A staple in most kitchen cupboards, many people think of cinnamon as a delicious spice used in many autumn and winter recipes. But what if we told you it has also been prized for its medicinal properties for centuries? Keep reading to learn about the many benefits of this special spice.
Loaded with antioxidants
Cinnamon is so rich in antioxidants that one study found it even outranked well known antioxidant foods such as garlic. The antioxidant power of this spice helps to protect the body from oxidative damage caused by free radicals, as well as helping to reduce inflammation due to it anti-inflammatory properties.
Can improve insulin sensitivity
Helping to regulate metabolism and energy use, insulin is one of the key hormones in the body and is also vital for transporting blood sugar to the cells from the bloodstream. As important as it is, many people are resistant to the effects of insulin which can lead to conditions such as metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. Cinnamon has been shown to reduce insulin resistance, allowing the hormone to work as it should.
Lowers blood sugar levels
One of the best known uses for cinnamon (other than in your pumpkin spice latte) is for its ability to lower blood sugar levels. Cinnamon works in a multitude of ways to lower blood sugar, such as by interfering with numerous digestive enzymes to decrease the amount of glucose that enters the bloodstream after a meal. Another way the spice improves blood sugar levels is by mimicking insulin which can then improves glucose uptake.
May be beneficial for Neurodegenerative diseases
It has been shown that cinnamon contains two compounds that prevent the build-up of tau – a protein in the brain that can lead to Alzheimer’s disease. Another study found that cinnamon helped to protect neurons, normalised neurotransmitter levels improved motor function in mice with Parkinson’s disease.
So should I just take a spoonful of the cinnamon from my spice rack?
Not only will this leave you coughing out brown powder for days (think cinnamon challenge circa 2012), but also the majority of cinnamon found in supermarkets is of the cheaper Cassia variety. Whilst this cinnamon still has some benefits, consuming it in large quantities can cause problems due to its coumarin content. Ceylon cinnamon (or ‘true’ cinnamon) is the type that provides the most benefits, or you may prefer to take cinnamon in capsule form – such as in our CinSulin capsules.