Cinnamon is a spice obtained from the inner bark of several tree species from the genus Cinnamomum. When the bark is removed it is called cinnamon stick. Best grown in tropical regions the main type of cinnamon originates in Sri Lanka. To obtain maximum health benefits the key thing is its freshness. Cinnamon can also be crushed into a powder.
Cinnamon has a sweet, warming and distinct taste. It is easy to use cinnamon in recipes. Cinnamon is commonly used in both sweet as well as savory dishes. It can be used in herbal tea and coffee. It has been used medicinally around the world for thousands of years. The medicinal properties of cinnamon were explored in ancient china. Cinnamaldehyde which is naturally present in cinnamon is responsible for its various properties.
Cinnamon may lower blood sugar in people with diabetes. It is rich in antioxidants. Cinnamon boosts the immunity system and also has anti-inflammatory properties. It also protects from cancer and keeps our heart healthy. It keeps our brain function normal. It may help lower cancer risk, protects dental health. We can get rid of bad breath using cinnamon. It combats premenstrual syndrome, helps manage yeast infections, battles stomach flu, helps with arthritis, can also improve our mood.
Top 10 Health Benefits of Cinnamon
1) Rich in antioxidants – cinnamon are high source of antioxidants. Spices such as garlic, rosemary contain lesser antioxidant than cinnamon. Such antioxidants are found in super foods like dark chocolate, berries and red wine. It reduces free radical damage and slows the aging process. Oxidative stress is reduced by cinnamon.
2) Anti-inflammatory properties – cinnamon consumption can reduce both systemic and specific inflammation. As swelling, inflammation is reduced by cinnamon it can help treat certain types of pain and headaches as well as arthritis pain. It reduces the chance of heart disease and also protects from cancer. Cinnamon keeps the brain function normal.
3) Keeps heart healthy – Several common factors that cause heart disease such as high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure are reduced by cinnamon. It reduces the bad cholesterol levels while good cholesterol levels remain the same. Cinnamon helps the body to form blood clots hence stops excessive bleeding. Body tissues are repaired itself after being damaged as cinnamon increases blood circulation.
4) Helps in diabetes – It lowers blood sugar levels. Cinnamon can help manage this disease in two different ways. It reduces blood pressure and helps fighting type 2 diabetes. It also reduces insulin resistance. It removes sugar from the bloodstream. Cinnamon keeps the blood sugar level in control as it increases the insulin sensitivity. Cinnamon tea is a great way to use cinnamon for diabetes.
5) Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease – Cinnamon is helpful in treating neurological disorders like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. It keeps our cognitive function safe and releases neuro protective protein that helps our brain cells from damaging. Antioxidants present in the cinnamon helps in keeping body and mind younger.
6) Lower cancer risk – Cancer is a growing disease that is affecting people worldwide. While it might be very difficult to fight against cancer but overcome it if the cancer spread is too much, however like most things – it is always better to prevent it. Cinnamon, for example has properties that can help in DNA damage, issues with cell damage and also keeps a check on cancerous tumor growth. It helps keep the colon cancer away.
7) Antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral properties – Cinnamon fights fungal, bacterial and viral elements in foods. It boosts the immunity and fights harmful infections and viruses. Due to antibacterial abilities cinnamon has been used as a food preservative. It is useful in stopping discoloration on fruits and vegetables.
8) Improves skin health – It protects the skin from irritation. Cinnamon is helpful in rashes, allergic reactions and infections. Cinnamon with honey improves skin health. It is also beneficial for inflammation, swelling, pain, acne, rosacea and skin allergies. Cinnamon increases blood circulation thus makes the skin glowing. It helps keep the skin young and firm.
9) Dental health – Cinnamon protects against bacteria so it helps in cavities, tooth decay, bad breath and mouth infections. Cinnamon fights with bacteria present in mouth naturally just as a natural mouthwash. Chewing gums use cinnamon as a flavoring agent as it acts as a mouth freshener. Cosmetics and perfumes also contain cinnamon.
10) Allergies – Cinnamon is helpful in fighting common allergy symptoms. It also boosts our immune system and is beneficial for digestive health. It is also beneficial in asthma.
Cinnamon contains fiber, iron, calcium, manganese and zinc. The largest production of cinnamon comes from Sri Lanka. It is one of the oldest spices. In the cosmetic world cinnamon is used for its pleasant fragrance. Cinnamon also strengthens our bones. It can also be used to sweeten recipes without added sugar. Cinnamon also helps in weight loss and protects us from cold and flu. We can receive the health benefits of cinnamon by adding at least one teaspoon of cinnamon to our daily diet.
Cinnamon needs to be kept in an air tight container in a dark place. It lasts for a year but cinnamon powder start to lose flavor after few months. It is important to properly store cinnamon to get the most out of it, the fresher the better. Cinnamon must not be exposed to direct sunlight. Cinnamon can be stored in refrigerator to keep it fresh.
Whether we are looking to heal our body or keep it healthy cinnamon is an absolute must have spice. Many varieties of cinnamon are available and it can be used in various ways for many health benefits. It is easily available in market.