Cinnamon is almost a household spice in many parts of the world. It’s a good addition to lots of recipes and you might be tempted to add a little extra because it’s good for your health, right? Well, that comes with a few exceptions and we’re here to tell you how best to consume it so that you get the results you want. If you want to learn more about the great health benefits of cinnamon continue by reading this article!
What Is Cinnamon?
You probably know this already but cinnamon is a spice. It comes from the tree branches that are originally from Southeast Asia, South America and the Caribbean.
People in ancient Egypt have been using it since 2,000 BC and in medieval times it was used by doctors in the treatment of coughs, sore throats and even arthritis. After black pepper, it is the most popular item in the spice rack in Europe and the US.
Typically, it is available in the form of both bark and powder. But you will also find it as supplements and essential oil.
Cassia and Ceylon are two types of this spice and both of them work differently in terms of their nutritional profiles.
Health Benefits Of Cinnamon
Some compounds of this spice have anti-diabetic, antimicrobial and antioxidant properties which is why they have many health benefits. Let’s look at that.
Studies have shown that cinnamon oil can be useful in treating certain types of fungal infections. There’s a study from 2016 which shows that this oil works against Candida probably because it has antimicrobial properties.
Reducing Blood Sugar Levels
According to an animal study, there is evidence to suggest that cassia cinnamon can be helpful in reducing blood sugar levels. It was reviewed on humans and the results seemed to hold. Of course, it’s a review done only on 60 people. But there is also evidence that shows that these results don’t hold in the long run.
Some studies conducted on animals suggest that the spice might be useful in preventing Alzheimer’s. This is possible because of CEppt which is an extract from the bark of cinnamon. Studies have been conducted on mice and it was seen that the features of the disease started to decrease and improved the rodent’s ability to reason and think.
Further research has confirmed that this is effective, but probably because of the extract. This can help in formulating a course of treatment for patients with Alzheimer’s.
A study from 2000 has also shown that extracts from Indian cinnamon plants can offer protection from HIV. This study was replicated by other scientists and tests were performed on different extracts.
Extracts from cinnamon bark, shoot and fruit showed promise in reducing HIV. In 2016, another study was conducted in a lab and scientists saw the saw results.
But consuming more cinnamon is not the answer. It just means that certain extracts might hold the key to HIV therapy.
Multiple sclerosis is a condition that comes into existence when the nerve cells lose their myelin coating which protects them. Studies on mice have shown that cinnamon can help restore that layer in mice that have MS.
Another study, also on mice, concluded that mixing cinnamon powder in water showed that the spice acted might have an anti-inflammatory effect on parts of the brain and the central nervous system in general.
Cinnamon can also be helpful in protecting the T-cells, also known as Tregs, which play an important role in regulating immune responses in our body. Patients with multiple sclerosis tend to have a lower level of T-cells than those without the disease. So, cinnamon treatment can actually stop the loss of some proteins that Tregs need.
Foods That Contain Cinnamon
Cinnamon is a spice which means there are many recipes that could use a dash of it. But typically, you might find them in:
- Baked items
- Ice cream
- Chewing gum
- Cereal bars and breakfast cereals
- Flavored rice and curries
- Sauces and soups
- Spice blends like garam masala
Daily Recommended Dose Of Cinnamon
This depends on the form in which you take the cinnamon. It also depends on why you are taking it. If you are taking the bark, according to the New York University Langone Medical Center, you should go for one to four grams a day. If you are taking it in the form of oil, you should stick to 0.5 to 0.2 grams a day because oil is more concentrated.
If you are taking it for health reasons, your doctor might go up to six grams a day.
Side Effects Of Cinnamon
Depending on your body’s reaction, a number of things could happen when you take cinnamon.
- Typically, there should be no irritations or allergies but if you take too much cinnamon, you might notice irritation near your lips and mouth as a whole. You might even notice redness on the skin.
- Consuming too much cassia cinnamon might be toxic. This is especially true for those who have liver problems. It happens because certain cinnamon products contain coumarin, which is known to cause trouble to the liver.
Although it should not happen because you should not consume so much that it causes problems. Since there isn’t much evidence regarding the safety of cinnamon consumption, kids, pregnant and breastfeeding women should not try cinnamon to treat any conditions.
- Those who have diabetes and take cinnamon supplements should make sure their treatment is adjusted because cinnamon has the capacity to lower blood sugar levels, as you now know.
- Cinnamon is also known to have certain drug interactions. So, if you are on any kind of medication, you should check with your doctor. It’s a bad addition to diabetes medication, antibiotics of any kind, heart medication, blood thinners and some others.
Health Benefits Of Cinnamon: Wrapping Up
Cinnamon is a wonderful part of the spice rack in any household. But it’s one you must be careful with. It’s good for your health, but as is often the case, you cannot overdo it. And you certainly should not do this without talking to your doctor first. It’s worse if you have heart conditions, diabetes, allergies and more.