Cinnamon was formerly considered more precious than gold. While most of us would rather have 24 karats than 24 ounces these days, it turns out that this fragrant tree bark may be more valuable than gold, particularly in terms of health benefits.
Cinnamon research is currently underway, and while first findings are encouraging, additional well-designed human studies are needed. However, there are a few health advantages that appear to be very promising (and it definitely doesn’t harm to use this spice in your cooking). An extra sprinkle of cinnamon may be part of a plan to combat several common diseases, ranging from diabetes to pain management.
We recruited the expertise of numerous health experts to help us differentiate reality from fiction when it comes to one of our favorite spices. To provide you the most comprehensive overview to cinnamon’s health benefits, we’ve double-checked each claim and combed through the newest research.
Throughout history, cinnamon has been used as a medicine.
For millennia, cinnamon has been utilized as a medication in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine. Cinnamon has long been used as a home treatment for heartburn, indigestion, and nausea because of its digestive and gastrointestinal advantages.
Hundreds of “folkloric” advantages of cinnamon were highlighted in a 2011 systematic study review, ranging from acne to premature ejaculation (and even putative usage as a snake deterrent); many of them have yet to be verified by contemporary science.
What You Should Know
Scientific research is intricate and ever-changing. Researchers go through a lengthy procedure to show the advantages of any supplement, medication, or food, first testing it in lab settings and then in animals. Human trials must validate purported advantages before they can be regarded fully proved.
Given today’s “clickbait” habits in modern media, this is a concern. Often, research that is far from definitive is presented as reality.
We summarize current research at Organic Authority, looking at both clinically confirmed benefits and promising, but not yet definitive, studies. We update our guides on a regular basis to guarantee that you always have access to the most up-to-date information.
Cinnamon’s 13 Health Benefits
what does cinnamon do to the body ?
Many of cinnamon’s amazing characteristics derive from a chemical called cinnamaldehyde, which is found naturally in the spice. Cinnamaldehyde is the source of many of the antifungal and antibacterial characteristics that make cinnamon such a beneficial addition to your diet, according to Carina Parikh, MScN, MSiMR, the holistic nutritionist with Kate Naumes ND Holistic Wellness in Dallas.
1. Cinnamon may aid in the treatment of Type 2 diabetes.
The most promising studies linking cinnamon to health benefits is related to type 2 diabetes. While there is no treatment for this metabolic disorder, cinnamon can help manage its symptoms.
Cinnamon can help manage this condition in two ways, according to Lori Kenyon Farley, a Certified Nutrition Consultant specializing in wellness, fitness, and anti-aging and one of the experts behind Project Juice. “For people with Type 2 diabetes, it can lower blood pressure and improve blood indicators,” she explains. Cinnamon can also help with insulin resistance, which “has been demonstrated to lower fasting blood sugar levels by up to 29 percent, which can help prevent Type 2 diabetes,” according to Farley.
Shane Ellison, MS, a medical chemist and the creator of the Sugar Detox, describes how it works in detail. “Cinnamon acts directly on muscle cells, forcing them to eliminate sugar from the circulation, where it is turned to energy,” he explains. “It’s even been proved to be more effective than most prescription medications.”
The idea is to improve insulin sensitivity in the body, which is present at birth in people without type 1 diabetes but gradually declines as we get older and consume more sugar. Sugar floats about in the bloodstream as a result, causing diabetes and other health issues. “Cinnamon, which is entirely non-toxic,” Ellison continues, “repairs the receptors so that they are once again receptive to insulin.” “Over time, sugar levels normalize as a result of an increase in insulin.”
Several studies have highlighted these potential benefits, including a 2016 research review that found that cinnamon supplements had “modest effects” on Fasting Plasma Glucose and HbA1c when used in conjunction with standard hypoglycemic medications, though the authors noted that “larger and more rigorous” studies were needed.
2. Cinnamon may aid in the management of metabolic disorders.
It’s somewhat unsurprising that if cinnamon offers potential benefits for type 2 diabetes, it might also aid with metabolic disease management. Cinnamon was shown to be useful in decreasing metabolic syndrome consequences, morbidity, and mortality, including blood pressure, plasma glucose, obesity, and dyslipidemia, according to a 2016 literature review. However, while these potential benefits of cinnamon consumption are intriguing, further well-designed subject studies are required before definitive conclusions can be formed.
Cinnamon can also be used as an appetite suppressant to those with a sugar addiction, thanks to its naturally sweet taste.
3. Cinnamon has the potential to decrease your bad cholesterol (or LDL).
You may want to include cinnamon in your diet even if you don’t have diabetes or metabolic syndrome for many of the same reasons as those who do.
According to Parikh, a variety of variables contribute to the improvement of Type 2 diabetes symptoms, including “improving serum glucose, lowering fasting blood glucose, and lowering triglycerides, LDL cholesterol, and total cholesterol.” These are all advantages that can benefit those who aren’t diabetic, such as those who have genetic cholesterol concerns or issues.
She continues, “(Cinnamon) also boosts HDL (the “good”) cholesterol.” HDL cholesterol aids in the elimination of LDL cholesterol from the body.
Not only that, but there’s more. “Regular cinnamon consumption may also assist to reduce the consequences of high-fat meals by reducing the rise in blood sugar following a meal,” Parikh adds. This indicates that if you include cinnamon in your diet, the impacts of infrequent high-fat foods may be less harmful to your health than they would be otherwise.
However, while a 2013 review indicated a positive association between cinnamon and decreased cholesterol, most studies to far have been small and have had mixed findings. To confirm these benefits definitively, more study is required.
4. Cinnamon has antibacterial qualities, for example.
Cinnamon has been shown to inhibit the growth of fungi, bacteria, and viruses in foods: It’s no wonder that many sweet and savory dishes included the spice throughout the Middle Ages, when food spoiling was significantly more common owing to a lack of refrigeration.
However, cinnamon’s benefits aren’t limited to the meals that it season. Cinnamon consumers can also benefit from these characteristics, according to our specialists, who believe cinnamon can be used to cure everything from lung issues to the common cold.
Cinnamon, according to Denise Baron, health educator and director of Ayurveda for Modern Living, can aid with a variety of lung congestion difficulties. “It helps remove mucous and stimulates circulation,” she continues, implying that when combined with other medicines, it may treat everything from a mild seasonal cough to bronchitis.
These advantages were confirmed in a study that found evidence that cinnamon can suppress bacteria by destroying cell membranes and modifying their lipid composition, among other things. However, while first findings are encouraging, additional well-designed trials are required before definitive advantages can be established.
5. Cinnamon may aid in the treatment of HIV.
Cinnamon’s antibacterial qualities extend to viruses, suggesting that it might aid in the fight against or management of HIV.
According to Parikh, “research reveals that cinnamon extract may aid in the battle against HIV by stopping the virus from entering cells.” “As a result, cinnamon extract might potentially help with HIV control.”
A 2016 research published in the peer-reviewed journal PLS One discovered that a cinnamon-derived chemical might inhibit viral entrance, making it one of the most promising techniques to limiting HIV’s progression to AIDS, according to the study. To confirm this benefit definitively, more human studies are required.
6. Cinnamon may be used to treat candidiasis.
Cinnamon’s antimicrobial qualities also extend to fungus, making it an effective therapy for candidiasis. While cinnamon has been proven to have efficacy against Candida in in vitro experiments, human trials, including a pilot study in five HIV-positive individuals with oral candidiasis, have had inconsistent results, according to a 2011 literature review. To confirm these advantages definitively, more clinical trials are required.
7. Cinnamon can aid in the treatment of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease symptoms.
Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease are two neurological disorders that are now incurable. Symptom control is therefore an important element of treating chronic conditions, and it can be aided by include cinnamon in a regular diet.
“Cinnamon has been demonstrated to aid neurons and enhance motor function in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s patients,” says Farley. These gifts can assist people with these two diseases go about their daily lives with significantly less difficulty.
Cinnamon’s capacity to reduce tau protein aggregation and amyloid-peptides, both hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease, was described as “promising” in a 2018 research published in Pharmacological Research.
However, the researchers cautioned that further molecular and translational research, as well as clinical trials, would be required to confirm these advantages clearly.
8. Cinnamon is thought to have anti-carcinogenic effects.
Although many superfoods are said to have anti-carcinogenic qualities, it’s crucial not to make the leap from superfood to superpower. Parikh discusses why it’s crucial to keep your cool.
“Evidence shows that cinnamon may have anti-carcinogenic properties as well,” she adds, adding that “research to yet has been restricted to animal studies.” “These results show that cinnamon extract inhibits cancer cell development and increases cancer cell death.”
In a 2011 scientific study, preliminary evidence of cinnamon’s beneficial benefits on lung and stomach cancer was emphasized, with the caveat that “well-designed research are needed before a definite judgement can be reached.”
9. Cinnamon is an anti-inflammatory spice.
Cinnamon ingestion may lower both systemic and local inflammation, while further human trials are needed to prove these potential benefits. According to Parekh, the former is particularly essential in the Western world.
“Systemic inflammation is a prevalent problem in the West that has contributed to the development of chronic illness,” she says. This systemic inflammation can be greatly lowered by include cinnamon in one’s normal diet.”
Cinnamon eating may help alleviate some forms of pain and headaches, as well as arthritic discomfort, due to its anti-inflammatory properties. According to Baron, cinnamon has a dual effect in this sort of pain since it may also improve circulation. “This helps boost and drive circulation to the joints with circulation disorders like Raynaud’s syndrome or arthritis,” she explains.
10. Cinnamon can help manage PCOS.
Due to a variety of qualities, cinnamon may be a crucial ingredient in the management of polycystic ovarian syndrome, a disorder with multiple symptoms that must be handled.
The first is the treatment of insulin resistance in PCOS women, which can lead to weight gain.
“A recent pilot research indicated that cinnamon improved insulin resistance in women with PCOS,” says Parekh, who recommends cinnamon to anybody suffering from insulin resistance, not only diabetics.
“Cinnamon can also help alleviate excessive menstrual bleeding caused by common female health issues including endometriosis, menorrhagia, and uterine fibroids,” she adds. This advantage is now being tested in a clinical investigation.
11. Cinnamon possesses anti-oxidant properties.
Cinnamon has been shown in some studies to have strong antioxidant properties: one randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial found that cinnamon could help overweight or obese people improve their antioxidant status, and a 2013 study published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine found that cinnamon essential oils had “very powerful” antioxidant activities in vitro.
“Cinnamon’s high concentration of antioxidants can help protect the body from damage from free radicals and reduce inflammation, reducing risk of cancer and other diseases,” explains Farley.
More human trials are needed to prove this benefit conclusively.
12. Cinnamon is good for your eyes.
Cinnamon has been shown in some studies to be effective in the treatment of eye disorders such as conjunctivitis and dry eye when combined with other herbs. The OphtaCare brand, which contains cinnamon and turmeric among other components, was shown to be effective in the treatment of this and other eye problems in a 2011 study review, although further research is needed to verify these advantages clearly.
13. Cinnamon is an insect repellant that is natural.
Anecdotal evidence suggests cinnamon is a natural insect repellent, and a research published in the Journal of Medicinal Entomology in 2013 indicated that cinnamon essential oil, along with eucalyptus and star anise, may be effective natural insect repellents, particularly against certain mites. The advantages of the oils, however, “demand additional research,” according to the study’s authors.
It’s conceivable that we’re only scratching the surface. Cinnamon has long been regarded in Chinese medicine and Ayurveda for its near superpowers, with it being used to cure colds, indigestion, and cramps, as well as anti-clotting capabilities and cognitive function and memory benefits. Cinnamon was also thought to increase energy, vigor, and circulation in these communities. It’s no surprise that it’s been termed a superfood.
4 Cinnamon-Inspired Recipes to Get You Started
Grapefruit with Cinnamon and Honey Broiled
There’s perhaps no better way to start your day than with this vitamin-rich grapefruit and cinnamon combo. This breakfast meal is a superfood powerhouse, broiled with just a touch of honey.
Toast with cinnamon and apple, pomegranate seeds, and pumpkin seeds
Is there a more timeless combination than apple and cinnamon? The powerful combination gets a boost from vibrant, antioxidant-rich pomegranate and crunchy pumpkin seeds in this toast dish. As a consequence, you’ll have the ideal breakfast or afternoon snack.
Cinnamon and Maple Syrup with Homemade Cashew Milk
There’s no reason to pay for plant-based milk when you can produce your own so effortlessly at home. This cinnamon and maple syrup-sweetened cashew milk is the perfect basis for vegan smoothies or pouring into your daily coffee.
Apple and Cinnamon Sweet Potato Breakfast Bowl
A sweet potato foundation is topped with sautéed apple seasoned with cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger for a morning version of a Buddha bowl.
Cinnamon is, at the end of the day, one of the world’s most delicious and healthy spices.
It can lower blood sugar levels, lessen heart disease risk factors, and provide a slew of other health advantages.
If you’re using Cassia cinnamon, make sure you obtain Ceylon cinnamon or use modest amounts.
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