Is Cinnamon Good For You?

Is Cinnamon Good For You?

Is Cinnamon Good For You? And How Is It Made?

Obtained from the inner bark of several trees from the genus Cinnamomum, is the spice we call cinnamon. It is made by cutting the stems of the cinnamomum tree, then the inner bark is extracted, and the woody parts removed.

When it dries, it forms strips that curl into rolls called cinnamon sticks or quills , and the sticks are then ground into cinnamon powder.

The two main types of cinnamon are

  • Ceylon cinnamon- Also known as “true” cinnamon. (Healthiest variety) 
  • Cassia cinnamon- The more common variety.

Ceylon cinnamon is produced in India, Sri Lanka, Madagascar, Brazil and the Caribbean, while cassia is mainly produced in Vietnam, China, and Indonesia.

Health Benefits

Cinnamaldehyde is the compound in cinnamon that is responsible for most of cinnamon’s powerful medicinal properties. It has a distinct smell and flavor contained within the oil, and may help fight various kinds of infection.

Case in point-Cinnamon has natural antimicrobial properties that have been shown to fight strains of E. coli, as well as Candida yeast. Just one teaspoon of cinnamon packs as much antioxidant punch as a half cup of blueberries.

 

  • Cinnamon is high in antioxidants such as polyphenols, which have anti-inflammatory properties and can help lower the risk of disease.
  • In people with type 2 diabetes, 1 gram of cinnamon per day has beneficial effects on blood markers.
  • Cinnamon can improve some key risk factors for heart disease, including cholesterol, triglycerides and blood pressure.
  • Cinnamon has a powerful anti-diabetic effect, and can improve sensitivity to the hormone insulin. This can dramatically reduce insulin resistance, and help to  lower blood sugar levels.

Is Cinnamon Good For You?

  • Cinnamon can be used as a natural food preservative.
  • It may have beneficial effects on neurodegenerative diseases.
  • Cinnamon has been widely studied for its potential use in cancer prevention and treatment.
  • It helps fight bacterial and fungal infections.
  • Cinnamon oil has been shown to effectively treat respiratory tract infections caused by fungi.
  • It can also inhibit the growth of certain bacteria, including Listeria and Salmonella
  • The antimicrobial effects of cinnamon may also help prevent tooth decay and reduce bad breath
  • Cinnamaldehyde has antifungal and antibacterial properties, which may reduce infections and help fight tooth decay and bad breath.

Cinnamon’s History-A Brief

One of the oldest spices in known history, cinnamon has been prized for its medicinal properties for thousands of years. It was used in ancient Egypt as a beverage flavoring, a medicine and as an embalming agent. So highly prized, it was considered more precious than gold or silver.

Around 2,700 B.C. cinnamon was mentioned in one of the earliest books on Chinese botanical medicine, and later in the Christian Bible. 

In Medieval Europe, cinnamon became one of the first commodities traded regularly between the Near East and Europe.

 

Final Thoughts

Cinnamon is not a commonly allergenic food, and is not known to contain measurable amounts of oxalates or purines.

However coumarin, a natural substance found in many plants such as Cassia cinnamon is moderately toxic to the liver and kidneys, and is only somewhat dangerous to humans in large doses.

To be clear, most people have probably never experienced any adverse effects from consuming Cassia cinnamon, however the healthier choice would be to use the Ceylon variety, which as a medicinal herb is better researched especially in its extract form, than the Cassia cinnamon.

If you must use the Cassia variety of cinnamon, stick to small doses (no more than 1/2-2 teaspoons a day).

Studies show that the Ceylon variety of cinnamon is much lower in coumarin than the Cassia variety found in most grocery stores. So if you want to go the Ceylon route, you can find organic Ceylon Cinnamon in health food stores, as well as at Amazon.com

 

PS: I hope you enjoyed reading this article, and please don’t hesitate to share it with friends and family. Join the conversation and let me know of your experiences with Cinnamon – share your experiences below and join me on other interesting articles at healingbodyandmind.org

 

To your good health,

Tom

images courtesy of pixabay.com and commons.wikimedia.org

 

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Canelle_Cinnamomum_burmannii_Luc_Viatour_crop2.jpg#/media/File:Canelle_Cinnamomum_burmannii_Luc_Viatour_crop2.jpg


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Tom
 

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 4 comments
Phil

Tom,
Another very helpful and informative article. Do you have a good and affordable source for the Ceylon variety?
My concern is mostly to help prevent Diabetes, which runs in my family.
Thanks,
Phil

Reply
    Tom

    Hi Phil- I use Frontier Natural Products Cinnamon, Og, Grnd Ceyln, Ft, 1.76-Ounce for about $5.00 which is fairly inexpensive, and you can get it at Amazon

    Reply
Peter

Great information and learned something new. I was not aware that there are two types of cinnamon
Ceylon and Cassia, and that cinnamon has natural antimicrobial properties. Wow amazing stuff Cinnamon, I will have to make sure to include it in my diet. This was very useful information Thanks for sharing 🙂

Peter

Reply
    Tom

    Hi Peter- Most people I believe are unaware of what a powerhouse cinnamon can be when included in their diet. I use cinnamon everyday and highly recommend it, besides it tastes great!

    Reply

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