Cinnamon sticks with texts of its nutrients

Health Benefits

Cinnamon has been used for at least 4000 years in ancient cultures from the Chinese to Greek, Indian to Egyptian and everywhere in between. It holds an important place in age-old folk medicine and home remedies associated with respiratory and digestive ills. It is as popular then as it is now, san the heavy price tag, thanks to its widely recognized and accepted health benefits.

This ancient spice contains several compounds that lend to its superpower punch against heart ills,  type 2 diabetes, cognitive declines, viruses and bacterial infections, and other health ills.

Cinnamon contains cinnamaldehyde, a compound that contributes to most of the health benefits of cinnamon. It is also the compound that gives cinnamon its unique smell and taste. The essential oil from cinnamon bark contains 50% cinnamaldehyde.

Additionally, it also packs a load of potent antioxidants, such as polyphenolsphenolic acid, and flavonoids, which protects the body from the damage to remove oxidating cells caused by free radicals. According to the ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) Scale, which measures the antioxidant values of foods and beverages, cinnamon ranks #16 of all foods, spices, and herbs in the world! In fact, because of cinnamon’s relatively low price-point and high antioxidant value, it has been used as a natural food additive to delay food decay and spoilage.

ORAC 2018
ORAC Scale of Foods’ and Beverages’ Antioxidant Value. 2018. Table courtesy of Superfoodly.

 

Protects heart health

The antioxidant properties of cinnamon scavenge for free-radicals and inhibit and/ or delay the oxidation of key cells and organs to help cut the risk of heart disease.

Anti-diabetic properties

Cinnamon is known to help lower sugar levels and improve sensitivity to the hormone insulin. Insulin is the hormone that keeps the blood sugar level balanced and when insulin resistance occurs the body doesn’t have the ability to maintain the amount of sugar that enters the bloodstream, potentially leading to conditions like weight gain, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and strokes.

Defends against Cognitive decline and protects brain function

Research has shown that cinnamon’s antioxidant properties can help defend the brain against various neurological disorders, such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases. Cinnamon’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties combine to be a possible natural treatment to help reduce the degenerative effect of aging on the body and brain.