Cinnamon has been in use for many years not only as a spice but also for the many health benefits it possesses. Cinnamon comes from the bark of a tree called Cinnamomum. The tree has compounds such as, cinnamic acid and cinnamate that make the spice to have the medicinal value. The history of Cinnamon dates back in the 2000 BC in Egypt, but it is now one of the most popular spices all over the world.
There are two types of cinnamon: Ceylon cinnamon (true cinnamon) and Cassia or Chinese cinnamon that originates from China. It has a unique color, smell and taste, and if one is aiming at getting healthier, then this is one of the spices you must have in your diet.
Here are some of the health benefits of consuming Cinnamon
- It has antioxidants
Cinnamon contains a high number of antioxidants such as polyphenols and phenolic acid. These antioxidants protect the body from oxidative damage that occurs due to free radicals and slows the down aging process. The ORAC scale that measures the content of antioxidants in different foods rates cinnamon as number 7. The antioxidants can, therefore, help in fighting oxidative stress, which can bring about diseases if they are not controlled.
- Aids in fighting diabetes
Cinnamon helps in lowering blood sugar levels and improves the sensitivity of insulin, a hormone that helps in balancing the sugar level. Diabetes occurs when there is insulin resistance in one’s body. Cinnamon can control this as, when one takes it, it assists in blocking enzymes alanines which will enable glucose absorption in the body.
- Helps in Skin health
The antioxidants in cinnamon aid in pain management because it lowers the inflammation. Cinnamon has an antibiotic and anti-microbial effect that protects skin from swelling and inflammation, itchiness, rashes, infections, and redness. Therefore, one can apply the cinnamon oils directly to the skin to improve the general skin health.
Also for its antibacterial properties, it can aid in treating acne. One can also make a facemask using cinnamon and honey, and by using the cinnamon facemask, you can significantly prevent wrinkles thereby giving you a younger skin.
- Boosts the functioning of the brain
Research shows that another benefit of the antioxidants in cinnamon is that they help to protect the brain from neurological disorders. It does this by activating neuro proteins that protect the brain cells from damage. Therefore, you can prevent the Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases which occur due to the destruction of the brain cells with its help. Additionally, research shows that chewing cinnamon gum when one has a lot of work to do can boost their memory and concentration.
- Can help fight cancer
Cancer mainly occurs when there is an uncontrolled growth of cells. When taken correctly, however, it can fight cancer by preventing the growth of these cells and reducing the formation of blood vessels in the brain tumors. Cinnamon can do this through a compound in it known as cinnamaldehyde; studies show that it helps especially in preventing colon cancer as it detoxifies enzymes in the colon and hence protects it from cancer growths.
- It helps in fighting fungal and bacterial infections
The component cinnamaldehyde in cinnamon may assist in fighting various types of fungi. It is a natural anti-fungal and anti-biotic. Its essential oils are used to treat infections brought by fungi. Cinnamon, therefore, can also prevent the growth of salmonella and Listeria bacteria.
- Aids in fighting The HIV Virus
The virus destroys the immune system, and if it is not significantly reduced, it can lead to AIDS. Foods or drinks that contain cinnamon, however, cannot be used to prevent HIV but its extract can; this is because cinnamon cassia and its bark can help in reducing the HIV activity in the body.
- Improves and protect the Heart’s Health
It can also significantly assist in reducing risk factors that may cause heart diseases. This includes high blood pressure and cholesterol levels. The compounds in cinnamon can protect the heart from the factors that may cause its damage. Besides, cinnamon aids in repairing the heart tissues, which help, fight heart attacks.
There is no doubt that the health benefits of cinnamon are outrageous, but just like any other medicine, excessive intake can lead to severe damages. If you are considering starting using cinnamon, then it is best that you visit our doctor first. However, cinnamon might be the solution you need to improve your health, try it today for a better tomorrow!