1. Cinnamon is Rich in a Substance with High Medicinal Properties:
Cinnamon is a spice that is obtained from the inner bark of Cinnamomum trees. Its use as an ingredient throughout history dates back to Ancient Egypt. It was a rare and valuable species considered as a gift worthy of kings.
There are two main classes of cinnamon:
- Ceylon Cinnamon: also known as “true” cinnamon.
- Cinnamon Cassia: most common variety today, which we generally refer to as “cinnamon.”
Cinnamon is obtained by cutting the cinnamomum tree trunk. Next, the inner bark is removed and the wooden parts are removed. When it dries, strips are formed that are rolled in a kind of tubes, called cinnamon sticks. If we crush these branches, we get cinnamon powder. Its unmistakable smell and taste are due to its oily part, very rich in a compound called cinnamaldehyde. This compound is responsible for the majority of cinnamon’s powerful effects on health and metabolism. In short: cinnamon is a delicious spice. It is rich in a substance called cinnamaldehyde, which is responsible for most of the benefits it brings to our health.
2. Cinnamon is Packed with Antioxidants:
Antioxidants protect the body from oxidation caused by free radicals. Cinnamon is packed with powerful antioxidants, such as polyphenols. In a study that compared the activity of antioxidants in 26 spices, cinnamon was the undisputed winner, surpassing even “superfoods” such as garlic and oregano. In fact, cinnamon is so potent that it can be used as a natural food preservative.
In summary: cinnamon contains large amounts of very potent polyphenol antioxidants.
3. Cinnamon has Anti-Inflammatory Properties:
Inflammation in the body is extremely important: it helps the body fight infections and repair tissue damage. However, inflammation can become a problem when it is chronic (in the long term) and attacks the body’s own tissues. In this aspect, cinnamon can be useful since some studies show that cinnamon antioxidants have a great anti-inflammatory activity.
In summary: the antioxidants contained in cinnamon have anti-inflammatory effects that can help reduce the risk of disease.
4. Cinnamon Can Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease:
Cinnamon has been linked to reducing the risk of heart disease, the most frequent cause of premature death in the world. In people who have type 2 diabetes, one gram of cinnamon a day has beneficial effects on blood markers. Lowers blood cholesterol total, LDL, and triglycerides, while HDL cholesterol remained stable. Recently, a large study concluded that a dose of cinnamon of just 120 milligrams a day can have these effects. Animal studies have shown that cinnamon lowers blood pressure. When combined, all these factors can dramatically reduce the risk of heart disease.
In summary: cinnamon can improve some key risk factors for heart disease, including cholesterol, triglycerides and blood pressure.
5. Cinnamon Can Improve Insulin Hormone Sensitivity:
Insulin is one of the main hormones that regulates metabolism and energy use and is essential for the transport of blood sugar from the bloodstream and to the cells. However, there are many people who are resistant to the effects of insulin. This disorder, known as insulin resistance, is a hallmark of serious diseases, for example, metabolism syndrome and type 2 diabetes.
“Cinnamon can dramatically reduce insulin resistance, helping this hormone so important to do its job”.
In this way, cinnamon can reduce blood sugar levels, which brings us to the next point… In summary: Cinnamon has been shown to significantly increase insulin hormone sensitivity.
6. Cinnamon Lowers Blood Sugar Levels and has a Potential Antidiabetic Effect:
Cinnamon is known for its blood sugar lowering effects. In addition to the effects that favor insulin resistance, cinnamon can reduce blood sugar through other mechanisms. First, it has been shown that cinnamon lowers the amount of glucose that seeps into the bloodstream after a meal. How? Cinnamon interferes with digestive enzymes that reduce the degradation of carbohydrates in the digestive system. Second, a compound of cinnamon can act in the cells mimicking the work of insulin. This considerably improves the absorption of glucose by the cells, although it acts much more slowly than insulin. Many experiments in humans have confirmed the antidiabetic effects of cinnamon and have shown that it can reduce fasting blood sugar levels up to 10-29%. The effective dose is usually 1-6 grams of cinnamon per day (approximately 0.5-2 teaspoons).
In summary: cinnamon has been shown to reduce fasting blood sugar levels. In addition, it has potential antidiabetic effects if ingested 1-6 grams per day.
7. Cinnamon Can Have Beneficial Effects on Neurodegenerative Diseases:
Neurodegenerative diseases are characterized by the progressive loss of the structure or functions of brain cells. The two most common neurodegenerative diseases are Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Two compounds have been found in cinnamon that seem to prevent the accumulation of a protein called tau in the brain, one of the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease. In a study in mice with Parkinson’s disease, cinnamon helped protect neurons, normalize neurotransmitter levels and improve motor function. It is necessary to carry out more studies about these effects in humans.
In summary: animal studies have shown that cinnamon seeks various improvements in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.
8. Cinnamon Can Protect Against Cancer:
Cancer is a serious disease that is characterized by uncontrolled cell growth. Numerous studies have been conducted on cinnamon because of its potential use in cancer prevention and treatment. In general, tests are limited to test tube experiments and animal studies, which seems to indicate that cinnamon extracts may protect against cancer. Cinnamon reduces the growth of cancer cells and the formation of blood vessels in tumors. In addition, it appears to be toxic to cancer cells, which causes death. A study in mice with colon cancer revealed that cinnamon can be a potential activator of detoxifying enzymes in the colon, providing greater protection against cancer growth. These findings have been confirmed with experiments with test tubes, which has shown that cinnamon activates protective antioxidant responses in colon cells in humans.
To summarize: animal studies and experiments with test tubes indicate that cinnamon can have protective effects against cancer.
9. Cinnamon Helps Fight Infections Caused by Bacteria and Fungi:
Cinnamaldehyde, the main active component of cinnamon, can help fight various types of infection. It has been shown that cinnamon oil effectively treats respiratory tract infections caused by fungi. In addition, it can also prevent the growth of certain bacteria, including Listeria and Salmonella. The antimicrobial effects of cinnamon can help prevent tooth decay and reduce bad breath.
In short: Cinnamaldehyde has antifungal and antibacterial properties that reduce infections and help fight tooth decay and bad breath.
10. Cinnamon Helps Fight the HIV Virus:
HIV is a virus that slowly destroys the immune system and, over time, can lead to AIDS if left untreated. It is believed that cinnamon extracted from the Cassia variety helps fight HIV-1, the most common variety of the HIV virus in humans. A laboratory study on the analysis of HIV-infected cells revealed that cinnamon was the most effective treatment of all 69 medicinal plants examined. Experiments in humans are necessary to confirm these effects.
In summary: studies with test tubes have shown that cinnamon can help fight HIV-1, the main variety of the HIV virus in humans.
The Use of Ceylon Cinnamon (“True” Cinnamon) is More Advisable:
Not all cinnamon is obtained in the same way. The Cassia variety contains significant amounts of a compound called coumarin, which can be harmful if consumed in large doses. All types of cinnamon are often beneficial to health, but Cassia cinnamon can cause problems if large doses are taken due to its coumarin content. In this regard, Ceylon cinnamon (“true” cinnamon) is more advisable and studies reveal that it contains much less coumarin than the Cassia variety. Unfortunately, most of the cinnamon we find in supermarkets at a lower price is the Cassia variety.
Cinnamon, one of the most delicious and healthy spices on the planet, can reduce blood sugar levels and decrease risk factors for heart disease. In addition, it has many other healthy benefits that will surprise you. Just make sure you buy Ceylon cinnamon or consume small doses (no more than 0.5-2 teaspoons a day) if you use the Cassia variety.