Cinnamon is highly regarded for its sweet flavor, yet somewhat spicy flavor. It makes a great addition to so many dishes. It spices up otherwise bland foods, like applesauce and cottage cheese. It tastes delicious as a topping on French toast. It can even be used to add flavor to certain soups and meats.
While cinnamon certainly tastes delicious, there is much more to this spice than its flavor. Cinnamon has been used medicinally for thousands of years. It’s an excellent source of several vitamins and minerals and other nutrients that are vital for your health. These include manganese, calcium, iron, vitamin K and fiber, zinc, dietary fiber, omega 3 fatty acids; among other important nutrients. And it only has 19 calories per serving and has zero fats and sugars.
Because it is so nutrient-rich, adding cinnamon to your diet won’t only make your food taste better, but it will also allow you to reap a tremendous amount of health benefits. How can cinnamon enhance your health? Here’s a look at 20 ways this spice will literally spice up your overall health and well being.
1. Reduces clotting
Clotting is an important quality in blood. It allows platelets, cells found within the blood, to clump together and stop bleeding. In emergency situations, such as a wound, clotting is extremely important; however, in normal situations, it can cause adverse effects to your health. When too much clotting occurs, it reduces blood flow. As a result, your body can’t get the oxygen that it needs to thrive. Cinnamon can help to reduce clotting. It slows the body’s release of arachidonic acid, which triggers clotting.
2. A great source of antioxidants
Cinnamon is loaded with several different types of antioxidants. Antioxidants are important for your health, as they reduce the effects caused by free radical damage and slow the process of aging.
As a matter of fact, researchers have found that cinnamon contains an astonishing 41 protective compounds in cinnamon – and they are confident that it contains even more!
Cinnamon is one of the top sources of antioxidants. By consuming this spice, you can reduce and repair damage to cells, tissues and muscles.
3. It has anti-inflammatory properties
Another excellent health benefit of cinnamon is the anti-inflammatory properties it contains. While inflammation can be helpful for the body, in excess, it can do severe damage.
Too much inflammation can increase the risk of heart disease, cognitive decline, cancer, diseases of the liver, and much more. Scientists have discovered more than seven different types of flavonoid compounds in cinnamon, all of which help fight inflammation.
It can reduce the risk of heart disease, certain types of cancers, digestive health issues, and it can also be used for pain management.
4. Improves the health of your heart
Several studies have found that cinnamon can reduce several of the risk factors that are associated with heart disease.
These include high cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, and high triglyceride levels. Cinnamon contains compounds that can help reduce LDL levels, the bad type of cholesterol. It has also been found to lower high blood pressure.
It’s no secret that a healthy heart is vital for your overall health and well being, and eating more cinnamon can help to improve the health of your heart.
5. Enhances blood circulation
Your blood does a number of things for your body. It contains oxygen-rich red blood cells, which is transported throughout the rest of your body, providing all of your organs with the oxygen they need to thrive.
Unfortunately, blood doesn’t always circulate efficiently. When this happens, it can lead to several health conditions, including high blood pressure, heart disease, and increased risk of stroke, and, not to mention, it can damage other organs in your body.
Cinnamon enhances blood flow, thereby improving the quality of your health.
6. Can combat diabetes
Another health benefit of cinnamon is its ability to combat diabetes. Despite its sweetness, this spice can actually help to lower blood sugar levels.
On top of that, it can also improve your body’s sensitivity to insulin, a hormone that plays a vital role in balancing your blood sugar levels. Cinnamon actually blocks alanines, enzymes that aid in the absorption of glucose into the bloodstream.
As a result, it can help to lower the amount of glucose that makes its way into the blood, which can combat the effects of diabetes.
7. Reduces cognitive decline
As we’ve already discussed, cinnamon is very rich in antioxidants. These antioxidants play a vital role in combating – and preventing – the damage caused by free radicals.
Research has shown that free radical damage can affect the health of the brain, leading to cognitive decline, including progressive conditions, such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, as well as Parkinson’s disease.
In addition to providing antioxidants that can cause cognitive decline, cinnamon can also activate neuro-protective proteins that actually shield the cells of the brain, protecting them from damage.
8. Could reduce the risk of cancer
Cinnamon might also be able to help reduce the risk of developing some types of cancer. Again, the antioxidants that this spice contains are to thank for this possible health benefit. They can help to shield your DNA from becoming damaged, protect against the mutation of cells, and prevent the growth of cancerous tumors.
Several studies have found cinnamon could possibly reduce the risk of cancer because it contains a compound called cinnamaldehyde.
This compound performs all of the above-mentioned functions, which could lower your chances of developing certain types of cancer.
9. It can aid in weight loss
If you are looking to shed a few pounds, consider adding more cinnamon to your diet. This spice can actually help your body burn stored fat, which can lead to weight loss.
It also controls insulin levels, decreases blood sugar levels, can increase your metabolism and can suppress your appetite. All of these weight loss properties of cinnamon are thanks to the incredible compounds that it contains.
While you wouldn’t think that adding something sweet to your diet would help you lose weight, in the case of cinnamon, it actually does!
10. It freshens your breath
If you are suffering from frequent bad breath, despite how much you brush and use mouth wash, cinnamon could be the cure you are looking for. Cinnamon contains an essential oil, which has been found to have a potent effect on the bacteria that reside in your mouth and throat that lead to bad breath.
By chewing on a stick of cinnamon, or by drinking a cup of cinnamon tea, you could significantly improve the freshness of your breath.
Plus, this spice has a sweet scent, which will further improve your breath.