Cinnamon is one of the most delicious spices and it has been prized for its medical properties and benefits for thousands of years. The scent of cinnamon reminds people of fall, one of the most beautiful times of the year, one when leaves fall and we get cozy and comfortable in the warmth of our home.
The flavour and the aroma of cinnamon are more than enough reasons to include this spice in your daily diet. Once you take into consideration the benefits of cinnamon as well, there is no reason to ignore and avoid this spice, no matter if you like or not the taste of it. For starters, just a teaspoon of cinnamon has as many antioxidants as half a cup of blueberries (considered the gold standard for antioxidants).
To understand the benefits of cinnamon, one must look first at the nutritional breakdown of the spice. Many of the benefits of cinnamon come from the substance called cinnamaldehyde. The nutritional breakdown of cinnamon shows that one tablespoon of cinnamon contains:
- 19 calories
- 4g of fibre
- 68% manganese
- 8% calcium
- 4% iron
- 3% vitamin K
- Zero fat, sugar or protein
That being said, let’s take a look at some of the benefits of cinnamon consumption.
Cinnamon improves heart health
Consuming cinnamon daily helps negate the effects of fatty meals and a diet rich in unhealthy fats. It is almost impossible to cut all unhealthy fats from your diet, as now and then, everyone reaches for a fast food meal.
But what you can do to protect your heart health is consume cinnamon as well. Aside from protecting your heart, cinnamon reduces the level of cholesterol in your body, as well as triglycerides.
Regulates Blood Sugar
A study by the US Department of Agriculture showed that cinnamon extract can reduce the factors linked with heart disease and diabetes by regulating blood sugar levels. Thanks to its richness in antioxidants, cinnamon reduces the blood sugar level in your body, essentially regulating blood glucose and preventing sugar cravings.
Protects from Diabetes
Not only does cinnamon regulates blood sugar levels, but the spice also helps in many other ways to protect yourself from diabetes. Essentially, cinnamon slows down stomach emptying, which triggers a rise in blood sugar levels after a meal.
Cinnamon also improves your insulin sensitivity. With blood sugar at bay, your body is protected. When sugar levels are high, on the other hand, sugar bonds with protein, forming compounds that activate the immune system and trigger inflammation in the gut.
Lowers Bad Cholesterol
Even those not suffering from diabetes should include cinnamon in their daily diet because the spice lowers LDL or bad cholesterol. In addition, cinnamon raises HDL or good cholesterol, making it a double bonus. Keeping a healthy balance between LDL and HDL cholesterol is the key to leading a healthy life.
Antifungal, antiviral and antibacterial properties
Cinnamon can help fight off bacteria, viruses and fungus thanks to its highly healthy properties. Thanks to its antiviral and antibacterial properties, cinnamon can be used for fighting the common cold, cough, flu and during sinus season.
Any lung problem can be solved with a sprinkle of cinnamon. And most importantly, some studies have shown that cinnamon can protect even from the deadliest viruses, such as HIV, preventing the virus from entering our cells.
Many superfoods, cinnamon included carrying anti-carcinogenic properties. However, do not get carried away. While cinnamon can help, the spice won’t protect you from cancer 100%. The research so far is limited only to animal studies. However, the results clearly show that cinnamon slows the growth of cancer cells and can also kill cancerous cells.