Top 10 Health Benefits of Cinnamon
There was a particular period in history when spices were as precious as gold. Voyagers and traders travel thousands of miles through treacherous seas just to trade and purchase these spices. Today, spices are an everyday commodity, but it is considered as a treasure trove of health benefits because of its rich nutrient value. Also, because of its high nutrition profile, it has a long history of medicinal use since the ancient times. The health benefits of cinnamon are most probably due to the compounds that are contained in this amazing spice, which includes antioxidants, cinnamic acid, cinnamaldehyde, and cinnamate. You can obtain all the cinnamon health benefits when you consume it in its ground form, essential oil form, extract from, or as a pure bark. Cinnamon has its own unique flavor, color, and aroma. It can be mixed with a variety of dishes to enhance the flavor and it can also be used for sweet desserts. It is truly one of those spices that are a must-have in your kitchen cupboard.
Health Benefits of Cinnamon
If you want to improve your overall health, you need to start eating healthy foods and exercising daily. Below are ten good reasons why you should include cinnamon in your daily diet.
Good for Your Heart
Cardiovascular disease affects millions of people in the US. One of the major causes of this disease is eating unhealthy and fatty foods that are high in cholesterol. Cardiovascular disease has so many risk factors, which makes it one of the leading causes of death worldwide. If you are at risk of developing heart disease or you always have high cholesterol levels, then you should include cinnamon in your diet. Cinnamon contains special compounds that are capable of reducing the LDL or bad cholesterols while keeping the good cholesterols at a normal level. Cinnamon is effective in keeping your blood pressure at a stable level. You probably know already that high blood pressure can cause stroke and heart disease in so many people. Cinnamon promotes the healing and repair of bodily tissues, which can help regenerate heart tissues that prevent the risk of heart attack. Cinnamon can also ease blood flow and circulation, which helps keep your cardiovascular system healthy.
Chronic inflammation is the root cause of so many illnesses and disease. You can stay healthy and disease-free all the time through cinnamon. The antioxidants found in cinnamon have anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce the risk of cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and a decline in brain health. Researchers have discovered at least 7 flavonoids that have strong anti-inflammatory properties throughout the body. You can use cinnamon to alleviate muscle soreness and pain. It can also reduce swelling, which makes it effective against allergic reactions, PMS pains, and other bodily pains that are caused by aging.
Cinnamon is known to have anti-diabetic effects by helping to lower the blood sugar level and improving the body’s sensitivity to insulin. The sensitivity to insulin is very important because it is what keeps your blood sugar level stable and balanced. Cinnamon contains an enzyme called alanines, which has a vital role in allowing glucose or sugar to be absorbed into the blood. This can help decrease the amount of glucose entering the bloodstream, especially after having a meal that is high in sugar. For people who have type 2 diabetes, consuming cinnamon every day can be beneficial for their health. Several studies have discovered that Ceylon cinnamon can help a person control his or her blood sugar level. It is also recommended for people who are prediabetic. However, before taking any cinnamon extract or supplements, it is better to talk to your doctor first.
Fights Harmful Free Radicals
There are many health benefits of cinnamon because of its high antioxidant content. Free radicals can be very damaging to the body and it can cause several serious diseases, including cancer. By consuming cinnamon, you can gain protective antioxidants that can reduce the damages of these free radicals. Recent studies have discovered that cinnamon contains at least 41 antioxidant compounds to help fight free radicals. Researchers also found that cinnamon is higher in antioxidants than other herbs and spices such as thyme, garlic, rosemary, and oregano. The type of antioxidants contained in cinnamon includes flavonoids, polyphenols, and phenolic acids that can also be found in other nutritious foods. It is important to have enough antioxidants in the body to safely engage and react with the free radicals, resulting in less cellular damage. These antioxidants, also known as free radical scavengers can reduce different forms of oxidative stress, and it can inhibit the buildup of nitric oxide in the blood and lipid peroxidation.
Protect the Brain from Neurological Disorders
Another benefit of the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of cinnamon is its ability to protect the brain from developing neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s Disease and Parkinson’s Disease. Cinnamon can also help slow down the aging process of the brain, resulting in sharper memory. Cinnamon contains proteins that can actually protect the brain cells from oxidative stress and damage. With these special properties, many experts are eyeing cinnamon as a possible candidate for the therapeutic treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.
Promotes Healthy Teeth
Cinnamon may not be the first thing that comes to your mind when it comes to foods or spices that promotes healthier teeth. The extract in cinnamon is rich in antibacterial properties that can prevent the buildup of plaque on your teeth. It fights the bacteria in your mouth that causes tooth decay, bad breath, mouth infections, and cavities. Cinnamon can act as an effective antibacterial mouthwash for you. For centuries, cinnamon has been used traditionally as a powder that treats dental problems, toothaches, and mouth sores. If you want a chemical-free mouthwash and breath freshener, you can try using cinnamon.
Cinnamon contains anti-allergy compounds that help in reducing inflammation and histamine reaction in your body. It will fight common allergy symptoms and gives you instant relief. Cinnamon is also effective against symptoms of asthma attacks. Cinnamon is also beneficial for boosting the body’s immune system and keeping your digestive system healthy. When both immune and digestive system are healthy, it limits the auto-immune reactions that happen after eating allergen foods.
Aids in Weight Loss
Having a healthy diet and regular exercise program will give you the best results when trying to lose weight. However, you can boost your weight loss regimen by including cinnamon into your diet. Cinnamon can control your insulin level, which results in speeding up your metabolism. By increasing your metabolism level, your body will be able to burn those calories faster and in a shorter amount of time. This will also help your body for storing healthy carbohydrates that can be converted into energy without turning into stored fats. Cinnamon has a naturally sweet taste, which makes it a perfect sweetener for any meal recipes. This helps you cut down on sugar, which lowers the glycemic load of your food, thus promoting weight loss and managing food cravings. Cinnamon is a natural sweetener that does not contain high amounts of sugar and calories. You can try using cinnamon as a replacement for sugar when you are cooking, baking, or brewing coffee and tea.
Lowers the Risk of Cancer
Cancer usually starts from cell mutation and damage to the DNA. Antioxidants are capable of protecting the DNA and preventing cell mutation. As mentioned earlier, cinnamon contains high amounts of antioxidants, which can stop the growth of cancerous tumors. Cinnamon contains a compound called cinnamaldehyde, which encourages the cancerous cells in the body to undergo cell apoptosis or the self-destruction of cells. Studies have shown that cinnamon can be effective in lowering the risk of developing colon cancer. Although the tests and experiments have only been done with mice, the results are still very positive for cinnamon.
Prevents Infection, Viruses, and Common Colds
Cinnamon is effective in defending your body against harmful bacteria, viruses, and microbes. If you are prone to flu, colds, and other viral diseases, you should have lots of cinnamon in your kitchen cupboard. Cinnamon is antibiotic, antifungal, antimicrobial, and antiviral, which helps in boosting your immune system and keeps you away from diseases. When you have a sore throat, cough, and other common cold symptoms, you only need to drink cinnamon tea. It will quickly create a soothing and warming sensation that can stop the symptoms from worsening.
The multitude of health benefits of cinnamon is all due to its high-nutrition value. Just one tablespoon of cinnamon contains the following: 19 calories, 4 grams fiber, 3% RDI of Vitamin K, 68% RDI of Manganese, 4% RDI Iron, No fats, and sugar.
It is truly a healthy spice that you need to include in your daily diet. Cinnamon is anti-inflammatory and antibacterial, plus it has strong antioxidant abilities to provide you with so many cinnamon health benefits. However, you have to be cautious when consuming too much cinnamon because it has its occasional side effects. Some people may be allergic to cinnamon, so you should consult your doctor before taking any supplements or extracts.