Cinnamon is a highly delicious spice. It has been used as medicine all over the world for thousands of years. It has been rewarded for its medicinal properties for thousands of years. still it is used daily in many aspects because of having widespread health benefits, it is distinctly sweet and warming in taste. The distinctive smell, color and taste of cinnamon because of the oily part of the tree that it grows from. The health benefits of cinnamon come from the bark of the Cinnamomum verum (Cinnamomum zeylanicum) tree. The Cinnamomum verum tree can also be synonimously referred to as a Cinnamomum zeylanicum. Cinnamon is a spice that is obtained from the inner bark of trees called Cinnamomum.It has been used as an ingredient ancient time, dating back as far as Ancient Egypt. It used to be infrequent and valuable and was regarded as a gift fit for kings. Now a day, cinnamon is not cheap, available in every supermarket and found in all sorts of foods and recipes.
There are two main types of cinnamon which are described as follow:
- Ceylon cinnamon: Also known as “true” cinnamon.
- Cassia cinnamon: This is the more common variety today, what people generally refer to as “cinnamon.”
Cinnamon is made by cutting the stems of the cinnamomum tree. The inner bark is then extracted and the woody parts removed from it. When woody part dries, it forms strips that curl into rolls, called cinnamon sticks. The sticks can be ground to form cinnamon powder. The distinctive smell and taste of cinnamon is due to the oily part, which is very high in a compound called cinnamaldehyde, compound that is responsible for most of cinnamon’s powerful effects on health and metabolism.
Nutrition Benefits of Cinnamon
Cinnamon is highly nutritious as 1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon contains:
- 19 calories
- 0 grams of fat, sugar, or protein
- 4 grams of fiber
- 68 percent daily value manganese
- 8 percent daily value calcium
- 4 percent daily value iron
- 3 percent daily value vitamin K
A little amount of cinnamon goes a long way, and its antioxidant abilities are what forms it especially beneficial to include in your diet. A half teaspoon of cinnamon daily, have positive effects on blood sugar levels, digestion, immunity and much more; however, higher doses are also extremely beneficial for improving heart disease risk and cutting your risk of diabetes, cancer and neurodegenerative diseases.
Health Benefits of Cinnamon
1. High Source of Antioxidants
Cinnamon is fully loaded with a diversity of protective antioxidants that decrease free radical damage and slow the aging process; in fact, researchers have identified 41 different protective compounds of cinnamon till now.
According to the ORAC scale, which is used to measure the concentration of antioxidants in a variety of foods, cinnamon ranks #7 of all foods, spices and herbs across the world. Antioxidants are the chemicals which protect the body from oxidative damage caused by free radicals. Cinnamon is packed with powerful antioxidants, such as polyphenols. The antioxidant activity of 26 spices, cinnamon rewarded as the clear winner, even outranking “superfoods” like garlic and oregano. In fact, it is so powerful that cinnamon can be used as a natural food preservative.
2. Contains Anti-inflammatory Properties
The antioxidants present in cinnamon have anti-inflammatory effects, help in lowering the risk of heart disease, cancer, brain function decline and more. Researchers have declared over seven types of flavonoid compounds alone in cinnamon, highly effective at fighting against dangerous inflammation levels throughout the body.
As cinnamon lowers swelling and inflammation, it can be favorable in pain management, many studies show that cinnamon helps to relive muscle soreness, PMS pains, severity of allergic reactions and other age-related symptoms of pain too.
3. Protects Heart Health
Cinnamon helps in reducing many of the most common risk factors for heart disease, including high cholesterol levels, high triglyceride levels and high blood pressure. More recently, a big evaluation has concluded that a cinnamon dose of just 120 milligrams per day can have these effects. cinnamon also increased HDL (the “good”) cholesterol. The special compounds found in cinnamon are able to help reduce levels of total cholesterol, LDL “bad” cholesterol and triglycerides, while HDL “good” cholesterol remains stable. Cinnamon also reduces high blood pressure, which is another threat for causing heart disease or a stroke.
There are many heart health benefits of cinnamon. Research describes that cinnamon is a beneficial for blood coagulation and prevents bleeding by helping the body to form blood clots. It also increases blood circulation and enhances bodily tissue’s ability to repair itself after it’s been damaged. This may include heart tissue, which help regeneration in order to help fight heart attacks, heart disease and stroke.
4.Cinnamon Can Improve Sensitivity to The Hormone Insulin
Insulin is one of the important hormones that helps to regulate metabolism and energy use. It is also useful for the transport of blood sugar from the bloodstream and into cells. The problem in many people are resistant to the effects of insulin. This condition, known as insulin resistance, is a hallmark of serious conditions like metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. Diabetes, which is formed when insulin resistance takes place and poor glycemic control occurs, or someone develops the inability to manage how much sugar (glucose) enters the blood stream.
Cinnamon is known to have an anti-diabetic effect, helps lower blood sugar levels and also improve sensitivity to the hormone insulin, which is the vital hormone needed for keeping blood sugar levels balanced. cinnamon plays a part in blocking certain enzymes called alanines, allows for glucose (sugar) to be absorbed into the blood. many studies have confirmed that people with type 2 diabetes can experience remarkable effects on blood sugar markers by supplementing with cinnamon extract.
5. Helps Defend Against Cognitive Decline & Protects Brain Function
Neurodegenerative diseases are characterized due progressive loss of the structure or function of brain cells. Cinnamon’s protective antioxidant properties can help to defend the brain against developing neurological disorders, such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases.
Two compounds present in cinnamon to inhibit the buildup of a protein called tau in the brain, which is one of the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease. cinnamon preserves cognitive function and brain health because of activating neuro-protective proteins that prevent brain cells from mutation and undergoing damage. It also reduces the negative effects of oxidative stress by blocking cells from morphing and self-destructing.
As cinnamon carries so many antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that decrease the effects of aging on the body and brain. in future, we may observe it being used as a possible natural therapeutic treatment or protection for age-related neuro-degenerative diseases.
6. May Help Lower Cancer Risk
Cancer is a very serious disease, which is characterized by uncontrolled growth of cells. Cinnamon has potential to use in cancer prevention and treatment. Because of its antioxidant abilities, cinnamon may help to protect against DNA damage, cell mutation and cancerous tumor growth. It helps by reducing the growth of cancer cells and the formation of blood vessels in tumors, and martialize to be toxic to cancer cells, causing cell death.
Many Studies have showed that the health benefits of cinnamon is due to the compound called cinnamaldehyde, having ability to stop cancer tumor growth and prevent DNA from damage, while also promoting cancerous cells to self-destruct (called cell apoptosis).
This is specifically true in the colon; studies describe that cinnamon may improve the health of the colon, as reducing the risk of colon cancer. Cinnamon is used as a natural anti-cancer agent due its strong antioxidant ability, so in future, it can be helpful for those who are at higher risks for cancer to supplement with cinnamon extract.
7. Fights Infections & Viruses
Cinnamon is a natural anti-microbial, anti-biotic, anti-fungal and anti-viral agent. The immune enhancing abilities of cinnamon are present in cinnamon’s essential oils.
Cinnamaldehyde, the main active component of cinnamon, may help to fight different types of infection. Cinnamon oil is actually, very effective to treat respiratory tract infections caused by fungi. It can also stop the growth of certain bacteria, including Listeria and Salmonella. cinnamon may also help to prevent tooth decay and reduce bad breath.
Cinnamon is used in many aspects to naturally fight against harmful infections and viruses. Cinnamon oils is powerful, have protective abilities against various bacteria which can cause negative symptoms in the digestive tract, on the surface of the skin, and can lead to colds or the flu.
8. Help to Prevent or Cure Candida
Many studies have showed that cinnamon’s powerful anti-fungal properties may be functional in inhibition or curing Candida overgrowth in the digestive tract. Cinnamon is important to lower the amounts of dangerous Candida albicans, a yeast that causes Candida overgrowth that may cause multiple digestive and auto immune symptoms. Another health benefit of cinnamon is that it may help to control blood sugar levels, and excess amount sugar within the digestive tract is related with increased candida risk.
According to many studies, it is proven when patients were given cinnamon extract or cinnamon essential oil, they showed improvements in candida yeast levels and a reduction in symptoms. Cinnamon may help to fight candida naturally by improving immune health and fighting inflammation, auto immune-reactions, and yeast within the gut.
9. Benefits Skin Health
It protects skin from irritations, rashes, allergic reactions, and infections because of its anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. By Applying cinnamon essential oil directly to the skin, it may helpful in decreasing inflammation, swelling, pain, and redness. Mixture of cinnamon and honey, antimicrobial ingredient, are usually used together to boost up skin health for this reason and are beneficial for acne, rosacea, and signs of skin allergies.
10. Helps Fight Allergies
Cinnamon has been observed to be useful in fighting common allergy as it reduces inflammation and fights histamine reactions in the bodies of animals, although research is yet to come in human trials. For that reason, many naturopaths also believe it may also help to decrease symptoms of asthma attacks.
In essential oil of cinnamon many immune-boosting abilities are found and is useful for nutrient absorption during digestion, which could decrease auto-immune reactions that can happen after consuming common allergen foods.
11. Used as a Natural Food Preservative
cinnamon is used to preserve food. Because of having anti-bacterial abilities and also acts as an antioxidant, it may be used as a preservative in many foods without the need for chemicals and artificial ingredients, pectin from fruit was coated with cinnamon leaf extract it formed high antioxidant and antibacterial activities and stayed fresh for longer.
It plays a role in the activity of tyrosinase inhibitors, which are beneficial in stopping discoloration on fruits and vegetables that shows as they oxidize and begin to rot.
12. Used to Sweeten Recipes without Added Sugar
It is used to sweeten recipes without adding sugar because of its naturally sweet taste, adding cinnamon to foods and recipes can help you to decrease on the amount of sugar you normally use, thereby lowering the glycemic load of your meal. It has anti-diabetic effects that reduce sugar from releasing into the blood stream which may help to manage food cravings and weight gain but using cinnamon for its taste is another added benefit.
History of Cinnamon
Cinnamon has been yielded from the inner bark of trees called Cinnamomum trees for thousands of years. The use of cinnamon dates back as far as 4,000 years ago to Ancient Egypt. Cinnamon was considered a very precious and rare spice at this time, usually being sold at very high costs and given to royalty as gifts or signs of devotion.
It was also mentioned in the Bible for many times and was noted for its ability to fight illnesses. People have learned much more about the health benefits of cinnamon as time has passed on, with research now shows the medicinal claims of cinnamon that ancient populations have known about for centuries. In past people used cinnamon as cinnamon oil.
There are many cinnamon recipes which You can include into your diet by trying some of these cinnamon recipes:
Secret Detox Drink Recipe
This first recipe is very simple to use cinnamon’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Combined with these other powerhouse cleansing ingredients you can bring down any inflammation and get your body on track fast!
Total Time: 2 minutes
- 1 glass of water (12–16 ounces)
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 dash cayenne pepper (optional)
- Stevia to taste
- Blend all ingredients together.
Baked Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Recipe
Soothing, satisfying, tasty, and an easy way to get some manganese first thing in the morning, the cinnamon in this oatmeal will get you off to a great start!
Total Time: 40 minutes
- 4 cups kefir
- ½ cup coconut sugar
- 2 tablespoons butter
- ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon cardamom
- 2 cups steel cut oats
- 2 cups chopped apples
- ½ cup raisins
- 1 cup chopped nuts
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Bring kefir, coconut sugar, butter, salt, nutmeg, cardamom and cinnamon to boil in pot over high heat.
- Add remaining ingredients to pot and mix. Transfer contents to greased 9×13 pan and bake for 30-35 minutes.