Cinnamon Benefits

Cinnamon: Exploring 4 Health Benefits

Key Takeaways

Cinnamon Benefits

1. Brain Protection

Cinnamon enhances memory and learning. Recent research highlights its cognitive-boosting potential and neuroprotective properties.

2. Antioxidant Powerhouse

Cinnamon is packed with antioxidants that boost your body's defense and lower inflammation markers.

3. Heart Protection

Cinnamon fights inflammation and supports heart health by lowering blood pressure, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides.

4. Blood Sugar Reduction

Cinnamon mimics insulin's action and addresses insulin resistance, aiding in regulating blood sugar levels.

What is Cinnamon?

Cinnamon, derived from the inner bark of Cinnamomum trees, boasts a rich history dating back to Ancient Egypt, once considered a luxurious gift for kings. Today, it has become a readily available spice in supermarkets and a common ingredient in various culinary delights [1].

There are two primary types: Ceylon cinnamon, often referred to as "true" cinnamon, and Cassia cinnamon, the more prevalent variety known simply as "cinnamon." Harvested by cutting and extracting the inner bark, cinnamon undergoes a drying process, transforming into familiar rolls or sticks or the beloved cinnamon powder.

The distinctive aroma and taste of cinnamon can be attributed to its oily component, particularly rich in cinnamaldehyde [2]. This compound, believed by scientists to be the powerhouse behind many of cinnamon's health and metabolism benefits, adds flavor and potential wellness perks to this ancient spice.

1. Brain Protection

Cinnamon, long celebrated for its health benefits, is now under the spotlight for its potential impact on memory and learning. A recent meta-analysis delved into existing studies, uncovering a wealth of evidence supporting cinnamon's positive influence on cognitive function.

Having scoured through 40 studies, the researchers observed a consistent trend: cinnamon significantly improved learning and memory in vivo and in vitro.

In-vivo studies showcased the cognitive-boosting power of cinnamon and its components, including cinnamic acid and cinnamaldehyde [3]. Meanwhile, in-vitro experiments demonstrated that incorporating cinnamon or cinnamaldehyde into cell mediums enhanced cell viability while countering Alzheimer 's-related Tau aggregation and amyloid-beta [4].

Two clinical studies added to the intrigue. Young adults chewing cinnamon gum reported improved cognitive function and memory and reduced anxiety symptoms.

2. Antioxidant Powerhouse

Think of antioxidants as your body's defense against damage caused by free radicals. Cinnamon is a powerhouse of antioxidants, packed with powerful ones called polyphenols [1].

One study found that adding cinnamon to your routine can seriously boost antioxidant levels in your blood. Plus, it's a champ at lowering inflammation markers, like C-reactive protein [5].

Cinnamon is so powerful that it can act as a natural food preservative [6].

Here's a fun fact: when researchers compared the antioxidant power of 26 spices, cinnamon scored a solid third place, just behind cloves and oregano [7]. So, sprinkling some cinnamon or drinking cinnamon tea will load you up with antioxidant goodness!

3. Heart Protection

Cinnamon might be a health superhero! Some studies suggest it could help fight inflammation, a key player in chronic diseases like heart issues.

It may also be a friend to your heart by lowering blood pressure, bad cholesterol (LDL), and triglycerides [8].

Additionally, cinnamon has the potential to boost levels of HDL (good) cholesterol, contributing to better heart health by aiding in the removal of excess cholesterol from your blood vessels.

Surprisingly, even a tiny daily bit of cinnamon, like less than 1/10th of a teaspoon, could bring these benefits, according to a review of 10 studies [9].

And if you're into specifics, Cassia cinnamon, in particular, packs natural compounds that might keep your blood vessels wide and guard against blood clots [10].

4. Blood Sugar Reduction

Cinnamon emerges as a potential ally against diabetes. Studies indicate its action is akin to insulin, the hormone pivotal in ushering sugar from the bloodstream into tissues [11].

Going beyond, compounds within cinnamon may tackle insulin resistance, amplifying the hormone's efficacy in regulating blood sugar levels [12].

The intrigue continues: cinnamon exhibits the potential to slow down the breakdown of carbs in your gut, a mechanism that could thwart spikes in blood sugar following meals [13].

Most studies found benefits when people took concentrated doses of powdered cinnamon. However, the good news extends to cinnamon tea, which reduces blood sugar levels [14].

Safety and Side Effects

While cinnamon is generally considered safe and well-tolerated for most people when used in culinary amounts, it's crucial to be mindful of a few considerations. Some individuals may experience allergic reactions to cinnamon. Excessive consumption may lead to mouth sores or irritation.

Additionally, it's advisable to consult with a professional if you wish to consider cinnamon supplements or concentrated forms. Cinnamon supplements may interact with certain medications or have contraindications for individuals with specific health conditions.

Conclusion

Cinnamon is a delightful spice that adds flavor to various dishes and is a potential ally in promoting health. Its antioxidant properties, anti-inflammatory potential, and positive effects on heart health and blood sugar regulation make it a versatile addition to a balanced diet. Beyond the kitchen, cinnamon showcases promising attributes, such as potential neuroprotective effects observed in conditions like Parkinson's disease.

Additional Readings

You May Also Like

Milk Thistle: A Natural Boost For Brain And Overall Wellness

Schisandra: The Unique Medicinal Plant

Moringa, The Miracle Tree

References

[1]Cinnamon: Mystic powers of a minute ingredient - PMC (nih.gov)

[2]Cinnamaldehyde | C9H8O | CID 637511 - PubChem (nih.gov)

[3]Cinnamon and cognitive function: a systematic review of preclinical and clinical studies: Nutritional Neuroscience: Vol 27, No 2 (tandfonline.com)

[4]Cinnamon, a promising prospect towards Alzheimer's disease - PubMed (nih.gov)

[5]Impact of Cinnamon Supplementation on cardiometabolic Biomarkers of Inflammation and Oxidative Stress: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials - PubMed (nih.gov)

[6]Cinnamon as a Useful Preventive Substance for the Care of Human and Plant Health - PMC (nih.gov)

[7]Cinnamon: A Multifaceted Medicinal Plant - PMC (nih.gov)

[8]To what extent does cinnamon administration improve the glycemic and lipid profiles? - PubMed (nih.gov)

[9]Cinnamon use in type 2 diabetes: an updated systematic review and meta-analysis - PubMed (nih.gov)

[10]Relative bioavailability of coumarin from cinnamon and cinnamon-containing foods compared to isolated coumarin: a four-way crossover study in human volunteers - PubMed (nih.gov)

[11]A hydroxychalcone derived from cinnamon functions as a mimetic for insulin in 3T3-L1 adipocytes - PubMed (nih.gov)

[12]Cinnamon: Potential Role in the Prevention of Insulin Resistance, Metabolic Syndrome, and Type 2 Diabetes - PMC (nih.gov)

[13]Inhibitory activity of cinnamon bark species and their combination effect with acarbose against intestinal α-glucosidase and pancreatic α-amylase - PubMed (nih.gov)

[14]Effect of Cinnamon Tea on Postprandial Glucose Concentration - PMC (nih.gov)

Back to blog