For thousands of years, cinnamon has been used medicinally around the world. It has been used in many cultures due to its widespread health benefits, sweet, warming taste, and ease of use in recipes.
Cinnamon is a small tree from 6 to 10 meters high. It has thick, scabrous bark. Its leaves, when bruised, smell spicy and have a hot taste. The berry tastes like juniper and smells terrible. The thin quills taste sweet, pungent, and aromatic.
According to research, out of 26 of the most popular spices and herbs in the world, cinnamon ranks number 1 in terms of health benefits.
Cinnamon’s health benefits can be obtained in ground spice form (which is bark powder), essential oils, in the form of its pure bark, or in extract form when its special flavonoids, antioxidants, and phenolic compounds are isolated. These compounds make cinnamon one of the most valuable spices on earth – giving its anti-diabetic, antioxidant, anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, immunity-boosting as well as potential cancer and heart disease-protecting abilities.
Nutrition Benefits of Cinnamon
One tablespoon of ground cinnamon contains:
0 grams of fat, sugar, or protein
8 percent daily value calcium
4 grams of fiber
4 percent daily value iron
3 percent daily value vitamin K
68 percent daily value manganese
Health Benefits of Cinnamon
High Source Of Antioxidants
The health benefits of cinnamon are attributed to the type of antioxidants called phenolic acid, flavonoids, and polyphenols. These antioxidants are similar to those found in other “superfoods,” like berries, dark chocolate, and red wine. These compounds help to lessen multitude of symptoms and diseases because they are free radical scavengers. Furthermore, it reduces oxidative stress, including the ability to limit nitric oxide build up in the blood and lipid (fat) peroxidation, which can both add to instances of heart disease, brain disorders, cancer, and other conditions.
May Help Lower Cancer Risk
Cinnamon can help protect against DNA damage, cancerous tumor growth, and cell mutation because of its antioxidant properties. It contains a compound called cinnamaldehyde which has the ability to protect DNA from damage and inhibit cancer tumor growth while at the same time encouraging cancerous cells to self-destruct (called cell apoptosis).
Benefits Skin Health
Cinnamon has anti-microbial and antibiotic effects that protect skin from infections, reactions, allergic, irritations, and rashes. Cinnamon essential oil can be applied directly to the skin to reduce redness, pain, inflammation, and swelling.
Contains Anti-inflammatory Properties
Cinnamon has anti-inflammatory effects which help lower the risk of brain function decline, heart disease, cancer and more. It can lower swelling and inflammation, thus making it beneficial in relieving muscle soreness, the severity of allergic reactions, PMS pains, and other age-related symptoms of pain too.
Helps Fight Diabetes
The anti-diabetic effect of cinnamon helps lower blood sugar levels as well as improve sensitivity to the hormone insulin, which is beneficial for keeping blood sugar levels balanced.
Fights Infections And Viruses
When it comes to defending the body from illnesses, there are many benefits of cinnamon. It is a natural antibiotic, anti-viral, anti-fungal, and anti-microbial agent. Found in cinnamon’s essential oils are its immune boosting abilities.
Cinnamon oils have protective abilities against various bacteria which cause negative symptoms on the surface of the skin, in the digestive tract and can lead to flu or colds.
Protects Heart Health
According to studies, cinnamon reduces several of the most common risk factors for heart disease such as high blood pressure, high triglyceride levels, and high cholesterol levels.
The special compounds present in cinnamon help reduce levels of triglycerides, LDL “bad” cholesterol, and total cholesterol, while HDL “good” cholesterol remains stable.