Cinnamon: Health Benefits and Nutrition


Cinnamon is a spice that comes from the branches of trees in the Cinnamon family. It is native to the Caribbean, South America and Southeast Asia.

People have been using cinnamon since 2000 BC in ancient Egypt, where they held it highly. In medieval times, doctors used it to treat conditions such as coughs, arthritis, and sore throats.

It is now the second most popular spice, after black pepper, in the United States and Europe.

As a spice, cinnamon is available as a powder or whole, as pieces of bark. People can also use cinnamon essential oil and supplements.

There are two main types of cinnamon: cassia and Ceylon. The two have different nutritional profiles.

Some studies suggested that the compounds in cinnamon have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, and antimicrobial properties, and that they may offer protection against cancer and cardiovascular disease, among other conditions. However, more evidence is needed to confirm the benefits of cinnamon.

This article will look at the alleged health benefits of different types of cinnamon and how to include them in the diet.

Scientists have found some evidence for some possible health benefits of cinnamon. These include:

Improve fungal infections

Cinnamon oil can help treat certain types of fungal infections.

A 2016 lab study found that cinnamon oil was effective against a type of Candidiasis that affects blood circulation. This may be due to its antimicrobial properties.

If further research confirms these results, cinnamon oil may play a role in treating this type of infection.

Influence blood sugar levels

Animal studies have shown that cassia cinnamon can reduce blood sugar levels, according to a 2015 review.

The review also noted that after 60 people with type 2 diabetes consumed up to 6 grams (g) of cinnamon per day for between 40 days and 4 months, they had high blood sugar, triglycerides, cholesterol levels. low density lipoproteins and lower total cholesterol.

However, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), a 2012 study review concluded that cinnamon does not help lower levels of glucose or glycosylated hemoglobin A1c – which are long-term measures of blood sugar control – in people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes.

Another little one to study looked at the impact of cinnamon, calcium and zinc on blood pressure management in people with type 2 diabetes. The results did not show this treatment to have an impact.

What foods are good choices for people Diabetes? Find out here.

Prevent Alzheimer’s disease

Some animal studies have suggested that cinnamon may help prevent Alzheimer’s disease.

According to researchers, an extract found in cinnamon bark, called CEppt, contains properties that may prevent symptoms from developing.

Mice that received the extract experienced decreased features of Alzheimer’s disease, such as amyloid plaques, and improvements in their ability to think and reason.

While further research confirms its effectiveness, this extract – but not necessarily whole cinnamon – may be useful in the development of therapies for Alzheimer’s disease.

Protect yourself against HIV

In 2000, a to study Indian herbal extracts found cinnamon to help protect against HIV.

Scientists tested 69 extracts in the lab. Cinnamomum cassia, or cinnamon bark, and Cardiospermum helicacabum, which is the shoot and fruit of cinnamon, have been most effective in reducing HIV activity.

In a 2016 laboratory to study, scientists found that a cinnamon extract exhibited anti-HIV activity.

This does not mean that foods containing cinnamon can treat or prevent HIV, but cinnamon extracts could one day be part of anti-HIV treatment.

Prevent multiple sclerosis

Experts tested cinnamon for its activity against multiple sclerosis (MS).

In to study, the researchers gave mice a mixture of powdered cinnamon and water and performed tests. It was found that cinnamon may have an anti-inflammatory effect on the central nervous system, including parts of the brain.

Studies have also suggested that cinnamon may protect regulatory T cells, or “Tregs,” which regulate immune responses.

People with MS appear to have lower Treg levels than people without a condition. In the mouse studies, the cinnamon treatment prevented the loss of certain proteins specific to Tregs.

Scientists also found that the cinnamon treatment restored myelin levels in mice with MS. MS occurs when the myelin coating of nerve cells is damaged.

The NCCIH support more research into how cinnamon can help treat MS.

In this article, get some diet tips for people with MS.

Reduce the effects of high fat meals

In 2011, researchers concluded that diets high in “antioxidant spices,” including cinnamon, may help reduce the body’s negative response to eating high-fat meals.

Six people ate dishes containing 14 g of a mixture of spices. Blood tests showed that antioxidant activity increased by 13%, the insulin response decreased by 21%, and triglycerides fell by 31%.

Treat and heal chronic wounds

Research of 2015 says scientists have found a way to package antimicrobial compounds in peppermint and cinnamon into tiny capsules that can both kill bacterial biofilms and actively promote healing.

In this way, peppermint and cinnamon could be part of a medicine to treat infected wounds.

Reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease

Various compounds in cinnamon can benefit the cardiovascular system. Cinnemaldehyde, for example, lowered blood pressure in an animal to study.

In a 2014 to study, the rats that received long-term treatment involving cinnamon and aerobic training had better heart function than those that did not.

Can Certain Foods Lower Blood Pressure? Find out here.

Prevent cancer

The authors of a item note that cinnamaldehydes may have anti-tumor and anti-cancer properties.

In the study, scientists treated mice with cancer with an extract of cinnamon and cardamom. Tests found lower levels of oxidant stress in the melanoma cells of the treated mice.

How else is diet linked to cancer? Find out here.

Other benefits

Some people use cinnamon supplements to treat digestive problems, diabetes, loss of appetite, and other conditions. It also plays a role in traditional medicine for the treatment of bronchitis.

However, according to the NCCIH, “Studies done on people do not support the use of cinnamon for any health problem.”

According to US Department of Agriculture, a teaspoon of ground cinnamon weighing 2.6 g contains:

  • energy: 6.42 calories
  • carbohydrates: 2.1 g
  • calcium: 26.1 milligrams (mg)
  • iron: 0.21 mg
  • magnesium: 1.56 mg
  • phosphorus: 1.66 mg
  • potassium: 11.2 mg
  • vitamin A: 0.39 micrograms

It also contains traces of vitamins B and K and the antioxidants choline, beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, lycopene, lutein and zeaxanthin.

Antioxidants can reduce oxidation stress and can help prevent cancer, type 2 diabetes, and many other conditions.

In food, people usually eat only a small amount of cinnamon. Therefore, the nutrients it contains will not play an important role in the diet.

Cinnamon is the bark of a tree. People can put small pieces of the bark in stews, desserts and other dishes, or they can use ground cinnamon, for example, in cakes or on buns.

There are two main types of cinnamon: Ceylon cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum) and cassia, or Chinese, cinnamon (Cinnamomum aromaticum).

Ceylon cinnamon comes from Sri Lanka. Some people call it “real cinnamon”. Cassia cinnamon, on the other hand, is native to southern China. Cassia is cheaper than Ceylon cinnamon.

Ceylon cinnamon is very expensive, so most foods in the United States, including buns and sticky breads, contain the cheaper cassia cinnamon.

People can use cinnamon in sweet or savory dishes. The distinctive scent of cinnamon is the result of the cinnamaldehyde it contains.

To add cinnamon to the diet:

  • Sprinkle a pinch of cinnamon over the oatmeal to replace the sugar.
  • Add cinnamon to cakes, cookies, breads and applesauce.
  • Top a waffle with cinnamon and apple for a low sugar treat.

Get more tips on using cinnamon powder here.

A person can also try these recipes:

In the short term, consuming moderate amounts of cinnamon as a spice or as a supplement appears to be safe for most people.

However, cinnamon contains coumarin. This is a natural aroma, but it also plays a role in the creation of warfarin, the common blood thinner drug.

Consuming too much coumarin can damage the liver and affect clotting. Therefore, people should talk to their doctor before adding cinnamon or cassia to their diet if they:

  • taking blood thinners or other medications
  • have diabetes
  • have liver disease

Cassia cinnamon powder, a common ingredient in foods in the United States, contains more coumarin than Ceylon cinnamon powder.

A German to study from 2010 found that coumarin content varies widely, even in cinnamon samples from the same tree. Cinnamon Cassia was particularly rich in coumarin.

People should never use cinnamon in any form as a complete replacement for medical treatment for health problems.

Cinnamon is available as a supplement, as well as a spice. Supplements can have an impact on health and disease. However, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate supplements, so there may be concerns about quality, purity, and strength. People should always ask their doctor before using any supplements.

Can Supplements Provide Energy? Find out here.

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