Cinnamon is highly delicious and powerful spice around the world. It has been used in medicine for thousands of years.
Now many studies have confirmed its health benefits.
It is made from the inner bark of the tree called Cinnamomum. They are of 2 types:
Ceylon cinnamon: Know as true cinnamon.
Cassia cinnamon: Commonly available and used cinnamon.
Other compounds it provides are cinnamic acid and cinnamate.
Due to high phenolic compounds, antioxidants and flavonoids, it has antioxidant, immunity-boosting, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, anti-diabetic, cancer and heart disease-protecting abilities.
All these nutritional compounds and property make it top the healthiest spices on this planet.
Know the beneficial property that cinnamon will provide you.
1. Cinnamon Has High Antioxidant Property
Oxidative stress is the reason for today’s many of modern health problem like heart diseases, cancer, neurodegeneration, etc.
Oxidative stress is body’s natural process that produces free radicals. These free radicals defend us from viruses and bacterial infection.
But problem arises with increased ratio of free radicals that is caused due to increased oxidative stress. Oxidative stress has increased due to many of factors like air pollution, cigarette smoke, and alcohol.
An excess amount of free radicals can increase damage to cells and its DNA changing their functionality. These result in an uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells.
Oxidative stress can’t be controlled but the activity of free radicals can be reduced. To reduce it , our body require a high amount of antioxidants.
Antioxidant neutralizes free radicals protecting from cellular damage.
Combined study on 26 spices, cinnamon ranked higher for its higher for antioxidant content than ginger, rosemary, thyme and oregano. (4)
While considering it ranked #7 compared to other spices and herbs. It has a high antioxidant capacity similar to superfoods like berries, dark chocolate and red wine.
Wrap up: With high-ranking in its antioxidant content, cinnamon lowers the free radical activity.
2. Cinnamon Have High Anti-inflammatory Properties
Similar to oxidative stress, inflammation works the same way.
Inflammation provides protection from virus and bacterial infections. It also plays an important role in repairing tissue damage.
But normal inflammation won’t harm us until it’s chronic or long-term inflammation.
Chronic inflammation increase the risk of heart disease, brain function decline, cancer and more.
But studies has found that cinnamon contains antioxidant flavonoids that provides anti-inflammatory property, lowering the risk of inflammation. (5)
Wrap up: Cinnamon has high antioxidant flavonoids that provides anti-inflammatory property.
3. Cinnamon Protects From Neurodegenerative Disease and Improve Cognitive Function
Structure loss of the brain and its function is responsible for the neurodegenerative disease. Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease is most common.
These disease are responsible for the decline of cognitive function of brain like decision-making, creativity, information processing, and much more. In all it completely degrade brain health and function.
Cinnamon is found promising against neurodegenerative disease and well as improving cognitive function.
Along with, it has high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory property that lower the free radical damage to neuron, major reason for neurodegenerative disease.
It also activates neuroprotective protein that protects neurons from free-radical damage and mutation.
A study on mice with Parkinson’s disease found that it helps to protect neurons, normalize transmitters and improve motor level. (8).
Eating cinnamon is found beneficial in the protective brain from neurodegenerative disease and also prevent cognitive decline.
A study found that smelling cinnamon’s aroma can have a good impact on cognitive function. Chewing cinnamon flavoured gum also have similar effect.
People taking cinnamon aroma increases overall cognitive function including, better attention, virtual recognition memory, working memory and visual-motor speed.
Wrap Up: With high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory property it protects from neurodegenerative disease. While its oil aroma improves cognitive function.
4. Cinnamon Provides Total Benefit To Heart
Cardiovascular disease is the top killer around the world. It take more life than all types of cancer combined.
Cinnamon has high benefits to heart health. There are many ways it helps to develop a healthy heart and it keeps protected from any of cardiovascular disease.
It helps to reduce total cholesterol, LDL (bad) cholesterol while HDL cholesterol has found to be stable. But in a study it was found that eating 120 milligrams also increase HDL “good” cholesterol. (9, 10)
High blood pressure increases the risk of heart attack. While study on rat found to lower the blood pressure. (11)
Antioxidants and anti-inflammatory property are found beneficial in protecting from free radical and inflammatory damage to nerve cells and arteries. They also lower the activity of free radicals in blood.
Blood clots responsible for blockage in blood flow is one of the increased risk of heart attack or stroke. Cinnamon is found to have anti-clotting property that break those clots and increase flow of blood, lowering the risk of heart attack or stroke.
Wrap up: With combined healthy effects like lower bad cholesterol, increased good cholesterol, balanced blood pressure, antioxidant protection and anti-clotting, cinnamon proves to be the best spice for heart.
5. Cinnamon Lower Blood Sugar and Protects From Diabetes
Diabetes is among the top rising issue with elders and now it’s affecting young people too.
It is caused due to unhealthy diet or no physical activity. But the major part is the diet. Eating right food that can lower the risk as well protect from major health problems that most diabetic people suffers.
To control diabetes, cinnamon is found helpful due to its anti-diabetic property.
Insulin is the hormone that regulate blood sugar and energy level. Resistance to these hormone lead to rise of health issues like type 2 diabetes or metabolic syndrome.
Cinnamon is found to lower the insulin resistance thus it improves the sugar level in blood.
Secondly, it is found to lower the amount of sugar released in the bloodstream.
Cinnamon contains enzyme that slower the breakdown of carbohydrate for the release of sugar. It is helpful as it slower the emptying of stomach which avoid quick release of sugar in the blood. (12, 13).
A study on 14 healthy subjects to find the rate of emptying of the stomach. It was found that gastric emptying was slow from 37% to 34.5%.
So it lowers the release of sugar in blood instead of high sugar meal, important for people having diabetes.
A study found spice can increase the glucose metabolism by 20%.
Another reason cinnamon is its high antioxidant and cholesterol lowering property, it lowers the inflammatory markers and cholesterol in the blood which lower the risk the of heart disease in diabetes people.
Wrap up: With lower insulin sensitivity, slow release of energy from food, increased glucose consumption of cells and lowered diabetes complications, it proves to be the best food for diabetes.
6. Cinnamon Protects From Multiple Cancer
Ratio of spread of cancer is increasing day by day. It is characterised by uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells.
Abnormal cell or cancerous cell growth is stimulated by increased oxidative stress. Higher oxidative stress leads to excess production of free radicals which is responsible for the damage to healthy cells.
Damage caused due to free radicals make them cancerous cells, responsible for all types of cancer.
No studies have confirmed about its benefit on the human. But studies on rats has found it to provide protection against cancer.
It is responsible for the death of cancer cells (cell apoptosis) by preventing the growth of blood vessels in cancer cells, stops growth of cancer cells, and protecting DNA from free radicals damage. (18)
Studies has not yet been proved its effects on human cancer cells. But it should not stop you from enjoying it. It’s a great spice with sweet flavour and high nutritional value.
Eating healthy is important for health and better protection from any disease. Including every healthy food in your diet is the major priority for today’s nutrient requirement. So adding a pinch of cinnamon can improve antioxidant value of your food with great taste.
Bile salts in colon is responsible for the increased risk of colon cancer. Fiber and calcium in cinnamon binds to bile salt and remove them from body.
Wrap up: With high antioxidant it protect DNA damage from oxidative stress. Also it high fiber and calcium helps to remove bile salts, protecting from colon cancer.
7. Cinnamon Protects From Bacterial and Fungal Infection
Cinnamaldehyde is an active compound that is found to provide it anti-bacterial and anti-fungal property. The oil has immune-boosting abilities that help to fight against many of infections. (21)
Its oil protects from infections that can have negative impact on digestive tract also responsible for cold and flu.
Cinnamon water can be prepared by soaking its stick in water. It is effective to soothe cough and cold. Its antibacterial property helps against sore throat while its warming property improves blood circulation and improves oxygen supply to fight infections.
In Chinese medicine, it is used to clear phlegm coughs. (22)
In Ayurveda, it is used to for all sorts of congestion lungs, as it clears up mucus and improves circulation.
Wrap up: Cinnamon has an anti-bacterial and anti-fungal property that protect from many of infections. Its anti-microbial and warming property protect from all respiratory infections, protecting from cough and cold.
8. Cinnamon Defend Against HIV Virus
HIV is a Human Immunodeficiency Virus. When left untreated it turns to AIDs (Acquired Immunodeficiency disease)
HIV slowly break down the immunity increasing risk to many another disease.
Study on 69 Indian medical plants for fighting HIV virus was done. Among those, Cinnamomum cassia (bark) was found to fight against HIV-1 and HIV-2. (25)
A study done with elderberry, green tea and cinnamon extract found that the flavonoids compounds have shown to block HIV-1 and infections in goats cells. (26)
Wrap up: Cinnamon has high flavonoid content that protects from HIV-1 and HIV-2 infections. But it is not yet confirmed on human.
9. Anti-microbial Property Improves Dental Health
Bad breath, tooth decay, cavities or mouth infections is also a top concern today. Instead of eating healthy and meeting required nutrients, dental health is in bad condition.
There are many products available for dental care, but those chemical loaded products are doing more harm than benefit.
Cinnamon oil can be your best dental product alternative as it protects against bacteria living in oral flora. It can be used to naturally fight against bacteria in the mouth, similar like anti-bacterial mouthwash. It also removes bad breath without using any chemical. (27, 28)
Traditionally it has been used in tooth powder to treat dental problems. (29)
Along with peppermint, cinnamon is also used in chewing gum due to its mouth refreshing property.
Wrap up: Cinnamon is used from long time due to its antimicrobial property. It helps to fight bad breath, tooth decay, cavities and mouth infections.
10. It Protects and Cure Candida
Candida parapsilosis is a fungal species that mostly grow in the digestive tract.
Cinnamon has a strong anti-fungal property that it stops the growth of Candia in the digestive tract.
A study found that its oil leads to the decline of Candida growth after 72 hours. It helps to fight Candia infection by boosting immune health, fight inflammation, auto immune-reactions, and yeast within the gut (30)
Cinnamon helps to control blood sugar and lower sugar level in the stomach which is associated with candida risk.
Wrap up: With lower sugar level in stomach and strong anti-fungal property it protects and treat candida infections.
11. High Anti-microbial and Antioxidant Makes It Perfect For Skin health
Expose to these free radicals damage the matrix of skin cells increasing the rate of aging and wrinkles.
Cinnamon has strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory property that protect skin from free radical damage and delay aging.
Also, it has anti-microbial property that protects the skin from infection, rashes or allergic reactions. Cinnamon oil can be directly applied to control inflammation and soreness during acne, rosacea or skin allergies.
Wrap up: With strong anti-microbial property and antioxidant property it provides protection from common skin infections or aging.
12. Cinnamon Have Anti-allergic Property
Cinnamon has found to have anti-allergic property. (33)
It has been used to treat cold and cough from long. It also had shown to reduce inflammation and fights histamine reactions.
Histamine reactions are stimulated due to allergens that are responsible for allergy. By reducing histamine reactions we can fight allergic symptoms.
Wrap up: Cinnamon reduce inflammation and histamine reaction helping to fight allergy.
Side Effects Of Cinnamon
Cinnamon bark and oil is used as a spice or even as medicine from a long time. Consuming it have found to be safe if taken in a small amount.
Excess consumption isn’t harmful but it can have minor side-effects. Usually, side-effects of food is due to its high nutrition profile. So it is important to add it in foods or medicine is required amount.
Excess amount of its bark or oil can lead to:
- irritation to skin, mucous membrane, stomach, intestine and urinary tract
Precaution and Warnings:
Diabetes: Cinnamon lowers the blood sugar. It is important to check for low sugar level (hypoglycemia) if you are taking cinnamon and have diabetes.
Surgery: It can interfere with blood sugar level during or after surgery. It is good to stop taking before 4 weeks of surgery.
With loads of nutrient, it is highly beneficial spice to neglect. Along with it health benefits it provide food a sweet taste.
To gain its benefit, add it in your foods. Also, you can soak a few piece of bark in water and drink it after few hour.
As mentioned earlier that taking more isn’t good. Take a watch over its quantity. And you are ready to enjoy it beneficial property.
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