In ancient times this fragrant spice was known as a gift of kings. The rich taste of cinnamon has been a favorite flavoring in our modern world for several generations as well. But were you aware that there are ton of cinnamon health benefits too?
We are about to show you a dozen of them. But before we do, let’s explore what makes this spice such a powerful super-food.
12 Cinnamon Health Benefits: Why It’s More Than Just the Flavor
1. Treats Type 2 Diabetes
Topping off our list of cinnamon health benefits is its use in the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Studies from the UK point to enormous potency of cinnamon in helping to reduce blood glucose levels and reduce insulin resistance.
2. Treats and Prevents Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s
Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases have also seen a ton of results related to cinnamon health benefits. Rush University Medical Center established that cinnamon protected dopaminergic neuron.
It also improved motor function in its test subjects in a study related to Parkinson’s disease. Also, similar studies have shown similar results in relation to Alzheimer’s disease.
3. Prevents Cancer
Also among the surprising cinnamon health benefits are cancer prevention qualities. A natural angiogenesis, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) inhibitor which effects cancer cell growth seems to be in cinnamon. This is according to a Beckman Research Institute study.
4. Has Anti-Inflammatory Effects
As an anti-inflammatory agent, it is hard to be the cinnamon health benefits available. Iranian studies note a significant decrease in muscle soreness and inflammation among athletes taking cinnamon in its 2013 inquiry.
5. Aids In Management of PCOS
Management of polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is also among the promising cinnamon health benefits. Columbia University researchers found that cinnamon reduces androgen levels and improves menstrual irregularity and ovulatory function in women with PCOS.
6. Helps Lower LDL Cholesterol
Among the most important cinnamon health benefits is its ability to help lower LDL cholesterol levels. Taking from 1 to 6 grams of cinnamon per day significantly reduces blood glucose, triglycerides and LDL cholesterol levels without having an effect on HDL cholesterol levels. This appears in a Pakistani study.
7. Defends Against Colds and Flu
Also among the major cinnamon health benefits is its ability to defend against cold and flu. Chinese studies indicate that cinnamon oil can effectively treat respiratory tract infections caused by fungi. It also inhibits the growth of certain bacteria like listeria and salmonella.
8. Promotes Dental Health
Dental health can also greatly improve through its use, adding another item to the list of cinnamon health benefits.
An article from the Journal of the International Academy of Periodontology reports that cinnamon oil helps to reduce both plaque buildup and inhibits the development of gingivitis.
9. Prevents and Cures Candida
Not to be left out among the best cinnamon health benefits is the prevention and curing of candida and its associated conditions.
Chinese researchers point to cinnamon oil and cinnamon extracts as being quite effective at denaturing and killing candida fungi cells.
10. Improves Skin Health
Skin health can even be added to the long list of cinnamon health benefits. Cinnamon was shown to reduce inflammatory response in a number of skin conditions. It also reduces symptoms that come with them, as shown in a study from the Phytotherapy Research Journal.
11. Relieves Allergy
Also among the impressive cinnamon health benefits is the way it helps to bring relief to allergy symptoms. German researchers noted that cinnamon is helpful in fighting common allergy symptoms due to its anti-inflammation and anti-histamine reactions properties. These also help to reduce asthma attack symptoms.
12. May Help Fight HIV
Recent studies have discovered a possible link in helping to combat HIV. This adds on more highly impressive item to the list of cinnamon health benefits.
Blocking HIV-1 entry and infection in GHOST cells due to the flavonoids found in cinnamon was a positive result discovered by researchers at the University of Miami.
What Does Cinnamon Contain?
Cinnamon was once a rare commodity, but not anymore. You can find it in any supermarket and most mini-marts on the street corner. There are two main types:
- Ceylon: referred to as true cinnamon.
- Cassia: the variety more commonly referred to as cinnamon.
It is made by cutting stems from the cinnamomum tree and removing the inner bar and extracting the woody parts. After it is dry, the strips curl into rolls or cinnamon sticks. These are available as they are or ground into powder form.
Nutritional Value of Cinnamon
Cinnamon has some pretty surprising numbers when it comes to its nutritional profile. A single ounce of cinnamon contains the following nutrients and daily values (DV):
- Vitamin K: 8.7 mcg or 11% DV;
- Vitamin E: 0.6 mg or 3 % DV;
- Vitamins A, B, B6 and Niacin: 2% DV;
- Manganese: 4.9 mg or 245% DV;
- Calcium: 281 mg or 28% DV;
- Iron: 2.3 mg or 13% DV;
- Copper, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc and selenium: Up to 5% each.
There are also 18 amino acids present in cinnamon. But its most important health promoting properties come from the phytonutrients and polyphenols cinnamaldehyde, cinnamic acid, and cinnamate. Due to high concentrations of these compounds in cinnamon and their effectiveness when it comes to helping to promote wellness, science has been able to prove numerous benefits of cinnamon.
A Note of Caution
Cinnamon doesn’t really cause negative reactions or allergies in the normal amounts that most use it. Issues with the use of cinnamon, cinnamon oil and cinnamon extracts only come when it is used in higher therapeutic doses. Taking too much cinnamon, in excess of 6 grams of powder-form cinnamon or more than 0.1 grams of cinnamon oil on a daily basis, can have some harmful effects, if it is the cassia variety. However, you can take higher amounts of the Ceylon variety without harmful effects.
Cinnamon may become unsafe when you take it in higher doses for:
- Pregnant or breastfeeding women;
- Those who just had surgery;
- Who are suffering from liver disease.
If you plan to use cinnamon in therapeutic amounts, it is best to consult a health care professional. This way, you will learn more of the proper dosages and full range of risks and side effects.
Given these cinnamon health benefits with scientific support, it is hard to understand why you ought to add a little more of this potent spice into your diet. It isn’t all that difficult given that most people enjoy the taste of cinnamon. Also, you can use it as a seasoning in a wide variety of entrees, salads, desserts and sauces.
Add a little more of this royal spice to your daily diet and start seeing its surprising health benefits. Don’t forget to comment below with your favorite recipes and success stories from cinnamon.