Cinnamon is a reddish-brown spice that usually makes its debut around the latter holidays in the year. But, you don’t have to wait that long to gain the many health benefits of cinnamon each day.
Some Facts about Cinnamon
We usually get it from a small jar on the spice aisle, but cinnamon has traveled a longer way than that to be with us. It is actually obtained from the inner bark of an Asian tree. Once it is ground up, it is used as a spice.
There are many varieties of cinnamon. Buying it rolled up, almost like it was just scooped out of the tree, allows people to grate it at their leisure when they want to add the spice to your food.
Cinnamon has a kind of savory taste with a sweet smell. It is used most commonly in sweet desserts and drinks either as an essential ingredient or a garnish.
But, cinnamon can be used in main dishes as well. Cinnamon, in its natural form, contains fiber, iron, calcium, manganese and very few calories (5 to be exact), there are many health benefits of cinnamon!
The Many Health Benefits of Cinnamon
- Cinnamon has been shown to help lower blood sugar. High blood sugar levels can throw your entire metabolic system out of whack and, can put you at risk for developing diabetes. It does this by helping to delay the emptying of the stomach, thereby stabilizing blood glucose levels throughout the day. But, you still feel full so you have less of a tendency to overeat. In addition to taking precautions to lower your sugar consumption, adding a teaspoon of cinnamon each day provides added protection.
- Another of the health benefits of cinnamon is that it can help with pain. A study done in Copenhagen found that those who suffered from arthritis pain found some measure of relief when given a dose of one tablespoon of honey and half a teaspoon of cinnamon each day.
- Cinnamon also has been shown to have an antibacterial effect. When used as a preservative in foods it can work as a preservative. This also works for unpasteurized juices to help stop the growth of bacteria.
- It helps those suffering from common or severe colds. Take one tablespoon lukewarm honey with 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder daily for 3 days. This process will cure most chronic cough, cold and clear the sinuses. (learn more about the benefits of raw honey)
- It reduces LDL cholesterol levels. LDL is also known as the harmful cholesterol. Reducing it may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
- Cinnamon has antifungal properties, and it’s been said that candida cannot live in a cinnamon environment.
- Cinnamon has an anti-clotting effect on the blood.
- When added to food, cinnamon inhibits bacterial growth and food spoilage, making it a natural food preservative.
- Just smelling cinnamon boosts cognitive function and memory.
- Cinnamon holds promise for various neurodegenerative diseases, including: Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, brain tumor, and meningitis, according to research at the Cytokine Research Laboratory, Department of Experimental Therapeutics, The University of Texas. Their research shows that the health benefits of cinnamon include reducing chronic inflammation linked with these neurological disorders.
- It has natural anti-infectious compounds. In studies, cinnamon has been effective against ulcer-causing H. pylori bacteria and other pathogens.
- Cinnamon fights the E. coli bacteria in unpasteurized juices.
- Cinnamon has been found to be an effective natural remedy for eliminating headaches and migraine relief.
- Cinnamon contains fiber, calcium, iron, and manganese—albeit small amounts to the typical dose of ground cinnamon.
- Cinnamon has been proven effective for menstrual pain and infertility. Cinnamon contains a natural chemical called cinnamaldehyde, which studies have shown increases the production of the hormone progesterone and decreases the production of testosterone in women, helping to balance hormones.
If you are not currently using cinnamon, think about adding it to your daily diet in order to reap the health benefits of cinnamon. Talk to your doctor first, though about any spices you are adding for health purposes.
How Much Cinnamon Should You Take?
Because cinnamon is an unproven treatment, there is no established dose. Some recommend 1/2 to 1 teaspoon (2-4 grams) of powder a day. Some studies have used between 1 gram and 6 grams of cinnamon. Very high doses may be toxic.
What are the Risks of Taking Cinnamon?
- Side effects. Cinnamon usually causes no side effects. Heavy use of cinnamon may irritate the mouth and lips, causing sores. In some people, it can cause an allergic reaction. Applied to the skin, it might cause redness and irritation.
- Risks. Very high quantities of cassia cinnamon may be toxic, particularly in people with liver problems. Because cinnamon may lower blood sugar, people with diabetes may need to adjust their treatment if they use cinnamon supplements. People who have cancer that’s affected by hormone levels, like breast cancer, should not take cinnamon.
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