Cinnamon: For More than just Apple Pie!
Cinnamon is a delicious spice that originated in ancient Egypt and is the second most common household spice after black pepper. Although mainly used as a condiment, there are many health benefits that can come from consuming cinnamon.
According to published research, cinnamon has been proposed to have the following eight health benefits:
Prevents Diabetes : Cinnamon has been shown to control the pathway that leads to insulin resistance in people with diabetes. This interaction means that cinnamon can help with diabetes prevention and management by helping lower blood sugar levels.
Decreases Inflammation : Inflammation is the body’s natural response to foreign invaders.Ongoing inflammation contributes to conditions such as arthritis, cancer, cognitive impairment and heart disease. The anti-inflammatory properties garnished from compounds found in cinnamon can help prevent and manage such health conditions.
Increases Brain Function : A study showed that when mice participating in an object recognition test were given an extract of cinnamon that they performed at a higher level than the mice who did not receive a cinnamon extract. The cinnamon mice also had better maze performance.
Protects the heart from disease : Components found in cinnamon can increase the vasorelaxation of the heart, allowing for better blood flow. Cinnamon can also promote a protective heart effect through its ability to produce nitric oxide, a compound that decreases inflammation in the heart.
A Source of Antioxidants : Antioxidants are compounds that work to protect your cells from damage through “free radical” oxygen. Due to the high amount of processed foods in an American diet, there is a lack of antioxidants present in food. The antioxidants present in cinnamon and things like fruits and vegetables are necessary for cell strength and overall health.
Anti-microbial : Cinnamon contains a component called cinnamaldehyde that works as an antimicrobial. This fact means that cinnamaldehyde can work to inhibit the growth of bacteria such as E. coli and S. aureus, two bacteria linked to a wide variety of illnesses.
Decreases risk of cancer : Extensive research has been completed to investigate the effect of cinnamon on melanoma, cancer-causing cells. It was found to slow down the activity of tumor growth as well as increase the activity of the immune system to help fight the disease.
Lowering lipid level : Cinnamon has been shown to have an anti-lipid effect, which means that it lowers the lipid content of cells that contain cholesterol. This process can lower the amount of LDL the bad cholesterol in your body. An excess of lipids in your bloodstream can also lead to fatty deposits in your arteries, increasing the risk of heart disease.
Overall, cinnamon is a delicious spice that has many health benefits proven through research. Next time you’re baking, cooking, or just making a smoothie consider reaching for cinnamon as a sweetener instead of sugar!