Cinnamon; we sprinkle it on our toast with sugar, we add it to various recipes, and use it for multiple seasoning purposes. This delicious spice has been valued for its medicinal properties for thousands of years. Scientific research has backed up reasons that cinnamon is good for one’s health. Here are some important reasons to keep in mind:
Cinnamon is packed with polyphenol antioxidants
This spice took first place in a study that compared activity in antioxidants in 26 spices. Cinnamon can even be used as a natural food preservative due to its strength.
Cinnamon has anti-inflammatory properties
Our body can benefit from inflammation–it helps us repair tissue damage and fight infections, but it can be a serious problem when it’s a chronic and long-term issue and works against our body tissues. This is where this wonder spice comes in–studies have shown that the antioxidants in cinnamon have some serious anti-inflammatory activity.
It may lower the risk of heart disease
Cinnamon has been connected with lowering one’s risk of heart disease. In those with type 2 diabetes, it has been shown that just 1 gram of cinnamon each day has helpful effects on blood markers. Cinnamon also reduces total cholesterol levels, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, and keeps HDL stable.
Cinnamon can improve insulin sensitivity
Insulin is the main hormone that regulates energy use and metabolism; it’s vital for the moving of blood sugar from our bloodstream and into cells.
Lowers blood sugar
Cinnamon is pretty well known for this. After a meal, this spice has been shown to lower the amount of glucose that enters the bloodstream. It interferes with several digestive enzymes, slowing the breakdown of carbs in the digestive tract. Interestingly, a cinnamon compound mimics insulin, acting on cells that way. Even though it’s a lot slower than insulin, it significantly improves the cells glucose uptake.
Cinnamon might have good effects on neurodegenerative diseases
Studies have shown that cinnamon has led to improvements in diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. Two compounds in the spice were shown to inhibit tau protein buildup in the brain, one of the indicators of Alzheimer’s. In a study using mice with Parkinson’s, cinnamon was shown to provide neuron protection, normalize the level of neurotransmitters and boost motor function.
It might help protect against cancer
Cinnamon has been studied a lot for its possible cancer protection benefits. Test tube experiments and animal studies have shown that the spice may have those protective effects.
Helps combat fungal and bacterial infections
Antibacterial and antifungal properties can be found in cinnamaldehyde, which may lower the risk of infections, help with bad breath and fight tooth decay.
It might help fight HIV
Test tube studies have shown that cinnamon can help fight HIV-1, the main type of HIV virus in humans.
To receive the most benefits from cinnamon, it’s best to use ceylon (“true” cinnamon), which is more easily found in health food stores.