accent to sweets like apple pie, gingerbread cookies, and oatmeal, but cinnamon does more than just add a delicious taste and aroma to your food. Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of cinnamon.
What is cinnamon?
Cinnamon is a culinary spice made from the inner bark of cinnamon trees. Once the cinnamon trees have been felled, the inner bark is harvested by removing the outer bark. The inner bark is then dried. As it dries, the bark rolls up into “cinnamon sticks”, which are rolls of the inner bark.
Cinnamon sticks are used to flavor things like tea and hot cider, then removed before eating. Ground cinnamon is obtained by crushing and grinding cinnamon sticks.
There are two main types of cinnamon: Cassia cinnamon and Ceylon cinnamon. Most cinnamon on grocery store shelves is cassia, but Ceylon is known as true cinnamon and has a lighter, sweeter taste, but far more health and medicinal benefits. In fact, high doses of Cassia cinnamon can be toxic because it contains coumarin. If you suffer from a bleeding disorder, you should consult your doctor before consuming cinnamon in excess.
Also, to reap the benefits of cinnamon, use Ceylon cinnamon.
Benefits of cinnamon
The health benefits of cinnamon include the following:
Cinnamon can help regulate blood sugar.
Studies have shown that cinnamon can reduce fasting blood sugar in people with insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes. Cinnamon also appears to improve insulin sensitivity, which may make it an ideal spice to add to your diet if you have pre-diabetes.
Cinnamon is antimicrobial.
Cinnamon has been used for centuries in traditional medicinal treatments due to its antimicrobial properties. For example, cinnamon is effective against E.coli and salmonella, both of which can cause gastrointestinal illness.
Cinnamon may improve gut health.
Cinnamon feeds beneficial bacteria in the gut by providing a source of prebiotic fiber, the preferred fuel source for these helpful microbes. In this way, cinnamon can reduce bloating, indigestion, and gas.
Cinnamon supports oral health.
Studies have shown that cinnamon kills odor-causing and disease-causing bacteria in the mouth, helping to prevent bad breath, plaque buildup, gingivitis, and gum disease.
Cinnamon can lower cholesterol levels.
High cholesterol has been linked to heart disease, stroke, and diabetes, but one of the benefits of cinnamon is that it can lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol while simultaneously raising HDL cholesterol (the “good” cholesterol). Cinnamon can also lower blood triglyceride levels.
Cinnamon can reduce inflammation.
Cinnamon is rich in antioxidants and polyphenols, so it acts as an effective anti-inflammatory in the body. Because chronic inflammation can lead to diseases such as cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, certain cancers, and obesity, eating a diet high in anti-inflammatory foods can reduce your risk of disease.
Cinnamon supports brain health.
Cinnamon contains compounds such as cinnamaldehyde and epicatechin, which help prevent cognitive decline, dementia, Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease by inhibiting the growth of a protein called tau.
Cinnamon reduces the risk of many diseases.
From heart disease and diabetes to polycystic ovary syndrome and colon cancers, research has shown that cinnamon can help reduce the risk of many diseases. Again, these cinnamon health benefits are mostly about Ceylon cinnamon rather than regular Cassia cinnamon.
Wondering how to add cinnamon to your diet? Buy Ceylon cinnamon and add it to things like oatmeal, smoothies, sweet potatoes, yogurt, cottage cheese, baked fruits, etc. Cinnamon also works well on root vegetables, tubers, and pumpkin. For example, try cinnamon on acorn squash, butternut squash, parsnips, cooked carrots, and delicata squash.