10 Surprising Benefits of Cinnamon
Right now, cinnamon is having a moment. With fall upon us, everyone is enjoying pumpkin spice everything, and nothing brings out that flavor like traces of cinnamon. And as the nights get colder, cinnamon-flavored food and drink help keep us warm and snuggly.
As it turns out, cinnamon doesn’t just taste amazing. It actually offers a number of surprising benefits for your body and mind. What kind of benefits? Let’s find out!
Full of antioxidants
Antioxidants are one of the most important ways to protect your body. That is because they protect your body from free radicals. Left unchecked, these free radicals can do major oxidative damage.
Cinnamon is filled with strong antioxidants such as polyphenols. This helps to boost your blood levels’ antioxidant count and keep you healthy and strong, day after day.
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Ancient medicinal properties
Using cinnamon for its health benefits is not a very new idea. In fact, this practice goes as far back in time as Ancient Egypt. Back then, cinnamon was rare and valued for its potential medicinal properties, so it was often given as a special gift to the rulers of nations.
Back then, such rulers realized that cinnamon was having a positive effect on their metabolism. Eventually, physicians realized cinnamon could help out with issues such as coughing and sore throats. And in Egypt, cinnamon was so valued that it has become a part of their sacred embalming rituals!
Protection against heart disease
Heart disease is very scary because it can sneak up on you very suddenly and unexpectedly. However, cinnamon provides enhanced protection against heart disease.
By consuming as little as three-quarters of a teaspoon of cinnamon per day can help reduce triglycerides and cholesterol (including bad cholesterol) in your body. Consistent consumption of cinnamon can also reduce your blood pressure. Overall, this provides robust protection against heart disease.
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Inflammation is a bigger problem than most people realize. That’s because our bodies use inflammation to help us repair damaged tissue. But chronic inflammation causes the opposite effect: ongoing damage to our vital tissues.
However, thanks to the antioxidants in cinnamon, it can help you fight off inflammation. By protecting you against inflammation, cinnamon can also significantly reduce your chance of developing certain diseases.
Lower your blood sugar
It’s important for all of us to maintain a healthy blood sugar level. Because of this, many are constantly searching for natural ways to lower blood pressure. And cinnamon is surprisingly effective at doing just that!
First, when you regularly consume cinnamon, you reduce the amount of blood sugar that enters your bloodstream after eating. Second, cinnamon can mimic insulin to improve how your cells receive sugar. Third, cinnamon even lowers your fasting blood sugar levels.
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Better insulin sensitivity
Certain people have difficulty with insulin. For example, if you suffer from Type 2 diabetes or metabolic syndrome, you may be insulin resistant. This means you can’t fully benefit from the metabolic or energy-boosting benefits of insulin.
While different medicines can improve your insulin sensitivity (and it’s always important to consult with your doctor about this sort of thing), cinnamon provides a natural way to boost your sensitivity. It can also lower your blood sugar, as we mentioned before, making cinnamon an important element in the diet of anyone with type 2 diabetes.
In some ways, there is nothing scarier than cancer. Whenever you hear about a longtime friend or old coworker dying all of a sudden, cancer is usually to blame.
Doctors and scientists are still exploring all the potential causes and treatments of cancer. So far, some studies of animals such as lab mice have revealed that cinnamon reduces the growth of cancer cells. It can also block certain protein expressions that make cancer grow, and can even kill cancer cells entirely.
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Fight against neurodegenerative diseases
Neurodegenerative diseases are always a silent threat waiting to change your life. Once someone is diagnosed with something like Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s, their lives are never quite the same.
Fascinatingly, regularly consuming cinnamon may help you fight off these neurodegenerative diseases. For example, cinnamon keeps the tau protein from building up in your body, and this protein is closely associated with Alzheimer’s. And when it comes to Alzheimer’s, cinnamon can help protect neurons and also improve both motor functions and neurotransmitter levels.
Special anti-viral properties
It seems like every generation lives in fear of certain viruses. From HIV to COVID-19, there is always a virus waiting in the wings that can disrupt your life and possibly even lead to your death.
Fortunately, cinnamon offers some protection against certain viruses. Some studies have shown it can protect against Influenza, for example. And other studies have found that cinnamon can be helpful in fighting off the most common HIV strain in humans.
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Stave off bacterial and fungal infections
Part of what makes cinnamon so special is the different properties of the ingredients. As an example, cinnamaldehyde is one of the key active ingredients, and it can help fight off certain infections (including those pesky respiratory infections that really ruin your day).
This same ingredient can help fight off bacterial infections. It can even fight off tooth decay and bad breath! In addition to tasting so good, cinnamon may just leave you with a mouth that smells clean and fresh.