Cinnamon, often found in decadent desserts such as apple pie, glazed rolls or hot chocolate, is actually a superpower spice in disguise. There are numerous health benefits that can be reaped from cinnamon, some of which are listed below.
Cinnamon can help with lowering blood sugar level by mimicking the actions of insulin, the hormone that usually regulates glucose in our body. Interestingly, this spice is often paired with foods high in carbohydrates like cinnamon rolls and apple pies, which usually spikes the blood sugar level. According to the USDA Agricultural Research Services, adding roughly one teaspoon of cinnamon to your daily diet can dramatically improve and lower blood sugar, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, whether the person is diabetic or not. Hence, this spice may also aid in the prevention of diabetes and life-threatening cardiovascular diseases.
Studies have shown that cinnamon's energizing scent may increase alertness, cognitive function and memory. In a recent study, subjects that smelled the scent of cinnamon showed improved performance on memory-based tests, even more so than peppermint. Next time you are in a brain-taxing situation, chew some cinnamon flavored gum to stimulate your alertness.
The organic compound, cinnamaldehyde, gives cinnamon its rich aroma and flavor, and has been shown to have anticoagulant effects in the blood, thus eliminating any unnecessary clotting and viscosity in blood flow. Since better blood flow can be regarded as anti-inflammatory, cinnamon can also serve as a preventative spice with antioxidant properties.
Cinnamon has long been used as a pain relieving remedy in Chinese medicine during menstrual cramping for women. Some studies have indicated that when the spice was administered to a group of arthritis patients every morning in a span of a week, the pain was significantly relieved.
The essential oils of cinnamon are shown to inhibit bacterial growth, and can be used to naturally preserve food while enhancing the food's flavor. Its anti-microbial properties have also shown to effectively eliminate the Candida strain of bacteria, which is known to cause yeast infections, as well as E. coli, which is responsible for urinary tract infections, in clinical settings. In traditional Chinese medicine, cinnamon essential oils and teas have also been administered in the case of the common cold or the flu with exceptional results.
Some ideas of incorporating cinnamon into your diet include:
Be sure to discuss the possible benefits of adding cinnamon to your diet to treat, prevent or alleviate any of the listed ailments or conditions. Cinnamon should not be used to supplement medication and regular treatment from your healthcare physician.