Science-Backed Health Benefits of Cinnamon
Cinnamon is not only one of the most delicious spices, it also is one of the healthiest.
Cinnamon is a spice that has been used to flavor foods for hundreds of years. The spice is used more in desserts or bakery, but it is also an ingredient in various main dish recipes. Some of the spices that have been used for many years also have significant health benefits, and cinnamon is no exception. Cinnamon is the most consumed spice worldwide, so health professionals are very encouraged by recent news about how healthy it can be.
- Cancer - is a devastating disease that science has yet to find a sure way to cure. Cinnamon is a significant source of cinnamaldehyde, a compound that could protect against colorectal cancer.
- Healing - wounds that become infected can develop into a serious problem if bacteria cannot be controlled. The combination of cinnamon and peppermint essential oils has been found effective against antibiotic resistant bacteria, and also aids in cellular growth.
- Improved learning potential - researchers fed cinnamon to mice and found the mice were better able to learn new skills. Adding the spice to the diet of slow learners may be a new and better way to help people with learning disabilities.
- Alzheimer's disease - this devastating condition that mostly affects seniors has become more prevalent and still has no cure. Cinnamon has shown promise in preventing or reducing the plaques and amyloid fibers identified as factors causing dementia. Eating the spice may even bring improvement to those people already affected by the disease.
- Weight loss - there is some evidence that consuming cinnamon can speed up metabolism which could help some people lose weight. Increasing metabolism burns more calories and increases energy, so a higher level of activity and some weight loss may result. Adding cinnamon instead of sugar to foods for flavor also helps as a weight loss aid as this can reduce the calories in food.
- Diabetes - type 2 diabetes has been steadily increasing over the past few decades, probably due to a population that is aging and might also be influenced by an increase in obesity. A Chinese study found that diabetics who received a daily cinnamon supplement for three months experienced reduced blood glucose levels as well as significant reduction in blood triglycerides.
- Parkinson's disease - has symptoms that include tremors and difficulty in normal movement and walking. While doctors can prescribe drugs to combat the symptoms, no cure has been found at this point. Research conducted by Rush University Medical Ctr has found that Ceylon Cinnamon fed to mice in a recent study shows the spice may help to reverse the symptoms of the disease for Parkinson's sufferers.
- Bacterial and Fungal infections - including salmonella and listeria are typically food-borne and can cause serious illness when not controlled. Cinnamaldehyde is the primary component in cinnamon and can effectively inhibit the bacteria and also helps to reduce tooth decay and bad breath.
- Inflammation - is the body's defense against infection due to tissue damage, but it can lead to serious health problems if not controlled. The anti-inflammatory properties of cinnamon are effective in reducing the harmful effects of inflammation.
Cinnamon is a sweet and pungent spice that people enjoy in a variety of dishes ranging from desserts to meat-based recipes. Most people do not realize the spice offers many health benefits as well, but it should be noted that Ceylon cinnamon in its purest form is their best choice. The cheaper cassia cinnamon is high in coumarin which can cause liver damage. Anyone using cinnamon for its health benefits should make sure they purchase the Ceylon variety.