Do you like to sprinkle cinnamon on pastries and beverages? If you do, you may unknowingly reap some of the amazing health benefits of cinnamon. As the second most popular spice in the US next to ground pepper, cinnamon is not only delicious, it can also help improve your health. Here’s the scoop on the power of cinnamon:
Where does cinnamon come from?
Most of the cinnamon we consume in the US is called Cassia cinnamon, which is grown on wild trees and hails from China. Cinnamon has bee used for centuries for culinary and therapeutic purposes.
The health benefits of cinnamon
Although most of the health benefits of cinnamon are yet to be fully embraced by the medical community as treatments, many studies show that cinnamon is beneficial at reducing unwanted symptoms of conditions and diseases and may be useful as a preventative measure as well.
Perhaps one of the most impressive studies on the health advantages of cinnamon showed that it can reduce blood sugar levels and cholesterol levels in those with type 2 diabetes. Since diabetics are at higher risk of heart-related issues, this combination of benefits may reduce complications as a result of diabetes. Additionally, those who suffer from high cholesterol levels (with or without diabetes) may benefit from cinnamon as well.
Cinnamon is believed to have terrific healing properties derived from antioxidants and other phytonutrients. It has been known to reduce inflammation and fight off bacterial, viral and fungal infections (including yeast infections) and may even aid as a supplemental treatment for HIV.
Along with antioxidants, cinnamon contains powerful anti-inflammatory agents that can reduce inflammation, the root cause of many diseases such as cancer and degenerative brain conditions. Two studies indicate that cinnamon may help prevent Alzheimer’s disease and slow the neurologically damaging effects of Multiple Sclerosis.
Cinnamon in your diet
Cinnamon is easy to incorporate into your diet and it’s actually in many more foods than you may have realized. Many packaged cookies, pastries and other desserts use cinnamon to flavor sweet treats. You can add it to a variety of baked goods, beverages or even savory dishes like fish, chili and casseroles. It would be hard to consume too much cinnamon by using it for culinary purposes but if taken as a dietary supplement, be cautious about your consumption, especially if you have history of liver problems.
Sources: WebMD and Medical News Today