Not only is cinnamon delicious, but it is also full of benefits for your good health. Cinnamon is easy to incorporate into your diet, as it can be sprinkled into your coffee or tea, over your cereal and oatmeal, or into many dressings and sauces.
Health Benefits of Cinnamon
Read on to learn about the many health benefits of this sweet-smelling spice.
1. Regulates Blood Sugar
Cinnamon helps to regulate the body’s blood sugar, which is great news for pre-diabetics and diabetics alike. Ingesting cinnamon physically slows down the process that results in this influx of glucose into the blood. When glucose is dumped into the bloodstream, it throws off the insulin receptors and throws off the balance of glucose levels. Cinnamon counteracts this by decreasing the rate at which your stomach is emptied, therefore regulating insulin and glucose secretion in the body.
2. Cancer Prevention
There are two components of cinnamon that have been shown to stop the spread of cancer cells: cinnamaldehyde and eugenol. These same components, and others, have also been shown to help stop tumor growth.
3. Mental Sharpness
Cinnamon has been shown to improve focus, concentration, and mental awareness. Even chewing on cinnamon-flavored gum can be enough to increase your brain activity. Cinnamon can also stimulate neural pathways, which can help slow the progression of Alzheimer’s and dementia. For a great neural wake-up call in the morning, add some cinnamon to your coffee and sprinkle it onto your bagel, toast, cereal, or oatmeal.
4. Strong Bones
Because cinnamon contains magnesium, it is an excellent dietary supplement for bone health. Magnesium working with calcium and helps prevent osteoporosis and ensures that bones grow strong and form correctly. For the most significant benefits, try munching on a whole stick of cinnamon.
5. Potent Antioxidant
There are various components of cinnamon that have been shown to fight and destroy free radicals in the body. These same antioxidants also help support a healthy heart and prevent many chronic diseases that are a result of free radicals wreaking havoc on the body.
6. Improved Digestion
Ground cinnamon actually contains dietary fiber, which helps regulate your digestive system and prevent constipation, bloating, and more. Fiber can also help rid the body of cholesterol and bile salts, both of which can pose serious risks to your health.
7. Immune Support
Cinnamon possesses both antibacterial and antifungal properties and prevents the cultivation of many pathogens. Cinnamon is also great for helping you recover from a cold or flu as it helps stimulate the immune and respiratory systems. Combine 2 teaspoons of cinnamon into a cup of hot water or tea with 1 teaspoon of honey and you’ll have yourself a potent virus-fighting concoction.
8. Prevent Fungal Infections
Cinnamon essential oil is widely respected for its potency and natural antibacterial quality in preventing the cultivation of dangerous pathogens. Adding cinnamon to your diet can also prevent certain bacterial and fungal infections from maturing in your system.
9. Treats ADD and ADHD Symptoms
Cinnamon is now one of the “go-to” remedy for treating symptoms of ADD and ADHD in children. Children with ADHD are often hyperactive, unable to sit still or focus. Cinnamon has a powerful effect on the brain and has a calming effect on people, putting them in a good mood.
10. Stop Candida Yeast Infections
Cinnamon has the ability to stop the growth of Candida albicans fungus and Escherichia coli bacteria. Cinnamon Oil is one of the lading essential oils for fighting candida yeast infections, namely the three strains: Candida albicans, Candida krusei, and Candida tropicalis.
Cinnamon Bark Oil infused with Real Ceylon Cinnamon Tea has proven to be an excellent way to boost the immune system and fight internal Candida infections. It can also be applied topically: mix 1% Ceylon Cinnamon Oil with a carrier oil to affected areas except mucous membranes and genital spots.
11. Reduces Symptoms of IBS
This spice reduces bloating and other uncomfortable feelings associated irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). It kills bacteria, enables the gastric juices to work normally, and heals infections in the GI tract. And for those suffering from stomach cramps, one cup of Cinnamon tea 2-3 times per day will significantly reduce the pain.
12. Mitigate the Effects of PMS
Cinnamon has high levels of Manganese which makes it an excellent option for fighting PMS related symptoms. Manganese helps with mood swings and cramps, however be sure not to consume more than 11 mg of Manganese per day, which equates to about 12 cinnamon sticks.
13. Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease
Cinnamon has been linked with reduced risk of heart disease, and has beneficial effects on blood markers for people with type 2 diabetes. It reduces the levels of bad (LDL) cholesterol and triglycerides, and promotes the good (HDL) cholesterol. Cinnamon has also been shown to lower blood pressure.
How to Differentiate Between Ceylon and Cassia Cinnamon
Ceylon (true) cinnamon is a smooth, light brown, and moderately thin stick (with several folded layers like a cigar), that have been extracted from the stems and branches of the Cinnamomum Zeylanicum plant. It is largely produced in its homeland, Sri Lanka. Unlike Cassia cinnamon, which holds 5% of coumarin, Ceylon cinnamon contains only 0.0004%, making it sweeter and safe to consume in large doses.
Cassia (fake) cinnamon, also known as Saigon or Chinese cinnamon, is a spice originating from India, China, Indonesia, and Vietnam. Due to the large quantity of coumarin present in the substance, it can be harmful even if one has consumed a moderate amount. It has a very hot and pungent taste, and has some of the characteristics of Ceylon cinnamon like being anti-fungal, anti-microbial, etc. This is the type you are likely to find at the grocery stores.
Cassia cinnamon is darker in color and bitter and stronger in flavor, while Ceylon cinnamon is sweeter and more delicate in flavor. Because many retailers do not specify the kind of cinnamon being sold or its origin, it becomes harder to distinct one from another. Your best bet is to identify the real cinnamon sticks to ensure that you are buying the Ceylon variety, and use your blender or grinder to crush it into powder.
Ceylon cinnamon is usually labelled; however, as mentioned above, real cinnamon will be thinner and multilayered with folded layers like a cigar compared to the thicker bark of cassia.
If you’re really looking to increase your health with cinnamon, your best bet is a pure cinnamon essential oil. You can usually find this oil (or even a capsule) at your local health food store. A couple of drops can be added to your food or into a glass of water. For many of us, incorporating good old-fashioned ground cinnamon into our diets more often is enough to reap the benefits, but be sure that it’s Ceylon (“true” cinnamon).
Sprinkle a little bit here and a dash there, and before you know it you’ll be fighting diabetes, cancer, heart disease, dementia, osteoporosis, and more. Now that you know the many health benefits that this little seasoning can provide, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be adding it to your diet every day.