5 Remarkable Health Benefits of Cinnamon
Cinnamon is a fragrant spice that has very many culinary uses, but did you know it has amazing health benefits too? Cinnamon is actually a very valuable herbal drug, and it has been used as a folk medicine for more than 4,000 years. Research has shown that it has antimicrobial, antioxidant, antiviral and antitumor qualities among other biological activities. In fact, there was a time that cinnamon was more valuable than gold!
There are two types of cinnamon, namely Chinese and Ceylon. Ceylon is sweeter and more refined, and it is surprisingly hard to find in local markets, making it quite expensive.
The incredible healing power of cinnamon is linked to some special oils and other phenolic compounds and scientists are doing more research on their bioactivity.
Here are 5 remarkable healing properties of cinnamon that will absolutely blow you away.
#1: Blood sugar control
While we don’t yet have a cure for Type 2 diabetes, cinnamon can play an important role in managing the disease. It does this by reducing blood pressure, on top of having a positive effect on blood markers for patients suffering from diabetes. However, its ability to reduce insulin resistance is what is greatly treasured when it comes to managing this chronic disease.
It achieves this by working directly on the muscle cells, compelling them to get rid of sugar from the blood stream which is subsequently converted into energy. Cinnamon also has a great taste making it a wonderful alternative in recipes that don’t include sugar.
#2: Better brain function
Did you know that the scent of cinnamon is enough to boost brain activity? Research has shown that chewing cinnamon gum or simply smelling it does improve cognitive processing. More specifically, it improves virtual recognition memory, visual-motor speed as well as the ability to concentrate for longer periods.
Encouraged by these findings, researchers are hoping that cinnamon can enhance brain function in the elderly and possibly even help patients suffering from diseases which result in to cognitive decline.
#3: Protection against heart disease
In a recent study, researchers discovered that including spices such as cinnamon and turmeric in the diet can fight the negative effects of taking a fatty meal. When a person eats food rich in fat, the levels triglycerides (fats in the blood) increase. If the levels remain chronically high, the risk of heart disease also increases.
In this study, it was shown that adding 2 spoons of cinnamon to a fatty meal resulted in 13% more blood antioxidants and triglycerides were reduced by 30%.
#4: Anti-Microbial activity
For many years, cinnamon’s been used to curb the spread of bacteria and as fungi. Laboratory tests have shown that medication-resistant yeasts were often eradicated by cinnamon extracts. In fact, it was shown to be effective against Candida, a very problematic yeast.
Cinnamon’s antimicrobial qualities are well documented. It has been shown to inhibit the growth of food-borne pathogens for not less than 60 days, making it an excellent food preservative. Some pathogens flourish even when food is refrigerated but when cinnamon is added, the food stays fresh for longer.
#5: Anti-clotting action
Cinnamon contains a chemical called cinnamaldehyde which has been shown to have a positive effect on our blood platelets. Platelets are instrumental in the formation of clots when an injury occurs so as to curb bleeding. However, when the platelets clump together for too long, they can interfere with blood flow. Cinnamaldehyde has been shown to reduce unwanted blood clotting. It accomplishes this by inhibiting the production arachidonic acid from the platelet membranes.
While cinnamon is healthy, it is important not to overdo it. Avoid taking any cinnamon supplements that have not been authorized by your doctor. If used in the right way, this magic herb will make you healthier by boosting your overall health