Cinnamon is a delicious spice that has had particular value for thousands of years because of its health benefits, which is now confirmed by modern science. Cinnamon is obtained by cutting the Cinnamomum tree trunks. The inner skin when it dries, rolled into a kind of tube, called a cinnamon trunk. If we crush these branches, we get cinnamon powder.
The smells and flavors that are undoubtedly caused by the oily part are very rich in compounds called cinnamaldehyde. This mixture is responsible for most of the sweet cinnamon effects on health and metabolism.
Cinnamon is full of antioxidants that protect the body from oxidation caused by free radicals. Cinnamon is packed with powerful antioxidants, such as polyphenols. In a study comparing the antioxidant activity of spices, cinnamon proved to be an undisputed winner, even surpassing superfoods such as garlic and oregano. Cinnamon is very potent so it can be a natural food preservative.
Cinnamon helps the body fight infection and repair tissue damage. Inflammation can be a problem when attacking the body’s tissues. In this case, cinnamon is useful because some studies show that cinnamon antioxidants have high anti-inflammatory activity.
Cinnamon has been associated with a reduced risk of heart disease, the most common cause of premature death in the world. In people who have type 2 diabetes, one gram of cinnamon a day has a beneficial effect on the blood. It reduces total cholesterol levels, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides, while HDL cholesterol remains stable. Studies in animals have shown that cinnamon lowers blood pressure.
Insulin is a hormone that regulates metabolism and energy use. It is imperative to transport blood sugar from the bloodstream to the cells. Meanwhile, many people are resistant to the effects of insulin. This disorder, known as insulin resistance, is a hallmark of serious illness, such as metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. Cinnamon can drastically reduce insulin resistance, thus helping this vital hormone to do the job.
In addition to the effects that support insulin resistance, cinnamon can reduce blood sugar through other mechanisms. Cinnamon lowers the amount of glucose that seeps into the bloodstream after meals. It dramatically increases the uptake of glucose by cells, although acting much slower than insulin. Many experiments on humans have confirmed the antidiabetic effect of cinnamon and have been shown to reduce blood sugar levels.
In the study of mice with Parkinson’s disease, cinnamon helps protect neurons, normalize neurotransmitter levels, and improve motor function. Cancer is a severe disease characterized by uncontrolled cell growth. Some studies have been conducted on cinnamon because of its potential use in cancer prevention and treatment. Cinnamon reduces the growth of cancer cells and the blood vessels formation in tumors. Also, it becomes toxic to cancer cells, which causes death. A study in mice with colon cancer revealed that cinnamon might be a potential activator of detoxification enzymes in the colon, providing more excellent protection against cancer growth.
Not all cinnamon is obtained in the same way. Cassia varieties contain a large number of compounds called coumarin, which can be harmful if taken in large doses. All types of cinnamon are usually beneficial to health, but cinnamon from Cassia can cause problems if you consume large doses. In this case, Ceylon cinnamon is more advisable, and research reveals that it has a lot of aluminum than Cassia varieties.
Cinnamon, one of the most delicious and healthy spices on the planet, can lower blood sugar levels and lower risk factors for heart disease. Make sure you buy Ceylon cinnamon or consume small doses if you use Cassia varieties.