Cinnamon is a super aromatic condiment known for its medicinal properties and therapeutic benefits. Garnishing your latte with a pinch of this spice adds plenty of flavorful benefits of cinnamon to your diet. Treat yourself to the health benefits of cinnamon listed in this article.
Cinnamon sticks are prepared from the inner bark of an evergreen bushy tree, Cinnamomum, which is sun-dried and formed into rolls. Cinnamon sticks are also converted into a powder form to add flavor to savory, sweet cuisines, and beverages. Cinnamon is the most pampered child in the spice family owing to its benefits and therapeutic applications.
Interestingly, cinnamon was ranked among the top out of 26 spices that were investigated for their antioxidant properties.
Nutritional value of Cinnamon
The wide range of benefits of cinnamon is attributed to the nutritional content of the bark.
According to the U.S Department of Agriculture, 1 teaspoon (2.6 g) of cinnamon contains;
Other components include traces of cinnamaldehyde, cinnamic acid, various essential oils, and polyphenols.
What are the benefits of Cinnamon?
Cinnamon is good for your health as it was once traded like gold due to its amazing benefits for the heart, brain, digestive system, and general health. Some of the cinnamon health benefits are listed here;
Also, read the benefits of cinnamon in Urdu.
Is cinnamon good for heart disease?
Cinnamon benefits the heart in a number of ways. It plays an essential role in lowering cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood which subsequently reduces the degree of heart blockage.
It is evident from the research that cinnamon lowers the overall cholesterol levels in the blood aiding the maintenance of a healthy heart.
The warmly sweet-tasted cinnamon condiment lowers both systolic and diastolic blood pressure and can be used as a hypotensive supplement in the non-pharmacological management of hypertension.
The reduction in blood pressure, triglyceride levels, and overall cholesterol levels, all contribute to the list of cinnamon’s benefits for heart diseases.
Is Cinnamon good for diabetes?
The benefits of cinnamon extend to diabetic patients as it helps regulate blood sugar levels. Insulin resistance develops in patients with diabetes as their body does not transport sugar to their cells.
Cinnamon plays its part by increasing insulin sensitivity in diabetes patients. The study on the efficacy of cinnamon in diabetes type II showed an improvement in glycemic indices.
Cinnamon is also found to be mimicking the effects of insulin hormone in the regulation of blood sugar levels. Another mechanism of diabetes management by cinnamon includes its ability to slow down the breakdown of carbohydrates which reduces the blood sugar spike after meals.
However, a diabetologist can guide more on the use of cinnamon in diabetes.
Does cinnamon protect against cancer?
One of the most important benefits of cinnamon is its ability to suppress tumor growth and its protection against DNA damage. Cinnamon does so due to the presence of a component, cinnamaldehyde, in it.
Cinnamaldehyde induces apoptosis (a planned cell death) and thus, appears to be toxic to cancer cells. It also has proven benefits in reducing tumor growth and spread in ovarian cancer.
The antioxidant properties of cinnamon are also beneficial in reducing the risks of cancer development.
Does cinnamon help in weight loss?
Cinnamon helps with obesity as it contains a good amount of fiber (1 Tsp contains 1.38 g). The fiber in the food imparts a sense of fullness thus, helping in cutting down the intake of heavy meals.
Cinnamon also slows down the breakdown of starch in the digestive system and this benefits weight loss.
Cinnamon alone can not benefit weight loss considerably thus, eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly go hand-in-hand with cinnamon in obese individuals.
Is cinnamon powder an antioxidant?
Antioxidants are substances that inhibit the production of free radicals in the body. Free radicals contribute to several adverse events in the body including cardiovascular risks and inflammatory diseases.
Cinnamon is rich in polyphenols like rutin (90.06%) which are beneficial components for fighting against oxidative stress. Antioxidants are also used as food preservatives hence, cinnamon is among the most popular food preservatives due to the abundant amounts of antioxidants present in it.
Does cinnamon fight antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial infections?
Cinnamon oils impart the benefits of cinnamon as an antimicrobial agent. The major component of cinnamon oil is cinnamaldehyde making almost 85% of the essential oil.
Due to the antimicrobial properties of cinnamon, it is used as a popular Chinese herbal medicine. Cinnamon containing cinnamaldehyde is also investigated as a novel class of antifungal drugs. The antifungal activity of cinnamon is also employed in the treatment of certain Candida blood infections.
Caution: Cinnamon is the most common spice allergy trigger. Avoid consuming it if you have a known cinnamon allergy.
Does cinnamon support digestive health?
Cinnamon is a common condiment in various food, drinks, and desserts, but you might not know the potential benefits it has for your digestive system.
Cinnamon has probiotic properties that promote the growth of healthy bacteria in the intestines and the suppression of pathogenic organisms. This aids in maintaining the natural intestinal flora and thus supporting digestive health.
Additionally, the anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antioxidant properties of the constituents of cinnamon also play their role in promoting a healthy digestive system.
Cinnamon tea benefits have gained popularity as it has the ability to treat flatulence and indigestion. Consulting a doctor for further information on the use of cinnamon for digestion is advised.
Can cinnamon cure dry cough and cold?
The benefits of cinnamon or ‘Darchini’ water are versatile. It is a traditional home remedy to treat cough, flu, and related symptoms. The effect may be attributed to the presence of cinnamaldehyde in cinnamon which has anti-inflammatory properties.
The antioxidants richly packed in the cinnamon provide mild analgesic effects thus, provide relief from cold, cough, and flu. These soothing medicinal properties of cinnamon make it a key ingredient in herbal cough syrups and other medicines.
Tip: Cinnamon infusion (cinnamon water) can be paired with honey and ginger to enhance the flavor and therapeutic benefits.
Does cinnamon improve brain health?
The loss of the structure and function of neurons (brain cells) leads to neurodegenerative diseases. The benefits of cinnamon in neurodegenerative diseases are considerable. However, more evidence is required before approving cinnamon herbal treatment for neuronal diseases.
Due to the presence of cinnamaldehyde in cinnamon, it is known to be a safe treatment and prevention option for Alzheimer’s disease (impaired ability to memorize, think, and behave). Compounds present in cinnamon also inhibit the tau protein-related disease progression in Alzheimer’s. Cinnamon neuroprotective benefits prevent the risks of developing Parkinson’s disease, characterized by the loss of nerve cells leading to tremors and impaired walking, speaking, talking, etc. It is due to the antioxidants like cinnamaldehyde which protects against oxidative stress-induced cell death.
Can you take cinnamon for bad breath?
Cinnamon bark and powder is an aromatic condiment used in every household to enhance the aroma and flavors of the food. These aromatic and flavoring properties make cinnamon a healthy candidate for maintaining oral hygiene.
Cinnamon consists of essential oils and flavonoids making it a treatment of choice for bad breath. In addition to this, cinnamon has antibacterial properties, hence, inhibiting bacterial growth in the mouth.
Chewing cinnamon sticks can serve as a traditional remedy for bad breath. Cinnamon-flavored mouth fresheners and chewing gums are widely available in the market.
However, consuming an excess of cinnamon powder and sticks can cause breathing issues along with other harmful effects. So, avoid exceeding the recommended amount.
Also, read to know that cinnamon benefits sexually.
How to consume cinnamon in food?
Cinnamon has always been a common household spice, but let us brainstorm some creative ways to get the maximum of the cinnamon benefits.
- Make cinnamon herbal tea with honey or ginger as the benefits of cinnamon and honey are doubled when combined.
- Bake cinnamon rolls and serve with latte coffee garnished with the condiment
- Bake cinnamon muffins
- Add cinnamon sticks or powder to your curry
- Flavor your meat, vegetable, and pie with a pinch of this magical spice.
It is recommended that almost 2-4 g of cinnamon is safe to consume a day. Avoid its excessive use as it can impart certain cinnamon side effects.
Take away note
Cinnamon is the all-time favorite condiment in almost every household. It imparts a lot of health benefits when sprinkled over savory, sweet cuisines, and desserts. Prevention against heart diseases, diabetes, cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, and microbes ranks among the topmost benefits of cinnamon.
However, practice moderation as excess cinnamon consumption can lead to mouth sores, ulcers, cough, airway blockages, and other side effects. You can also consult a nutritionist for recommendations regarding cinnamon doses based on your medical health.
1. Is it good to drink cinnamon every day?
Cinnamon tea and infusion is a widely known home remedy for weight loss and cough. However, avoid consuming more than ½ to 1 teaspoon of cinnamon as it can cause side effects.
2. What is the best time to take cinnamon?
Cinnamon can be taken at any time of day but taking cinnamon in the morning helps boost the immune system, clearing and soothing the skin and protecting the gut from harmful microbes.
3. Does cinnamon water reduce belly fat?
Infusion of cinnamon can help reduce belly fat and weight as it slows down carbohydrate digestion. It also manages blood sugar levels and reduces appetite.