Cinnamon is one of my favourite spices, and it just so happens that it’s extremely healthy for you. Cinnamon is derived from the inner bark of trees called Cinnamomum and is nutrient dense with little calories.
Some herbs and spices, including cinnamon, are so rich in antioxidants that just a small pinch can double your antioxidant intake for one meal. Cinnamon is also one of the cheapest source antioxidants you can buy, and is widely available in most supermarkets. It’s definitely one spice that every one should have in their kitchen.
What makes cinnamon a powerhouse spice?
Antioxidants protect the body from oxidative damage caused by free radicals. According to the OTAC scale, which is used to measure the concentration of antioxidants in different foods, cinnamon ranks #7 of all foods, spices, and herbs across the world.
Cinnamon is made up of a compound called cinnamaldehyde. This compound is responsible for the spices effects on health and metabolism. Cinnamon also contains the antioxidants called polyphenols.
Due to its high content of this compound and antioxidant, cinnamon has high anti-inflammatory effects, which can helps lower the risk of heart disease, cancer, brain function decline, and more.
Because cinnamon lowers swelling and inflammation, it can be beneficial in pain management, with studies showing that cinnamon helps to relive muscle soreness, PMS pains, severity of allergic reactions, and other age-related symptoms of pain too.
Cinnamon is a natural anti-microbial, anti-biotic, anti-fungal, and anti-viral agent. The immune-boosting abilities of cinnamon are found in cinnamon’s essential oils.
Insulin is one of the key hormones that regulate metabolism and energy use. Cinnamon can regulate insulin resistance. These benefits of cinnamon exist because it plays a part in blocking certain enzymes called alanines which allows for glucose (sugar) to be absorbed into the blood.
Cinnamon can be beneficial to diabetics, as it can lower blood sugar levels. Cinnamon has been shown to decrease the amount of glucose that enters the bloodstream after a meal. It does this by interfering with numerous digestive enzymes, which slows the breakdown of carbohydrates in the digestive tract.
Cinnamon can be a potent activator of detoxifying enzymes in the colon, protecting against further cancer growth.
Ways to incorporate more cinnamon into your diet:
- Add some to your morning oatmeal
- Add to pancake batter
- Add a half teaspoon into smoothies
- Sprinkle a little over cereal
- Try out some cinnamon tea
- Use it when baking – now you have an excuse to eat those cinnamon rolls 😉
- Try out some stewed apples and cinnamon