The smell of cinnamon may evoke very personal memories, whether they’re of your favorite perfume, pumpkin pie or oatmeal on a cold winter morning. Cinnamon tastes (and smells) great, but there are several other cinnamon health benefits you should know about as well.
The cinnamon found in grocery stores is actually Ceylon cinnamon. This spice comes from the bark of a Southeast Asian tree, and its curled sticks are actually pieces of bark that scroll in as they dry. Grinding these sticks gives you that familiar cinnamon powder.
Here are 10 potential cinnamon health benefits:
An antioxidant protects cells from the effects of free radicals, and cinnamon’s polyphenols make it one of the best antioxidant carriers around.
One of cinnamon’s components, coumarin, is an anticoagulant. These agents prevent blood clots from forming, according to the American Heart Association. Talk to your doctor if you’re taking blood thinners and you want to add cinnamon to your diet.
Substituting cinnamon for sugar is a great way for diabetics to lower their sugar intake while still getting a nice, sweet flavor. Some studies, per Everyday Health, have shown that cinnamon also lowers fasting blood glucose levels, which can be very helpful to people with diabetes.
Cinnamon has been found to have high anti-inflammatory properties, which may help arthritis and joint pain. Most medical literature hasn’t yet proven a connection, but studies sound promising.
Some suggest cinnamon extract can inhibit Alzheimer’s disease. The study is not yet conclusive.
Cinnamon has a long list of anti-microbial benefits, including slowing the growth of bacteria like listeria and salmonella. More commonly, this can prevent tooth decay.
Although it is unknown if a sprinkle a day will prevent cancer, some chemicals extracted from cinnamon have halted tumor growth.
Medical examinations have shown some compounds in cinnamon might be able to help treat cardiovascular diseases or, according to CVS Pharmacy, to lower blood pressure.
In both animal and human studies, researchers have found that cinnamon can lower total cholesterol, triglycerides and low-density lipoproteins. The results aren’t yet conclusive.
Animals treated with cinnamon have also had higher insulin sensitivity and glucose transport, which could be promising for some diabetics in the future.
Many of these cinnamon health studies are promising, but more research is needed for hard answers. The good news is cinnamon is a safe spice to use in moderation, or the amounts typically added to foods.
How much cinnamon do you need to enjoy its benefits? Talk to your doctor about any or all of these great rewards.
Advice or recommendations are for informational or educational purposes only, not a substitute for a visit or consultation with your doctor.
Get more information about specific health terms, topics and conditions to better manage your health on bcbst.com. BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee members can access wellness-related discounts on fitness products, gym memberships, healthy eating and more through Blue365®. BCBST members can also find tools and resources to help improve health and well-being by logging into BlueAccess and going to the Managing Your Health tab.