Cinnamon is a spice that has been prized for its medicinal properties for thousands of years.
In recent years, modern science has started to confirm many of the potential health benefits associated with cinnamon.
Contains powerful medicinal properties
Cinnamon is a spice that is made from the inner bark of trees scientifically known as Cinnamomum.
It has been used as an ingredient throughout history, dating back as far as Ancient Egypt. It used to be rare and valuable and was regarded as a gift fit for kings (1Trusted Source).
These days, cinnamon is affordable and widely available in most supermarkets. It’s also found as an ingredient in various foods and recipes.
There are two main types of cinnamon:
Ceylon cinnamon: This type is also known as “true” cinnamon.
Cassia cinnamon: This is the most common variety today and what people generally refer to as “cinnamon.”
Cinnamon is made by cutting the stems of cinnamon trees. The inner bark is then extracted and the woody parts removed.
When it dries, it forms strips that curl into rolls, called cinnamon sticks. These sticks can be ground to form cinnamon powder.
The distinct smell and flavor of cinnamon are due to the oily part, which is very high in the compound cinnamaldehyde.
Scientists believe that this compound is responsible for most of cinnamon’s powerful effects on health and metabolism.
Loaded with antioxidants
Antioxidants protect your body from oxidative damage caused by free radicals.
Cinnamon is loaded with powerful antioxidants, including polyphenols.
One study found that cinnamon supplementation could significantly increase antioxidant levels in the blood while reducing levels of markers used to measure inflammation, such as C-reactive protein.
In fact, the antioxidant effects of cinnamon are so powerful that it can even be used as a natural food preservative.
May have anti-inflammatory properties
Inflammation is incredibly important, as it helps your body respond to infections and repair tissue damage.
However, inflammation can become a problem when it’s chronic and directed against your body’s own tissues.
Cinnamon may be useful in this regard. Studies show that this spice and its antioxidants have potent anti-inflammatory properties.
Could protect against heart disease
Cinnamon has been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease, which is the leading cause of death around the globe.
According to one review, supplementing with at least 1.5 grams (g), or about 3/4 of a teaspoon (tsp.), of cinnamon per day was able to reduce levels of triglycerides, total cholesterol, LDL (bad) cholesterol, and blood sugar in people with metabolic disease.
Another review of 13 studies found that cinnamon could reduce triglyceride and total cholesterol levels, both of which are risk factors for heart disease.
Cinnamon has also been shown to reduce blood pressure when consumed consistently for at least 8 weeks.
When combined, all of these factors could help reduce your risk of heart disease.
Could improve sensitivity to insulin
Insulin is one of the key hormones that regulate metabolism and energy use.
It’s also essential for transporting blood sugar from your bloodstream to your cells.
However, some people are resistant to the effects of insulin. This is known as insulin resistance, a hallmark of conditions like metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.
While more research is needed, some studies suggest that cinnamon may be able to reduce insulin resistance.
By increasing insulin sensitivity, cinnamon can lower blood sugar levels and support better blood sugar control.