Cinnamon is the most commonly found kitchen ingredient in all the households. A dash of cinnamon to your food can not only add spice to it, but also numerous health benefits! Studies show that cinnamon can be used in treating some diseases in human beings. Not only that, it’s being used as Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine from many centuries. While there is still research going on to confirm some health benefits of cinnamon by modern science, there are many other proven benefits, you need to know.
When you go to a grocery store, you can find two varieties of cinnamon. The easier to grind Ceylon cinnamon or the dark-coloured Cassia cinnamon. This rich aromatic spice can have side effects if taken in a higher amount, like sore lips and mouth, redness and irritation of the skin, interactions with other drugs etc. So it is best to take cinnamon in normal quantities as higher dosages can be toxic. One to six grams of cinnamon per day is considered good for your health. So let’s get to know why cinnamon is so good and its 8 health benefits.
1. Cinnamon can help in reducing cholesterol
Studies have shown that cinnamon decreases the activity of an enzyme that produces cholesterol. It is also known to decrease the bad cholesterol that includes LDL and triglycerides. In this way it reduces the risk of heart diseases by not letting the arteries get blocked with cholesterol. 120 mg of cinnamon is recommended by doctors in order to lower down the LDL levels or low density lipoproteins.
2. Manages type 2 Diabetes
We all know there is no cure for diabetes. The least we can do is to manage this metabolic disease. Cinnamon is well-known for its blood sugar reducing properties. It works directly on the muscle cells and forces them to eliminate sugar from the bloodstream where it is converted into energy. It blocks many enzymes that slow down the process of breaking down of carbohydrates. Up to 2 teaspoons of cinnamon a day can show anti-diabetic effects.
3. Improves insulin sensitivity
The hormone which regulates metabolism and transports sugar from the bloodstream to the cells is called insulin. Many people are resistant to the effects of insulin which may lead to type 2 diabetes. A compound in cinnamon acts as insulin and allows the absorption of sugar from the bloodstream thereby reducing insulin sensitivity. It is a slow process compared to that of insulin hormone, yet a natural and effective one!
4. Fights inflammation
Cinnamon is anti-inflammatory in nature. Adding cinnamon regularly to your diet can lower both systematic and specific inflammation. It helps in fighting infections and repairs tissues in your body. Not only this, cinnamon can also boost your blood circulation and treat diseases related to circulation like arthritis.
5. Cinnamon is full of antioxidants
Cinnamon holds the top position while considering the antioxidant levels when compared to 26 other spices including the top-rated garlic and oregano. It is rich in antioxidants like polyphenols. Antioxidants reduce oxidative stress by eliminating free radicals present in the body, thereby preventing the oxidative damage.
6. Cinnamon can lower the effects of neurodegenerative diseases
Neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s are characterized by the gradual loss in structure and function of the brain cells. Cinnamon helps the neurons improve the motor functioning in Parkinson’s disease. A protein called tau is produced in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients. Cinnamon helps by inhibiting the build-up of this protein.
7. Cinnamon has anti-cancer properties
Cinnamon can prevent cancer as it has some of the anti-cancer properties. Cancer is caused by uncontrolled cell growth. Include cinnamon in your daily diet. It works by inhibiting the growth of cancer cells and formation of new blood vessels in tumours, which is toxic to cancer cells leading to their death. This is the reason why cinnamon is regarded as a superfood!
8. Cinnamon may fight the HIV virus
Human immunodeficiency virus breaks down your immune system and results in AIDS. Cinnamon has antimicrobial properties that helps prevent HIV from entering into the cells. Cinnamon herb is considered as the most effective in managing HIV out of all the 69 plants studied. The cassia type of cinnamon is considered most effective as it helps in fighting against the most common strain of HIV in human beings, which is the HIV-1 strain.