8 Amazing Health Benefits of Cinnamon

by John Staughton last updated -

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The most impressive health benefits of cinnamon sticks include its ability to help manage diabetes, protect against fungal and bacterial infections, increase brain function, prevent certain cognitive disorders, improve digestion, and boost the strength of the immune system.

What is Cinnamon?

Cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum) is one of the most popular and recognized spices in the world, which is derived from the bark of a number of trees that fall within the Cinnamomum genus. Cinnamon bark has been used for flavoring both sweet and savory dishes for thousands of years. The cinnamon tree is native to a number of places, depending on the cultivar being discussed, including Sri Lanka, India, China, and even parts of Africa. “True cinnamon” is the species found in Sri Lanka.

It has been mentioned in classical literature and writings for thousands of years, dating back to the times of ancient Egypt, and is now widely used and known on every continent. While the spice would be used regardless of the benefits, it is still important to understand the extra boost that cinnamon can give to your body, particularly if you suffer from certain conditions.

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Benefits

Let’s look at some of the major health benefits of cinnamon sticks:

Diabetic Control

One of the most well-known benefits of cinnamon is its control over blood sugar levels in the body. When cinnamon is added to your food, it can chemically slow the process of emptying your stomach, which is what happens when you consume simple sugars from basic carbohydrates. Cinnamon counters this effect and reduces the major influx of glucose into the bloodstream. It helps in balancing glucose levels, thereby, preventing diabetic spikes and drops. By helping to regulate the insulin and glucose balance in the body, cinnamon can be both a preventative measure and an effective treatment for diabetes.

Cancer Prevention

Two substances, cinnamaldehyde, and eugenol present in cinnamon can both actively prevent cancer cells from spreading. More specifically, certain substances in cinnamon sticks have been found to prevent tumor growth. The antioxidant compounds also help provide other health effects, including skin care, as well as the ability of the body to heal and repair itself. The research on the effects of cinnamon pills on colon cancer, lymphoma, and leukemia is still going on.

Mental Health

Cinnamon, potassium, certain superfoods, and various remedies have been shown to boost focus, concentration, and mental ability. There is a chemical connection between the brain and the scent/taste of cinnamon, so when research subjects have chewed cinnamon-flavored gum or simply smelled cinnamon, their cognitive activity increased. If you need a brain boost, eat a cinnamon-heavy breakfast or take cinnamon supplements and see how quick your mind works!

Bone Health

The high levels of magnesium found in cinnamon sticks give a significant boost to your bone health. This is because magnesium, along with calcium, helps in preventing osteoporosis and boosting bone health into your old age. Consuming cinnamon sticks may not sound particularly appetizing, but the magnesium addition to your diet that it provides is impressive.

Cognitive Disorders

There is no known cure for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. However, consuming cinnamon capsules can stimulate new neural pathways and increase cognitive ability. This makes it very exciting for keeping people lucid and aware for longer as they age.

Antioxidant Effects

Cinnamon bark contains various essential oils and organic compounds that can actively seek out and neutralize free radicals. These antioxidants in cinnamon are praised for their ability to improve heart health and also prevent certain chronic diseases that are exacerbated by the activity of free radicals. Fiber present in cinnamon also helps to maintain heart health by regulating cholesterol levels.

Digestive Health

Ground cinnamon contains a certain amount of dietary fiber, which does a number of things for the digestive system. Firstly, fiber can stimulate peristaltic motion and boost the bulk of your stool. This helps in improving digestion and preventing constipation, bloating, and even more serious conditions like gastric ulcers and colon cancer. Furthermore, fiber can increase the binding of bile salts and eliminate them from the body before they cause any ill effects.

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Antibacterial Effects

The natural antibacterial quality of cinnamon essential oil is more widely respected due to its potency. However, adding cinnamon supplements to your diet can also prevent certain fungal and bacterial infections from affecting your health. This is precisely why cinnamon was used as a food preservative for so many centuries; it is able to prevent the cultivation of dangerous pathogens.

Cold & Flu

Cinnamon sticks have a naturally warming quality, which has made them valuable for the treatment of the common cold and various forms of flu for generations. This warming ability can help fevers “break” and also prevent the onset of chills or pneumonia in cases of bronchitis.

Uses

Cinnamon has been used as a food preservative in the past along with being used as a spice for foods, including:

The flavor of this brownish-gold spice makes it desirable in almost every cultural cuisine in some way.

Word of Caution: Despite all of cinnamon’s health benefits, there are also some risks with the use of cinnamon, particularly in large quantities. The coumarin found in cinnamon sticks can be potentially allergenic, particularly in the Cassia variety of cinnamon; high levels of Cassia-derived cinnamon should be avoided, as it can have a toxic effect on the body. Other than that, in regulated amounts, cinnamon is not commonly considered as an allergenic substance.

About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, and publisher who earned his English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign, Urbana (USA). He is the co-founder of a literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and calls the most beautiful places in the world his office. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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