The health benefits of cinnamon sometimes get lost in the spice’s delicious flavor. It’s one of the oldest and most popular spices in the world, referenced first by the ancient Egyptians in 2000BC.
Native to parts of Asia, South America, and the Caribbean, it’s known botanically as Cinnamomum verum (also known as Ceylon – the original, more expensive spice) and Cinnamomum aromaticum (also known as Cassia – the most common, cheaper version).
Historically, it’s been used in culinary and medicinal applications. Centuries ago, it was used to treat respiratory problems and joint pain caused by arthritis. Modern day scientists are confirming what ancient healers already knew…cinnamon is excellent for your entire body.
There are hundreds of research studies done on the health benefits of cinnamon (and more happening all the time), so get ready to shake this good stuff on everything you can!Centuries ago, cinnamon was used to treat respiratory problems and joint pain caused by arthritis. #CinnamonFactsClick To Tweet
Top 7 Health Benefits of Cinnamon
- Fighting fungal and bacterial infections. One of the active compounds found in cinnamon – cinnamaldehyde – proved to be an effective treatment against bacterial and fungal infection. Current treatment options for HIV include extracts of cinnamon. Of the more than 60 medicinal plants evaluated, cinnamon was the most effective against HIV-1. Researchers also theorize that extracts of cinnamon and peppermint may help against antibiotic resistant infections (more research needs to be done), oral infections, and even upper respiratory infections.
- Efficient breakdown of fat. Scientists with Penn State discovered that regular intake of cinnamon in your diet can aid your body break down and properly utilize fatty foods.
- Powerful natural anti-inflammatory. The compounds in cinnamon have been proven to have strong anti-inflammatory properties. Since inflammation is a root cause of many major diseases and conditions, adding a bit of cinnamon is a simple (and delicious) way to keep yours in check.
- Preserving brain cognition. Researchers in Israel identified a compound in cinnamon that inhibits the development of certain neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s. Taken regularly, it may lower your risk for dementia by slowing the buildup of tau – a protein considered a bio-marker to cognitive decline. Cinnamon health benefits may also be something to consider for those who suffer from multiple sclerosis. The spice has proven helpful in preserving nerve function, improving neurotransmitter communication, and aiding in basic motor skills.
- Blood sugar regulation. Cinnamon improves how your body reacts to insulin. This helps fight insulin resistance, slow the release of glucose into the blood after eating, and even mimic insulin itself in some situations. Several studies have confirmed that cinnamon is beneficial in lowering – and regulating – serum glucose levels in those with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Results have determined an improvement between 10-30% in blood sugar readings among participants.
- Cholesterol and triglyceride maintenance. Multiple studies have discovered that the health benefits of cinnamon include positive lowering effects on triglycerides, LDL cholesterol (considered more damaging), and total cholesterol in diabetes patients. It may also raise HDL cholesterol (considered beneficial) levels in your blood and be able to lower high blood pressure over time. These effects individually and combined work to lower overall cardiovascular and diabetes risk.
- Outstanding nutritional profile. Cinnamon is bursting with powerful polyphenols that make it more potent than garlic or oregano – and can even make it useful as a food preservative. It’s low in calories, readily available, inexpensive (if you choose the more common form of Cassia), and good for you. It’s well tolerated in most people but don’t take it if you’re sensitive to foods or candies containing the spice.
Other areas where cinnamon health benefits may be effective – but require human trials – is its ability to slow cancer cell growth and even promote apoptosis (cancer cell death).
How Much Cinnamon Do You Need?
Dosages are still somewhat in dispute. However, experts estimate that by sprinkling a bit twice a day over oatmeal, cream of wheat, pancakes, or perhaps adding it to your tea or coffee is sufficient to reap the health benefits of cinnamon.
This equals approximately one teaspoon. If you enjoy the taste of cinnamon and regularly add it to your food or beverages, you shouldn’t require supplementation.
Cinnamon is a powerful and effective medicinal spice that’s easy to find, use, and consume in your diet. It’s naturally antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-microbial, and heart-protective.Cinnamon is a powerful and effective medicinal spice that’s easy to find and consume in your diet. #CinnamonBenefitsClick To Tweet
Available in ground spice, extracts, and essential oils – there’s no limit to how you can use it. If you aren’t including cinnamon in your daily eating plan, not might be the time to reconsider.
It’s nutritious and incredibly delicious! The health benefits of cinnamon…start shaking!
MacMillan, A. (2017). Why Cinnamon Is Insanely Good for You. Time.com.
Joe Leech, D. (2017). 10 Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Cinnamon. Authority Nutrition.
Axe, D. (2017). 13 Health Benefits of Cinnamon & Nutrition Facts. Dr. Axe.
LD, M. (2017). Cinnamon: Health Benefits, Nutritional Information. Medical News Today.
Nichols, H. (2017). 30 Science-Backed Health Benefits of Cinnamon. Well-Being Secrets.