Cinnamon has been utilized for thousands of years as a spice, not just for its rich, warm flavor but also for its various health benefits. From its ability to lower blood sugar levels to its anti-inflammatory properties, Cinnamon has been studied extensively and has been shown to provide numerous health benefits. While most people are familiar with Cinnamon as a common ingredient in baked goods and holiday treats, many are surprised to learn it also has significant health benefits. In this article, we will explore six surprising health benefits of Cinnamon and how you can incorporate it into your diet to improve your health.
1. Lowers Blood Sugar Levels
Cinnamon has been shown to positively affect blood sugar levels in individuals with type 2 diabetes. Cinnamon can increase insulin sensitivity, allowing cells to use glucose more effectively. Additionally, Cinnamon may reduce the amount of glucose entering the bloodstream after a meal. Studies have shown that consuming Cinnamon can significantly lowers fasting blood sugar levels in individuals with type 2 diabetes, making it a promising natural remedy for managing blood sugar levels. However, it’s important to note that Cinnamon should not replace medical care for diabetes. Individuals should seek advice from their healthcare provider before changing their diabetes management plan.
2. Reduces Inflammation – 6 Surprising Health Benefits of Cinnamon
Cinnamon contains anti-inflammatory qualities that can aid in reducing inflammation in the body. Inflammation is a typical reaction to injury or illness, but persistent inflammation can cause various health issues, such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. The active compounds in Cinnamon, particularly cinnamaldehyde, have been shown to suppress the release of inflammatory markers and decrease inflammation in the body. Several studies have found that Cinnamon can effectively reduce inflammation related to various health conditions. For instance, a study in 2015 found that Cinnamon can reduce inflammation in people with rheumatoid arthritis. Another study in 2018 found that Cinnamon can reduce inflammation and oxidative stress in people with type 2 diabetes. Cinnamon can also reduce inflammation in the digestive system. It effectively reduces inflammation in the colon, which may help prevent colon cancer. Additionally, Cinnamon may improve gut health by reducing inflammation and increasing the production of beneficial gut bacteria. Overall, the anti-inflammatory properties of Cinnamon make it a valuable addition to the diet and can help prevent and manage chronic inflammation and associated health problems.
3. Improves Brain Function
Cinnamon has been found to affect brain function positively. Research suggests that Cinnamon can improve cognitive processing, memory, and attention span. Cinnamon includes cinnamaldehyde, an element that enhances levels of a brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). This protein plays an essential role in the growth and development of brain cells. Studies have also suggested that Cinnamon can improve mood and alleviate anxiety and depression. In one study, participants who took Cinnamon extract showed improvements in mood and cognitive performance compared to those who did not. Moreover, Cinnamon may provide potential advantages in treating neurodegenerative illnesses like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Some studies have shown that cinnamon extracts can protect neurons from oxidative stress and reduce the formation of amyloid plaques associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Overall, the brain-boosting benefits of Cinnamon make it a promising natural remedy for improving brain function and potentially reducing the risk of age-related cognitive decline.
4. Fights Bacterial and Fungal Infections – 6 Surprising Health Benefits of Cinnamon
Cinnamon is known for its potent antibacterial and antifungal properties. The essential oils present in Cinnamon, such as cinnamaldehyde, cinnamic acid, and cinnamate, have been found to combat various strains of bacteria and fungi effectively. Studies have shown that Cinnamon can inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria like E. coli, Salmonella, and Staphylococcus aureus, as well as fungal infections like Candida albicans. One of the ways cinnamon fights against infections is by disrupting the cell walls of the microorganisms, causing them to break down and die. Cinnamon also activates the immune system, helping the body fight infections more effectively. Cinnamon has also been effective against antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria, making it a promising natural alternative for treating infections. Incorporating Cinnamon into your diet or using cinnamon essential oil in your skincare routine may help fight off bacterial and fungal infections and could be a helpful addition to your overall health and wellness routine. However, it is essential to note that Cinnamon should not be used in place for medical treatment if you have a severe infection.
5. Lowers LDL Cholesterol Levels
Cinnamon has been found to affect cholesterol levels in the body positively. LDL cholesterol, referred to as “bad” cholesterol, can accumulate in the walls of arteries and cause blockages that can lead to heart disease and stroke. Studies have shown that consuming Cinnamon regularly can lower LDL cholesterol levels, helping to reduce the risk of heart disease and other cardiovascular problems. The active compounds in Cinnamon, such as cinnamaldehyde, have been found to reduce the levels of total cholesterol, triglycerides, and LDL cholesterol in the blood. One study found that consuming 120 milligrams of cinnamon extract per day for 12 weeks led to a significant decrease in LDL cholesterol levels in people with type 2 diabetes. Another study found that consuming Cinnamon for 40 days decreased healthy adults’ total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels. While Cinnamon can be a helpful addition to a heart-healthy diet, it is essential to note that it should not be used as a replacement for cholesterol-lowering medications prescribed by a healthcare professional. It is also necessary to consume Cinnamon in moderation, as too much can be harmful to the liver.
6. Helps Relieve Menstrual Cramps
Cinnamon is a natural remedy that can help relieve menstrual cramps. The contraction of the uterus causes menstrual cramps, and Cinnamon can help relax the uterus and reduce the intensity of the cramps. Cinnamon contains anti-inflammatory compounds, which can help reduce the inflammation that causes pain and discomfort during menstruation. Cinnamon also has antispasmodic properties, which can help reduce muscle spasms, including those in the uterus during menstruation. This can help relieve cramps and lower the intensity of the pain. Additionally, Cinnamon has been shown to have analgesic properties, which means it can help reduce pain. Cinnamon helps relieve menstrual cramps; it can be included in meals or taken as a supplement. Cinnamon tea is another popular way to consume Cinnamon for its health benefits, including its ability to relieve menstrual cramps. However, it is important to note that Cinnamon should be consumed in moderation, as high doses can be toxic. It is always preferable to consult a healthcare provider before using Cinnamon for medicinal purposes.
Cinnamon is more than just a delicious spice – it is also a powerful health booster. Its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antimicrobial properties make it a great addition to any diet. From regulating blood sugar levels to improving brain function, Cinnamon has been shown to provide numerous benefits. Whether you add it to your morning coffee, mix it on your oatmeal, or use it in your baking, incorporating Cinnamon into your diet can provide a tasty and easy way to improve your overall health. So, whenever you grab a cinnamon roll or a pumpkin spice latte, remember that you are not only indulging in a tasty pleasure but also giving your body a boost of health-promoting properties.