Cinnamon and its benefits have been known and used for thousands of years. Cinnamon was traded as an expensive spice in the medieval ages. This sweet, warm and aromatic spice has the highest amount of antioxidants among spices besides having cancer-fighting, diabetes-fighting and heart-friendly properties. In fact, after knowing about the myriad health benefits of this spice, you will not forget to include it in your diet.
Cinnamon is extracted as oil from the inner bark of the cinnamon tree, as rolls of the bark or in the ground form as powder. Here are some amazing health benefits of cinnamon:
1 . Fights Cancer
Cinnamon contains high amount of antioxidants like phenolic acid, flavonoids and polyphenol which reduce free radicals in the body thereby decreasing oxidative stress and ageing. The antioxidants along with another compound called cinnamaldehyde gives cinnamon cancer-fighting properties. Studies have shown that cinnamon protects DNA and cell from damage and prevents cancerous tumor growth.
2 . Regulates Blood Sugar Levels
Cinnamon is being studied as an added supplement to be given to diabetic patients. This is due to its property of blocking an enzyme alanine responsible for sugar absorption in blood. Cinnamon also increases the insulin sensitivity.
3 . Prevents Infections
Cinnamon is antibacterial, anti fungal and antiviral. Cinnamon fights the growth of the harmful candida yeast in the digestive tract. Increase of candida yeast can lead to digestive disorders and auto-immune diseases. Cinnamon oil also fights other gut bacteria and bacteria found on skin. It also boosts immunity and fights cold and flu.
Given the anti-microbial properties of cinnamon oil, it is great for fighting oral bacteria that cause tooth decay and bad breath. It can be used as a natural anti-bacterial mouthwash. It has been traditionally used in toothpaste and tooth powder.
5 . Supports Heart Health
Cinnamon has been shown to reduce bad cholesterol and lower blood pressure thereby promoting heart health. These properties of cinnamon also help in reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke
6 . Relieves Chronic Pain
Cinnamon contains anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that help in repairing tissues and reducing inflammation. It is especially useful for reducing chronic pain symptoms.
7 . Prevents Degenerative Diseases
Studies have shown that cinnamon reduces the risk of neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. The anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds of cinnamon also prevent age-related symptoms of brain cell and nerve degeneration.
Cinnamon is already an integral part of Indian cooking as part of garam masala. Cinnamon can be had as part of many desserts like a cinnamon bun, apple cinnamon sauce, cinnamon rolls, cinnamon cookies, muffins etc. You can use cinnamon oil mixed with a carrier oil for massage to reduce chronic muscle pain. It can also be used on the skin for reducing bacterial infection symptoms. You can also ingest food-grade cinnamon oil by mixing 1-2 drops in water or honey.
Stay Healthy, Stay Happy!