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Top 8 Science-Backed Health Benefits Of Cinnamon

Madhura Mohan

Posted on February 02 2021

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dding deliciousness to sweet treats, hearty flavour in oatmeals and a unique twist to savoury meals, cinnamon is better recognized for its flavour than for its health benefits.

Cinnamon powder, which is a popular version of the delectable spice is made from the inner bark of the trees from the Laurel family known as Cinnamomum. Strips of bark are removed, laid in sun to dry where it curls into rolls known as cinnamon sticks which are then ground into powder.

The distinctive smell and flavour of cinnamon come from the essential oils contained in the bark, called cinnamaldehyde. Cinnamon is a good source of calcium, iron, potassium, protein, has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial properties and comes with proposed health benefits.

There are 2 major varieties of cinnamon: Ceylon Cinnamon and Cassia Cinnamon (most common variety used today).

 

BRIEF HISTORY OF CINNAMON 

Cinnamon uses accounts to the beginning of 2800 BC by our ancestors for various purposed such as anointment, embalming and various ailments. Romans used it for its medicinal properties for the ailment of the digestive and respiratory tract. Cinnamon was also used by Egyptians for embalming mummies as well as for its fragrance and flavouring properties. The spice has been praised for its notable health benefits in Indian Ayurveda since times immemorial.

Let’s learn in this article, the plethora of research found health benefits of cinnamon worth knowing about…

 

CINNAMON IS LOADED WITH ANTIOXIDANTS     

Antioxidants neutralize free radicals which are formed every day in the body. The excess amount of free radicals lead to oxidative stress which may act as precursors for many health issues including heart disease, obesity, diabetes, cognitive decline. The bioactive polyphenols and high levels of flavonoids and proteins found in cinnamon help prevent the oxidative stress from occurring in the body.

 

CINNAMON IS ANTI-INFLAMMATORY

Inflammation although is a vital part of the immune response, if left unchecked, inflammation of all types can inhibit us from functioning at our best. Inflammation could be of many types, swelling of joints, muscle soreness or severe allergic reactions. Cinnamon contains phytochemicals, cinnamaldehyde, which function as the key element of cinnamon’s anti-inflammatory ability. The active compounds in cinnamon produce nitric oxide which induces anti-inflammatory effect. Nitric oxide functions as a vasodilator, relax the muscles, increases blood flow. The high levels of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties of cinnamon decrease swelling and allow faster recovery.

 

CINNAMON MAY LOWER CHOLESTEROL

Cinnamon is known to be effective at reducing cholesterol. As per studies, cinnamate, a phenolic compound found in cinnamon has a cholesterol-lowering effect by inhibiting the enzyme HMG-CoA reductase activity. Cinnamon is known to increase the levels of adiponectin, a protein involved in regulating glucose levels and fatty acid metabolism. Regular supplementation with cinnamon powder results in significant lowering of LDL (bad cholesterol) and raising HDL (good cholesterol).

 

 

CINNAMON PROTECTS HEART HEALTH

One of the ways how cinnamon works to benefit your heart health is through its cholesterol-lowering effect. Packed with fibre, calcium and potassium, cinnamon causes increased elimination of bile salts, protect the heart from blockages and facilitates smooth blood flow. Regular intake of cinnamon helps to mitigate the harmful effects of high-fat meals by slowing the spike in blood sugar post-meal. Adding a pinch of cinnamon to your regular tea or food detoxifies blood and protects heart health.

 

CINNAMON SUPPORTS GUT HEALTH

Powdered cinnamon due to its carminative property has been traditionally used to address abdominal discomfort. Cinnamon through its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial properties protects the GI tract and alleviates gastrointestinal issues like increased stomach acid production, nausea and flatulence. Cinnamon increases blood flow and improves blood oxygen levels in the body. Adding cinnamon to everyday meals improves nutrient absorption from food, promotes healthy digestion. An interesting fact about cinnamon is that it possesses prebiotic properties that promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut, thereby improve gut health.

 

CINNAMON MAY IMPROVE BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS                                

As per studies, cinnamon powder is highly efficient in keeping blood sugar levels normal. There may be times when body cells become insensitive to insulin, and the body produces more and more insulin in order to maintain glucose levels within the normal range. Cinnamon is noted by studies to boost insulin-signalling pathways in skeletal muscle and fat cells so that more glucose is taken up into these cells from the bloodstream. Regular intake of cinnamon can show marked improvement in maintaining your glycemic index.

 

CINNAMON MAY ASSIST IN WEIGHT LOSS

Regular intake of cinnamon can show marked improvements in maintaining your glycemic index. Cinnamon which encompasses a high amount of dietary fibre is thought to boost metabolism and slow the rate at which the stomach empties food into the intestine, thereby reduces the spikes in blood sugar that causes weight gain. Since high blood sugar levels can lead to increased storage of fat by the body, cinnamon helps to prevent the increased fat storage and assists in losing weight. Cinnamon also helps the body to process carbohydrates efficiently which may contribute to weight loss.  As explained in our blog on Cravings, sniffing cinnamon can help control cravings to eat unhealthy foods, thus cut down weight.        

 

CINNAMON PROMOTES SKIN HEALTH

Cinnamon benefits skin in many ways, it is loaded with antibacterial properties to reduce skin infections like acne, blemishes and fine lines. Its slightly coarse texture benefits in gently exfoliating the skin and removing dead skin cells. You can mix 1 tablespoon of cinnamon with a teaspoon of honey to form a paste. Apply this mix on face covering acne, leave it on the skin for 10 minutes and then wash it off with warm water for a refreshed face. Anti-inflammatory properties of cinnamon benefits in combating acne and age lines.

 

WHAT ARE THE EASY WAYS TO CONSUME CINNAMON?

Sprinkle a pinch of cinnamon powder on your oatmeal, fruit salad, fat-free yogurt and your daily protein shake for antioxidant benefits.

 

WHERE TO BUY CINNAMON POWDER?

While there are lots of cinnamon sellers on the online market today, it’s must to buy from renowned, trusted seller to ensure the powder is safe and free from any harmful substances.   

AS-IT-IS CINNAMON POWDER is 100% natural, is a rich source of biologically active compounds and does not contain any preservatives or chemicals.

 

HOW TO STORE CINNAMON?

The cinnamon powder will start losing its flavour and freshness when kept exposed, hence is suggested to store it in an airtight container in a dark place.

Cinnamon isn’t a mystery for most of us, all of us are familiar with the comforting cinnamon seasoning and its warm earthy aroma…

Now, we need to just get more acquainted to the super health benefits of cinnamon and upgrade our pantry with this super spice…

 

Reference:

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/14585184/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4466762/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16835867/

Also read: Meal Replacement Vs Protein Shakes - Are They The Same?

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