You sprinkle it in your oatmeal, coffee, and baked goods, but did you know there are benefits of cinnamon beyond flavor?
This spice has been prized for its medicinal properties for thousands of years. And while you’ve probably been using it to season your favorite foods, you may not realize the numerous health benefits it has.
Now, modern science has confirmed what people have instinctively known for ages. And in today’s article, we will tell you the proven health benefits of Cinnamon.
From helping your eyes, plumping your lips, protecting against cancer, helping manage HIV to cutting heart disease risk and more, read till the end to learn about all of them.
1. Cuts the risk of heart disease.
Cinnamon has been linked with reduced risk of heart disease, the world’s most common cause of premature death.
In people with type 2 diabetes, 1 gram of it per day has been shown to have beneficial effects on blood markers.
It also reduces levels of total cholesterol, bad cholesterol and triglycerides, while making sure your good cholesterol levels remain stable.
More recently, a big review study concluded that a cinnamon dose of just 120 milligrams per day can have these effects. It also increased the good cholesterol levels.
In animal studies, cinnamon has been shown to reduce blood pressure. When combined, all these factors may drastically cut your risk of heart disease.
Do you have a blood pressure problem? What are the reasons for your blood pressure to shoot up?
2. Protects Against Cancer.
Cancer is a serious disease, characterized by uncontrolled growth of cells. Cinnamon has been widely studied for its potential use in its prevention and treatment.
Overall, the evidence is limited to test tube experiments and animal studies, which suggest that its extracts may protect against cancer.
It acts by reducing the growth of cancer cells and the formation of blood vessels in tumors.
It also appears to be toxic to cancer cells, causing cell death. A study in mice with colon cancer revealed cinnamon to be a potent activator of detoxifying enzymes in the colon, protecting against further cancer growth.
These findings were supported by test tube experiments, which showed that it activates protective antioxidant responses in human colon cells.
3. Helps treat the symptoms of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases are two neurological conditions that, for the moment, are incurable.
An enormous part of treating them is through symptom management. And this can be boosted with the addition of cinnamon to your regular regime.
It has been shown to help neurons and improve motor function in those suffering from these diseases. These contributions can help these patients continue their regular routines with far less impediment.
A 2018 study called these benefits promising, noting cinnamon’s ability to inhibit compounds that are trademarks of Alzheimer’s disease.
4. Relieves Digestive Discomfort.
Cinnamon extract has been used to alleviate gastrointestinal problems in both Eastern and Western medicine for years.
It has been described as a carminative, renowned for its digestive, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties.
In traditional Ayurvedic medicine, cinnamon bark oil is used for treating flatulence and digestive imbalance.
It is believed that the warmth of this spice increases blood flow and improves blood oxygen levels to help fight off illness.
To alleviate digestive symptoms, take it as part of a hot drink like tea.
5. Acts As A Natural Anaesthetic.
Cinnamon can act as a pain reliever in certain cases. For a sinus headache, you can combine ½ teaspoon of it with water to make a paste and apply it on your forehead.
Studies indicate that using a combination of cinnamon powder and honey or ginger can help treat arthritis pain. It is a good source of manganese which helps in building bones and other connective tissues.
This makes it helpful for arthritis and osteoporosis. A mix of it with ginger, when applied as a paste can reduce post-workout muscle soreness as well.
6. Has Antibacterial Properties.
Cinnamon has been proven to fight fungal, bacterial, and viral elements in foods.
It’s no surprise that in the Middle Ages, when food spoilage was far more frequent due to lack of refrigeration, many recipes, both sweet and savory, were flavored with this spice.
But these properties do not extend merely to the foods. Your body benefits from these properties as well. It can be used as part of a treatment for anything from lung problems to the common cold.
This is because it helps clear up mucus and encourages circulation. So it’s useful in everything from a simple seasonal cough to bronchitis, when used in tandem with other remedies.
These benefits were highlighted in a research review, which pointed to evidence that cinnamon can inhibit bacteria by damaging cell membranes and altering their lipid profile.
7. May Help Manage HIV.
Cinnamon’s antimicrobial properties extend to viruses indicating that it may help fight or manage HIV.
Research shows that its extract may help fight the HIV virus by preventing the virus from entering cells. So, it could potentially contribute to controlling this disease.
A study found that a cinnamon derived substance could block viral entry, which the study notes is one of the most promising approaches to preventing HIV’s development into AIDS.
8. Plumps up lips.
Thin-lipped ladies and gentlemen, rejoice. Cinnamon improves blood flow to the surface of your skin.
This can actually cause your lips to plump up, no expensive injections necessary.
Simply mix ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon with some Vaseline or a few drops of oil like vitamin E, coconut, or even olive oil.
Now make a paste to apply to your lips. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes before rinsing it off, then pucker up.
9. Has anti-inflammatory properties.
Inflammation is a vital part of your immune system’s response. But if left unchecked over time, known as chronic inflammation, it can make you unwell.
Antioxidants help prevent inflammatory responses from occurring in the body when they are not required.
And since cinnamon contains high levels of flavonoids, which are plant proteins with powerful antioxidant activity, the spice possesses anti-inflammatory effects.
10. May ease polycystic ovary syndrome.
Polycystic ovary syndrome or PCOS is a common condition that affects how a woman’s ovaries work.
While the root cause of it is unknown, it’s thought to be related to abnormal hormone levels, and is associated with insulin resistance.
A trial compared the effects of cinnamon with placebo over eight weeks. Significant improvements in insulin resistance were seen in those taking cinnamon, but not in those in the placebo group.
A recent meta analysis and systematic review suggested there were positive results regarding cinnamon and herbal supplements and PCOS parameters.
11. May help manage metabolic disease.
It’s perhaps no surprise that if cinnamon has possible beneficial effects on type 2 diabetes, it would also be helpful in the management of metabolic disease.
One review found that it could be effective in reducing complications, morbidity, and mortality in metabolic syndrome, including reducing blood pressure, plasma glucose and obesity.
It can also be used as an appetite suppressant to those with a sugar addiction, thanks to its naturally sweet taste.
But while these possible results of cinnamon are certainly promising, more well-designed subject trials are necessary before true conclusions can be drawn.
12. Has anti-carcinogenic properties.
Many superfoods are attributed with anti-carcinogenic properties, but it’s important not to jump from super food to super power.
Evidence suggests that cinnamon may have anti-carcinogenic effects as well, although the research thus far is limited to animal studies.
Experiments have demonstrated that its extract slows the growth of cancer cells and induces cancerous cell death.
A research review highlighted preliminary evidence of cinnamon’s positive benefits on both lung cancer and stomach cancer.
13. It’s A Powerful Antioxidant.
Cinnamon has been shown in some studies to have powerful antioxidant benefits.
One randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled trial showed that it could improve the antioxidant status of overweight or obese individuals.
A study showed that cinnamon essential oils had very powerful antioxidant activities in vitro.
These help protect your body from damage from free radicals, reducing the risk of a lot of dangerous diseases.
14. Can Help Your Eyes.
Some studies have shown that cinnamon, when used in conjunction with other herbs, may be useful in the treatment of eye disorders including conjunctivitis and dry eye.
An evaluation of a product, which features cinnamon and turmeric, among other ingredients, found that the preparation could be useful in the treatment of these and other eye disorders.
Now that we’ve told you all about the health benefits, let us tell you about the types of Cinnamon.
Cassia or Saigon cinnamon and Ceylon cinnamon are the two main varieties. Cassia, which is the darker-colored, is the most common kind found in the U.S.
It’s high in a blood-thinning component called coumarin, which can be toxic to the liver when taken in high doses.
However it’s also this component of Cassia that is thought to aid in blood-sugar control.
Ceylon cinnamon, on the other hand, is lighter in color and flavor, and doesn’t contain high amounts of coumarin. So how can you add Cinnamon to your diet?
Well, you can use it in both sweet and savory dishes. It’s amazing in dishes like soups, stews and on protein like meat, poultry or tofu.
You can also add it to smoothies, coffee, and desserts of all kinds. You can also brighten up fruit salad or yogurt with it as well. Ultimately, cinnamon can enhance any number of foods and drinks.
What’s your favourite way of adding cinnamon to your diet? Is it in smoothies, coffee, soups or desserts?