Cinnamon is not just a delicious seasoning for coffee or baking cookies, it is much more than that. The cinnamon tree, from Sri Lanka, is famous for its spicy and aromatic inner bark , which is what we know as a “cinnamon stick” and is usually crushed.
Noteworthy: There are many types of cinnamon, but darker in color (Ceylon cinnamon) is the most commonly sold and available. Ceylon cinnamon is frequently found in other countries.
Ceylon cinnamon is characterized by its brown color and its smooth texture and flavor. Unlike other types of cinnamon, Ceylon cinnamon has a milder flavor and aroma.
Cinnamon is a very complete condiment, since it contains numerous properties, vitamins and is very rich in antioxidants. Thanks to the presence of these, cinnamon is a kind of superfood, ideal to add to almost all your preparations.
One teaspoon of ground cinnamon (2.6 grams) contains:
- Calories: 6.42
- Carbohydrates : 2.1g
- Calcium: 26.1 milligrams (mg)
- Iron: 0.21mg
- Magnesium : 1.56mg
- Phosphorus: 1.66mg
- Potassium: 11.2mg
- Vitamin A: 0.39 micrograms
It also contains vitamins B and K, antioxidants, beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, lycopene, lutein, and zeaxanthin.
Thanks to the presence of these antioxidants, cinnamon is very effective in reducing oxidative stress and can help prevent cancer, type 2 diabetes, and many other conditions.
A study published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine concluded that cinnamon has strong anti-inflammatory properties.
This study was based on the anti-inflammatory properties of cinnamon and its essential oils. There are several flavonoids present in cinnamon (such as gossipin, gnafalin, hesperidin, hibifolin, hypolaetin, oroxyndin, and quercetin) that have anti-inflammatory activities (1) .
A recent study reported that these substances can be used as an anti-inflammatory agent. Additionally, cinnamon extract was found to decrease levels of tumor necrosis (1) .
Cinnamon is one of the oldest expectorant remedies; It was used even in ancient Egypt. Traditionally, cinnamon is considered an expectorant used to reduce congestion and phlegm in the lungs.
Note: Cinnamon contains powerful antibacterial, antiviral, pain-relieving, and anti-inflammatory properties. This makes it the perfect ally for the winter months.
Plus it’s so much tastier than cold and flu medicines.
A study published in Hindawi showed that cinnamon is among the most powerful antioxidants that are among the ingredients that can be added to almost all your food and drinks (2) .
If you stop to think about it for a second, cinnamon goes well with everything, cookies, cakes, coffee, tea, soups, purées, infusions, etc.
To highlight: Cinnamon also contains large amounts of polyphenol antioxidants. These can help protect the body from disease. The antioxidants in cinnamon have been found to have anti-inflammatory effects.
Cinnamon has prebiotic properties that promote the growth of beneficial bacteria that help suppress the growth of pathogenic bacteria. Therefore, including cinnamon regularly in your diet can help improve your intestinal health, and therefore your autoimmune system.
Thanks to its prebiotic properties that promote the growth of good bacteria, this makes cinnamon a great antiviral.
To highlight: An article published in Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology , points out that the microbiota (that is, the colonies of bacteria that live in our intestines) can protect us against viral infections (3) .
This is because the good bacteria help us prepare the immune response to avoid infection. It could also promote viral evasion of certain viruses.
A study published in Science Direct has shown that cinnamon has powerful antifungal properties. It has been found to help stop Candida and also prevent it from spreading (4) .
Note: It can also be very beneficial for a Candida recovery plan. If you’re not already adding it to your food, it could be a useful addition to your Candida treatment.
Cinnamon has anesthetic properties and helps reduce pain, especially cramps suffered by women during menstruation.
Important: Be careful since more than 4 grams of cinnamon a day can cause poisoning.
Prebiotics are a type of fiber that the human body cannot digest. These serve as food for probiotics (small live microorganisms, including bacteria and yeast).
Both prebiotics and probiotics can help the good bacteria and other organisms that live in the gut and fight the bad bacteria that can make us sick.
Prebiotics and probiotics help the body build and maintain a healthy colony of bacteria and other microorganisms. This not only helps us avoid diseases, but also aids digestion.
Note: Prebiotics are present in high-fiber foods, such as fruits, vegetables, grains, and cinnamon.
Health benefits of cinnamon
Cinnamon helps reduce blood sugar and therefore fight and prevent diabetes by mimicking the effects of insulin and increasing the transport of glucose into cells.
Note: This happens because it can increase insulin sensitivity, making our bodies more efficient at transporting glucose into cells.
A study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition looked at a group of adults with prediabetes. After consuming 500 mg of cinnamon extract per day for 12 weeks, they noticed 14% less oxidative stress (5) .
To highlight: This is important, as oxidative stress has been implicated in the development of almost all chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes (5) .
Cinnamon also helps regulate cholesterol. It is not yet known exactly how it can affect cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
However, it is known that one of its components, cinnamaldehyde, which is the component that gives cinnamon its peculiar flavor and perfume, can help reduce cholesterol levels.
lowers blood pressure
According to an article published by the US National Library of Medicine’s National Institutes of Health, cinnamon helps lower blood pressure.
Bottom Line: More research and hard evidence is needed to understand how cinnamon helps lower blood pressure.
Lowers the risk of heart disease
Thanks to its properties to reduce blood pressure and cholesterol, cinnamon has become an ingredient highly recommended by cardiologists to add as an extra supplement to your diet.
Regulates the menstrual cycle
A study published in the Iranian Red Crescent Medical Journal concluded that cinnamon can help regulate the menstrual cycle. In addition, a significant effect was noted in reducing pain, menstrual bleeding, nausea and vomiting with primary dysmenorrhea without side effects.
Note: Thanks to this discovery, cinnamon can be considered as a holistic, natural, safe and effective treatment for dysmenorrhea in young women.
Improves digestive problems
In a recent study on gut health, researchers from the RMIT University School of Engineering in Melbourne, Australia, concluded that even a small dose of cinnamon helps reduce carbon dioxide levels in the stomach, thereby reducing the body temperature, gases and helps digestion.
Note: Also, this helps reduce acidity and can help with the mobilization of nutrients in the intestinal tract.
Helps lose weight
With its anti-inflammatory, digestive, and blood sugar-lowering powers, along with increased insulin sensitivity, cinnamon is a great addition to your dietary supplement drawer.
In addition, it provides a rich sweet flavor, without adding sugar or calories to your drinks and food. According to a Japanese study published in the Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology, cinnamon helped burn visceral fat in mice.
However, it is important to clarify that cinnamon will only help to complement your regular exercise and a balanced diet. Ultimately, it is essential to start exercising and eating healthy if you are on a quest to lose weight.
Reduces cough and respiratory infections
Cinnamon is also effective in treating coughs and respiratory infections such as colds. This is because cinnamon has antibacterial and antiviral properties that can help fight the virus that causes coughs and colds.
Thanks to the same properties that allow cinnamon to help prevent and treat diabetes, this spice also acts against fatigue and tiredness, since by moderating blood sugar levels, it prevents them from falling suddenly.
Note: When blood sugar levels drop suddenly, we can not only get tired but also dizzy and even faint. Including some cinnamon throughout the day can help you fight fatigue.
Promotes sexual relations
Cinnamon is the only natural aphrodisiac recognized as such by traditional medicine. This is because it is known to promote blood flow, especially in the abdominal area.
Note: Since it improves the blood supply to the genitals, it could make sexual arousal easier. In addition, its aroma can also contribute to sexual desire.
How to consume cinnamon?
There are many ways to consume cinnamon. Thanks to its versatility, it is easy to include it in sweet or salty and spicy foods and drinks. Here you will see some examples.
In meals and desserts
This is perhaps the best way to introduce it into your diet, since preparations with cinnamon are exquisite.
Some foods that include cinnamon in their recipe are pumpkin cinnamon and ginger soup, curry and chili go very well with cinnamon , and lentil soup with cinnamon and nutmeg.
Some desserts that use cinnamon are famous in Swedish cuisine: Cinnamon rolls, cinnamon toast (toasted bread with butter, cinnamon and sugar), apple pie, baked apples with cinnamon, Spanish custard or Catalan cream.
Cinnamon is very easy to add to your infusions. You can simply sprinkle cinnamon on your coffee or latte, it also works great in milk tea.
You can also prepare infusions with cinnamon. Here you will see two of the most common:
- The first, in a cup with hot water, add the juice of half a lemon, a pinch of powdered ginger, a pinch of powdered cinnamon and a tablespoon of pure honey.
- Another way is a typical drink from northern Europe is the spiced mulled wine (Glogg), ideal for cold weather and to drink when we have a cold.
Bring a glass of red wine to a boil with a pinch of cinnamon, a handful of raisins, a pinch of cardamom, 2 cloves, the peel of half an orange, 1 tablespoon of honey. Once it boils, remove from the heat and wait for it to warm up, serve in glasses.
- The cinnamon tree, from Sri Lanka, is famous for its spicy and aromatic inner bark, which is what we know as a “cinnamon stick” and is usually crushed. There are many types of cinnamon, but darker in color (Ceylon cinnamon) is the most commonly sold and available.
- Cinnamon is a very complete condiment, since it contains numerous properties, vitamins and is very rich in antioxidants. Thanks to the presence of these, cinnamon is a kind of superfood, ideal to add to almost all your preparations.
- Another of the properties of cinnamon is that it is anti-inflammatory, expectorant, antioxidant, antiviral, antifungal, anesthetic and prebiotic.
- Its health benefits are multiple. Among them, it improves digestive problems, regulates the menstrual cycle, reduces fatigue, reduces coughing and respiratory infections, and reduces the risk of heart disease, among others.
- There are many ways to consume it. It can be in meals and desserts, this is perhaps the best way to introduce it into your diet. Another way can be in infusions, you can simply sprinkle cinnamon on your coffee or latte, it also works great in milk tea.