Cinnamon is a very popular spice used all over the world. It is the inner bark of cinnamon plants that is stripped and harvested and grows back again to be harvested regularly.
It is native to Sri Lanka, India, Bangladesh, and Myanmar but today 75% of cinnamon used worldwide comes from Indonesia and China.
Cinnamon is liberally used in many types of foods from sweet, savory, and a variety of other cuisines.
It has a very distinct taste and smell which is derived from its inherent oil. This is what has made it so popular with everyone.
History of Cinnamon
Before we talk about how cinnamon is good for you, I wanted to briefly discuss a little of its history.
The ancient Egyptians imported cinnamon around 2000 BC and considered it fit for monarchs and deities. They would also use it to embalm mummies.
A Greek poem around 700 BC claimed that cinnamon was guarded by winged serpents.
Cinnamon can be found in various stories, throughout history from ancient Rome to the middle ages in Europe, and continuing to today. It truly is a timeless spice that is included in many cultures.
Cinnamon Can Make You Feel Good
Depending on where you grew up, would determine how you would have been exposed to cinnamon.
I grew up in Ohio and when I was little, I would enjoy cinnamon on toast, it had such a wonderful taste.
Another thing I remember about cinnamon, we always had it out during Christmas time. The smell would fill the entire house.
Even today when I smell cinnamon it takes me back to those times.
Cinnamon For Good Health
Apart from its properties as a condiment or flavoring in our food, cinnamon is also good for our health.
Consuming it daily will do us some good. We normally see it in powder form, this is the most way to use it in our kitchens.
The other typical way we may find cinnamon is in the form of sticks. Whether you consume cinnamon prepared in your food or just nibble on a stick, there are many positive health benefits.
Cinnamon comes in two main varieties, which are Ceylon cinnamon and Cassia cinnamon.
Ceylon is referred to as “true cinnamon” as it has a very strong taste and smell.
Cassia is generally used as it is what is grown on a commercial basis, which makes it more readily available. Take a look at your own spice rack and see which type you have.
Cinnamon could be considered one of the best spices we could lay our hands on and would be high on the list of preferred spices among all communities.
Two of the more popular health benefits of cinnamon include helping with heart-related problems and diabetes.
It has been used for hundreds of years for various health-related problems. New studies are still showing how beneficial it can be.
What Is Cinnamon Good For
- As an antioxidant none can compare with cinnamon and is used as a natural food preservative too. It has more antioxidant properties far exceeding even wonder foods like garlic and oregano. Cinnamon could be easily consumed with any food and among all spices, it stands ahead because of its antioxidant properties.
- It has great anti-inflammatory properties because of its inherent antioxidant properties both working in tandem and would help our bodies fight infections and repair tissue damage.
- Cinnamon reduces the risk of heart attacks which is the world’s number one premature killer. A few grams of cinnamon consumed on a daily basis has been proven to keep your heart pumping at optimum levels and reduce your risk of heart attacks.
- It aids in maintaining levels of what we refer to as good cholesterol while reducing bad cholesterol.
- It can be used to maintain blood pressure at acceptable levels. This will help to ensure your blood flow and heart are adequately protected from any adverse medical conditions.
- Cinnamon could reduce the effects of insulin resistance which is the main cause of type-2 diabetes. This will also help to ensure that your body which produces insulin, is able to efficiently maintain blood sugar levels. Patients who have been diagnosed with diabetes can benefit from taking cinnamon since this will help the body accept and use insulin. This will help your body to maintain blood sugar levels.
- Cinnamon can help diabetics maintain their blood sugar levels by ensuring the glucose that comes into the bloodstream is controlled especially after a meal. It can also slow down the breakdown of carbohydrates by activating enzymes that help in our digestive tract.
- Cinnamon may also help prevent two of the most common neurodegenerative diseases, which are Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. It would ensure brain cell damage is minimized by consuming a few grams of cinnamon a day.
- Studies are still being conducted to see how cinnamon can help those with cancer. The test results have shown promise so far, but additional testing will need to be conducted.
- Cinnamon has antimicrobial properties. This is good to help prevent infections and when they do occur, it could effectively treat such infections. It would help in fighting the infection-carrying bacteria.
- There is strong evidence to suggest that cinnamon could treat patients affected by the HIV virus but these studies are still in the very early stages. Comprehensive tests on humans have still to be carried out to prove it but any patient infected with the HIV virus could consume cinnamon without any concerns since it is a natural product and is not known to create any adverse side effects.
These are only some benefits that have been shown by studies. There are many more. If you are looking for something specific, The National Institute of Health (NIH.gov) is a good place to start.
Final Thoughts on Cinnamon
Cinnamon is a natural product that could be consumed daily and the recommended quantity is about 5 grams.
Taking excess cinnamon should be avoided but taking it regularly would not have any adverse effects.
Cinnamon has been around for hundreds of years and taking the daily dose would help to ensure that many of the diseases that are inflicting us today, could be prevented and or controlled.
Cinnamon is not a very expensive spice and is readily available. It would not be difficult to consume 5 grams of cinnamon, this is a little more than one teaspoon.
I always recommend that you check with your doctor before changing your diet, even something as simple as consuming one teaspoon of cinnamon a day.
Even though this is a natural spice, there could be some interaction with medication that you may be currently taking.
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