9 Sensational Cinnamon Benefits for Your Overall Health
Even if your spice drawer is due for an upgrade, you probably have a few staple spices around that you use for various dishes or recipes. Among the classics like salt and pepper (or maybe that Trader Joe’s Everything But the Bagel Seasoning), it’s very common for most households to have some cinnamon on hand.
Cinnamon is a fan-favorite, especially during the fall season. Whether you’re sprinkling it on your coffee, adding it to your baked goods recipe, or even including it in a savory entrée for an unexpected kick, cinnamon’s unique flavor can fit right in in a variety of settings.
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Cinnamon Benefits: A Common Household Spice that Really Packs a Punch
Though cinnamon’s taste can’t be praised enough, there’s much more to it than meets the eye—or, rather, the taste buds. Cinnamon offers many health benefits that make it an important part of a healthy, balanced diet. Additionally, this spice has been around for many generations and has provided health benefits to people worldwide for centuries.
A Brief History of Cinnamon
Cinnamon has been traced back through history to ancient civilizations in Sri Lanka and Egypt. Though cinnamon can be considered a common household item today, it was once very rare and valuable. In fact, cinnamon was once considered to be a gift for kings.
Throughout its history, cinnamon has also been used to treat a variety of illnesses, particularly ailments of the throat, such as hoarseness and coughs. Though cinnamon is no longer used as a treatment for illness on its own, multiple studies over the years have found the possible health benefits of cinnamon to be very promising.
Cinnamon originally comes from the bark of the Cinnamomum verum tree, which contains many of the health-boosting compounds found in cinnamon, including cinnamic acid, cinnamate, and cinnamaldehyde.
Though cinnamon is sometimes used in its original bark form, most people use the ground-up cinnamon spice in their day-to-day lives.
Ceylon vs. Cassia Cinnamon: What’s the Difference?
While perusing the shelves of your local grocery or health food store, you may notice that there is more than just a single type of cinnamon. In fact, there are two primary types – Ceylon and cassia cinnamon.
Though the two types of cinnamon are relatively similar in look and texture, some of their biggest differences are the region in which they’re grown as well as how accessible and widely used they are.
Ceylon is grown from a rarer type of tree found in Thailand and Sri Lanka, which makes it more expensive and difficult to find. Cassia cinnamon typically grows from trees in China that are more numerous, making it the more widely available and less expensive of the two.
Is One Better than the Other?
Though more research is needed, early studies suggest that Ceylon cinnamon benefits might be more significant than cassia cinnamon benefits. Additionally, though their tastes are very similar, and you can generally use them interchangeably, Ceylon tends to have a light, citrus-forward taste, while cassia is deeper and spicier.
When choosing which type of cinnamon benefits you the most, it should come down to which is more easily accessible in your area, as Ceylon cinnamon may be too expensive or too difficult to find in some places.
More About Cinnamon: Taste, Texture, and Why It’s Popular
There are multiple forms in which to consume cinnamon, including in whole bark, essential oil, or extract form. However, the most common way to consume cinnamon is, by far, in spice form, which is essentially cinnamon bark ground up into a powder.
In its typical spice form, cinnamon can be added into just about any recipe without changing the texture. It adds a sweet yet spicy taste that is most popular with fall flavors like pumpkin, maple, and chocolate, though it can pair well with a variety of different flavor palates.
Cinnamon is popular due to its generally inexpensive cost paired with its delicious taste and the many unique ways to enjoy it. Additionally, cinnamon benefits your health in so many meaningful ways, which also contributes to its popularity.
Ways to Take Advantage of Cinnamon Benefits
When you use cinnamon in its ground spice form, it’s easy to incorporate into coffee, yogurt, smoothies, and other sweet or savory snacks. You can also include it as a spice or extract in baked goods.
Though uses for the pure bark form of cinnamon are more limited than its ground spice form, many people enjoy combining cinnamon bark with hot water, honey, and other herbs to make a sweet and spicy cinnamon tea. Another festive way to use cinnamon bark is to combine it with warm apple cider or mulled wine to create a cozy fall drink.
Is Cinnamon a Superfood?
It’s important to determine exactly what a superfood is before deciding whether cinnamon falls into this category. Generally, superfoods are described as nutrient-rich foods that are beneficial for optimal health.
Based on this description alone, cinnamon could certainly be described as a superfood. Though there is still more research being done on the specific health benefits of cinnamon each year, the research so far suggests that cinnamon could be a significant part of an overall healthy diet.
Best Superfoods to Pair with Cinnamon
Cinnamon’s spicy and sweet flavor and aroma make it a great spice to pair with various other superfoods for a health-packed meal or snack. One of the easiest ways to consume cinnamon is in a smoothie combined with other delicious superfoods like acai, ginger, spirulina, and more.
If you prefer to eat your nutrients rather than drink them, you could always combine some of these superfood compounds into a baked good recipe like muffins, bread, or pancakes. Additionally, acai bowls are a great way to enjoy all of the nutritional benefits of smoothies in a bowl with a spoon and lots of yummy toppings.
What’s the Most Digestible Way to Consume Cinnamon?
Cinnamon tends to be easy to digest in all its forms, which makes it easy to add to your diet, no matter your specific health concerns. However, if you have digestive tract or gut health issues, check with your doctor before adding cinnamon to your diet for its health benefits.
9 Ways Cinnamon Benefits Your Well-Being
Now that you know a bit more about cinnamon, it’s important to understand some of the noticeable ways in which cinnamon could improve your health. You’ll be amazed that something so delicious could also be such a powerful health booster!
1. Great Source of Antioxidants
Oxidative damage from unstable molecules called free radicals can cause inflammation and other harmful issues within your body, and antioxidants are the compounds that fight them off.
Cinnamon is known to contain a high level of multiple types of antioxidants, namely polyphenols, that can increase your body’s antioxidant levels. In fact, according to recent studies, cinnamon has a significantly higher level of antioxidants than most common spices, including oregano and garlic.
2. Helps Fight Against Heart Disease
Heart disease is the most common cause of death worldwide, so it’s understandable that many people are looking for ways to keep their hearts healthier.
Although the general quality of your diet and your activity levels play the biggest roles, heart-healthy foods like cinnamon can also help maintain a healthy circulatory system.
Studies have shown that regular cinnamon intake could help reduce LDL cholesterol, improve blood markers for those with type 2 diabetes, and reduce blood pressure rates.
3. Could Help Regulate Blood Sugar Levels
Recent studies have shown promising data that cinnamon could help stabilize blood sugar levels when consumed regularly.
According to these studies, cinnamon could reduce the amount of glucose absorbed by your bloodstream after meals, which could prevent large spikes in blood sugar. This is due to the fact that cinnamon helps slow down the breakdown process for carbohydrates during digestion.
Additionally, there may be a compound present in cinnamon that mimics the effects of insulin and lowers levels of blood sugar by as much as 29% in those with diabetes. Cinnamon is able to offer these significant health effects at a typical dose of ½ to 2 teaspoons each day.
4. Anti-Cancer Properties
Cinnamon has been studied for its potential anti-cancer properties. Some research suggests that compounds in cinnamon, such as cinnamaldehyde, may have the ability to inhibit the growth and spread of cancer cells. Studies have shown that cinnamon extracts can inhibit the growth of certain types of cancer cells, such as leukemia, lymphoma, and breast cancer cells.
Additionally, cinnamon has been found to have antioxidant properties which can help protect cells from damage that can lead to cancer. However, it’s important to note that most of the studies on cinnamon and cancer have been done in laboratory settings and more research is needed to confirm these potential cinnamon benefits in humans. It’s also crucial to note that cinnamon is not a replacement for cancer treatment and should not be used as a substitute for conventional cancer therapy.
5. Supports Brain Function
In order to keep your risk of neurodegenerative disease low as you age, it’s important to take steps to keep your brain healthy. While keeping your brain active with hobbies and new skills is a great way to go about this, the quality of your diet can also play a major role.
Compounds found in cinnamon have been shown to reduce the buildup of tau, a protein that develops in the brain and often leads to Alzheimer’s disease. Additionally, other studies have found that cinnamon can help protect the health of your neurons, maintain normal motor function, and normalize neurotransmitter levels.
6. Helps Inhibit Bacterial Growth
Including cinnamon in your diet might help to fight fungal and bacterial infections thanks to cinnamaldehyde, one of the spice’s primary active components. Cinnamaldehyde could be connected to the effective treatment of respiratory tract infections as well as limiting the growth of bacteria like Salmonella and Listeria.
7. Reduces Inflammation
So many of the most common health issues have inflammation as a root cause, including cognitive decline, heart disease, chronic pain, and more.
Cinnamon may be able to help reduce inflammation in the body due to its high level of antioxidant properties. This means that when regularly including cinnamon in your diet, you could notice reductions in chronic pain, swelling, and soreness, among other ailments.
8. Supports Oral Health
Cinnamon’s ability to support better oral health is related to its ability to prevent excessive fungal and bacterial growth. Many of the issues that arise with teeth and gums are the result of an unhealthy buildup of bacteria.
Though more research is needed, cinnamon could be a powerful protector against specific bacterial strains that cause issues like tooth decay, bad breath, oral infections, and cavities. Additionally, cinnamon’s refreshing and strong taste means it can easily be used as a natural flavoring for products like chewing gum and toothpaste.
Are There Any Health Risks Associated with Cinnamon?
With so many cinnamon benefits for your health, it’s hard to believe that the spice could cause any health risks. In general, there are no known health risks associated with consuming cinnamon, especially since the typical serving size is no more than 1 or 2 teaspoons per day.
If you have pre-existing kidney or liver problems, you may want to consult with your doctor before consuming a significantly larger amount of cassia cinnamon than you were before. Additionally, if you notice any allergic reactions to cinnamon, such as irritation around the mouth or throat, seek medical attention immediately.
How Should Cinnamon Be Stored?
In order to get the most out of your cinnamon benefits, make sure to keep the spice properly stored in your home. No matter what form it’s in, cinnamon should be stored in a dry, cool, dark place that keeps it away from sun exposure or moisture.
When it’s stored correctly, cinnamon can keep for multiple years without expiring or becoming dangerous to ingest. However, it may lose some of its potency and taste if left for too long, which is why it’s best to only keep one or two jars on hand at any given time.
Boost Your Health Deliciously with Clean Juice
Health is made up of so many factors, but the quality of your diet will always be one of the most crucial. Additionally, enjoyment in nourishing your body is just as important as the types of foods you eat in order to support your overall well-being.
At Clean Juice, we make it easy to satisfy your cravings and nourish your body at the same time with a wide variety of mouth-watering juices, acai bowls, sandwiches, and more, all made with nothing but the cleanest and healthiest ingredients. Want to make it even easier? Order Clean Juice straight to your door today!
- Everything But the Bagel Seasoning
- Proactive Health
- Dr. Axe
- National Library of Medicine
- Bluebox Coffee
- Cleveland Clinic
- Does It Go Bad?
Disclaimer: The information presented here is for educational purposes only and is in no way intended as a substitute for medical counseling. Consult your doctor before using any health treatment, including natural remedies, and tell your doctor if you have a serious medical condition or are taking any medications.
If you’re unsure whether cinnamon would be a healthy addition to your wellness routine, ask your doctor if any of your health details might make cinnamon unsafe for you.