Why you Should Eat More Cinnamon

Posted by Cathy Doe on July 17, 2014 (0 Comments)

In ancient civilization, cinnamon was more than just a spice - it was a commodity so prized and valuable that it was given as gifts to monarchs and sacrificed to gods. It was also used as an embalming agent in ancient Egypt.

In more recent times, modern research has discovered that cinnamon is high in antioxidants, and may offer significant health benefits, such as:

Lower blood sugar - Some studies have found that cinnamon may help to lower blood sugar levels, which would help control Type 2 diabetes and possibly also with weight management.

Reduce inflammation and certain types of pain - At least one study has found that cinnamon combined with honey can reduce the pain caused by arthritis, which is due to inflammation in joints. Cinnamon can also reportedly reduce headaches and migraines.

Lower rate of certain types of cancer - Some studies have shown that cinnamon reduces the spread of leukemia and lymphoma cancer cells.

Anti-fungal effect - Cinnamon has anti-fungal properties, and has been shown to possibly kill yeast infections that are resistant to medication.

Antimicrobial effect - Cinnamon also has antimicrobial properties, meaning that it can inhibit the growth of bacteria in food, which makes it a natural food preservative. In particular, cinnamon has been found to reduce the growth of E. coli bacteria in unpasteurized juice.

Lower LDL cholesterol - Cinnamon may help to reduce the level of "bad" or LDL cholesterol in the blood.

Nutritional content - Cinnamon can be a good source of manganese, fiber, iron, and calcium. Studies regarding the benefits of cinnamon generally involve the ingestion of one-half teaspoon to three teaspoons of ground cinnamon daily. Cinnamon is harvested from the inner bark of the tree, and organic cinnamon is guaranteed to have been grown without the use of pesticides or synthetic fertilizers. Some people think organic cinnamon has greater flavor and scent than conventionally grown cinnamon.

Although we generally think of cinnamon as the brownish powder at the supermarket, there are actually different spices marketed as cinnamon. "True" cinnamon, more properly called Ceylon cinnamon, is from the plant Cinnamomum zeylanicum. All other types of cinnamon come from different cinnamomum trees, and are collectively called "cassia" cinnamon. Both Ceylon cinnamon and cassia cinnamon have similar properties, although cassia cinnamon is more widely available because it is less expensive. Accordingly, most studies regarding the benefits of cinnamon use cassia cinnamon because it is more readily available.

The crucial difference between Ceylon cinnamon and cassia cinnamon is their coumarin content. Coumarin is a naturally occurring compound with anticoagulant properties, so it prevents blood clots. Ceylon cinnamon contains a very small amount of coumarin, but the levels in cassia cinnamon is up to 400 times higher, so cassia cinnamon may be dangerous in larger amounts, particularly in those people with liver disease.

Thus, if you plan to increase your cinnamon intake, it is recommended that you stick with Ceylon cinnamon - preferably organic - and avoid cassia cinnamon. Ceylon cinnamon can be harder to find than cassia cinnamon, but it is the only variety sold by The Spicy Gourmet.

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