Being used as a spice and as a natural medicine, Cinnamon has been here since forever. In fact, this spice was so highly treasured in the past that was considered more precious even than gold.
It has a sweet, warm taste and a pleasant aroma. It is considered that there are one hundred varieties of cinnamon. Cinnamon is made from the brown bark of the cinnamon tree and is available in a dry tubular form or as a ground powder.
The essential oils found in the crust contain active components called cinnamyl acetate, cinnamyl alcohol and cinnamaldehyde, responsible for the many health benefits of this herb.
Cinnamon has powerful anti-inflammatory, anti-coagulation, antimicrobial, and anti-infective properties.
It is a great source of antioxidants, polyphenols, and minerals like iron, manganese, dietary fiber, and calcium – all essential nutrients that can keep your body healthy. Moreover, cinnamon is a natural source of carbohydrates, amino acids, fatty acids, and sugars.
7 Health Benefits of Cinnamon
1. Controls your blood sugar levels
Cinnamon is extremely beneficial for people with type 2 diabetes. It can help your body respond to insulin, which in turn normalizes blood sugar levels.
Cinnamon contains certain compounds which can stimulate insulin receptors and inhibit the enzyme responsible for inactivating them, thus improving the ability of cells to use glucose.
People with type 2 diabetes can lower their blood sugar levels by consuming less than half a teaspoon a day. You can include into your daily diet by adding it over your oatmeal, morning cereal, coffee, or afternoon tea.
2. Improves Blood Circulation
The active compound in cinnamon is coumarin, known for its anticoagulant properties. This can improve blood circulation through your entire body.
However, you should know that too much coumarin can cause liver damage and malfunction, so it is recommended to consume cinnamon in small amounts.
3. Protects Against Heart Disease
Due to the powerful anti-inflammatory properties it possesses, cinnamon can effectively protect your heart and surrounding arteries from infection and damage.
Even though snacks contain unhealthy cholesterol fats and are known to clog arteries, a number of people tend to consume them. The toxins and plaque that accumulate can lead to cardiovascular disease and other damages to the heart.
Cinnamon can significantly lower cholesterol levels, thus fighting “bad” cholesterol. It can reduce inflammation in the internal tissues and reduce the risk of heart attacks and heart disease due to its potent anti-inflammatory properties.
4. Improves Colon Function
Cinnamon is abundant in fiber, manganese, and calcium. The combination of fiber and calcium can improve the function of the colon. Both fiber and calcium bind to bile salts and help remove them from the body.
In this way, fiber prevents the damage that certain bile salts can cause to colon cells, thus reducing the risk of colon cancer. Dietary fiber is also very beneficial for relieving symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome including constipation and diarrhea.
5. Helps Prevent Cancer
According to many studies, cinnamon has the ability to reduce the proliferation of cancer cells, thus preventing cancer.
The University of Texas conducted a study which proved that cinnamon can minimize the increase of cancer cells in the body. The regular consumption of cinnamon can reduce the growth rate of cancer cells from leukemia and lymphoma.
6. Increases Brain Function
It is scientifically proven that cinnamon can improve mental alertness. You should smell the sweet smell of this spice in order to increase your brain activity. It can improve cognitive processing and functioning of the brain associated with attention, working memory, virtual recognition memory and vasomotor speed when working on a computer-based program.
Cinnamon tea has potent soothing properties, so people who suffer from nervousness or anxiety are recommended to consume this tea in order to calm their mind.
7. Helps Treat Neurodegenerative Diseases
Due to its powerful anti-inflammatory properties, cinnamon has an ability to reduce the constant inflammation of the brain’s internal tissues. It can also slow or prevent many neurodegenerative diseases including Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, brain tumors, meningitis, and multiple sclerosis.