You’ll be amazed by everything it can do!
You may or may not know, there are two types of cinnamon. Ceylon cinnamon and Cassia cinnamon. If you're thinking you can go out and buy either of these two types of cinnamon for health benefits, you'd be making a big mistake. Ceylon cinnamon is, by far, the better of the two types of cinnamon.
Cassia cinnamon has a higher cinnemaldehyde content, but it’s also higher in potentially toxic compounds that can be harmful if consumed in high quantities.
However, Ceylon cinnamon contains nearly as much of the cinnemaldehyde that provides so many of cinnamon’s health benefits with nearly no trace of the same toxins seen in Cassia Cinnamon. It also has a milder, gentler flavor that makes it absolutely delicious to cook with.
Let’s take a look at some of the scientifically proven health benefits of Ceylon cinnamon to find out just how much it can do for you:
Cinnamon has been proven to have potent anti-inflammatory properties, reducing swelling in both acute and chronic injuries.
Inflammation isn’t always a bad thing. In fact, it’s your body’s way of protecting an injured part from being damaged further, as the swelling acts as a cushion to stabilize and support the injury. Inflammation also encourages your body to send nutrients to repair the damage, thereby accelerating the healing process.
However, in the case of chronic health conditions, inflammation never fully heals, or in some cases, the inflammation actually causes damage to healthy tissue. Auto-immune disorders and chronic conditions like cancer and diabetes are marked by chronic inflammation. This is the type of inflammation that cinnamon is particularly effective against, and it can help to reduce the swelling that is causing internal damage.
Your body produces glucose (blood sugar) in order to ensure you always have energy available when needed. However, when you eat a lot of high-carbohydrate food (such as refined grains or processed sugar), your body tends to over-produce glucose. As a response, it produces insulin to try and regulate your blood sugar levels. Over time, however, your body can develop a resistance to insulin—the precursor to diabetes and a hallmark of metabolic syndrome.
Cinnamon can help to manage this problem, and it does so by reducing your body’s resistance to insulin. Thanks to cinnamon, your body will be better able to regulate blood sugar with less insulin required, thereby decreasing your risk of developing diabetes.
Cinnamon can also stop sugar from entering your bloodstream. It interferes with digestive enzymes produced to break down the food you eat, thereby slowing down the rate at which high-carb and high-sugar foods are broken down and absorbed into your liver to produce glucose.
Ceylon cinnamon also mimics insulin, encouraging your body’s cells to absorb glucose in the same way insulin does. Though it’s slower than insulin, the effects are the same, and can have a noticeable effect on your blood sugar levels. Studies have found that it takes less than two teaspoons of cinnamon every day to lower your fasting blood glucose by as much as 29%!
Heart disease is currently the leading cause of death in the world. Think about that! More people die of heart disease than from any other reason. That’s pretty scary to think about.
The Western world is particularly plagued by heart disease, due to a number of problems, including poor diet, reduced activity, high consumption of chemicals, processed food, and the list goes on.
Thankfully, cinnamon can lend a helping hand!
Studies have proven that cinnamon can not only lower the “bad” LDL cholesterol levels, but it can keep the levels of your “good” HDL cholesterol stable—and, in some cases, with doses of at least 120 mg per day, can actually increase it. HDL cholesterol is required for your body to control LDL cholesterol, so anything that keeps it stable or increases production will work wonders for your cardiovascular health.
But that’s not all. Cinnamon can also lower your blood pressure, reducing the strain on arteries weakened by a buildup of LDL cholesterol hardened into plaque. This additional benefit drastically lowers your risk of heart disease.
Ceylon cinnamon contains two special compounds that proved to be remarkably effective at combatting neurodegeneration. These compounds prevent the buildup of tau, a protein found in the brain that has been linked to conditions like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. Cinnamon not only prevents the buildup of tau, but it can actually protect the neurons in your brain, improve motor function, and regulate the production of important neurotransmitters.
While most of the research into the neuroprotective benefits of cinnamon have been carried out on mice, it’s clear that the spice can offer very real results!
Cinnamon contains a ton of antioxidants, specifically very potent polyphenols. These antioxidants are so powerful that they make cinnamon a highly effective natural preservative, as they can help to reduce oxidation on food. In your body, they can scavenge free radicals and protect your body from oxidative stress.
According to one test, cinnamon had higher antioxidant activity than the 26 other foods tested, including oregano and garlic, two classic “superfoods”. In fact, there are very few spices that have a higher ORAC score (indicative of antioxidant activity) than cinnamon!
Remember cinnemaldehyde, that particularly potent compound found in Ceylon cinnamon? Turns out that it’s an amazing anti-bacterial and anti-fungal agent!
Studies have shown that cinnamon oil can be highly effective at eliminating the fungi responsible for a number of respiratory tract infections. Cinnamon can also curb the growth of Salmonella, Listeria, and other bacteria, preventing infections throughout the body. The spice also offers anti-microbial effects, specifically in your mouth, curbing bad breath (thought to be caused by bacteria) and preventing tooth infections.
As you can see, there are A LOT of pretty amazing benefits of Ceylon cinnamon! It’s a spice you’d do well to add into your daily diet, either through your cooking or by taking a cinnamon supplement. Thanks to its potent antioxidants and compounds like cinnemaldehyde, it will do wonders to improve your health in visible ways every day.
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