Cinnamon is a popular spice that is collected from the inner bark of trees. It can be used in both sweet and savoury cooking, as well as in drinks, and can be bought in the form of sticks, powder, and dried flowers (cassia buds). Aside from tasting delicious, this spice has many health benefits; read on for our Top 5 Health Benefits of Cinnamon!
1. Reduces blood sugar levels
Not only does cinnamon have a naturally sweet taste, and so can be used as a sugar substitute, but it also helps regulate blood glucose levels. This will stop sugar cravings and means you won’t suffer crashes from extreme swings in glucose levels throughout the day. Studies have also suggested that cinnamon can be used to help those with diabetes, as cinnamon increases insulin sensitivity and as mentioned, helps control blood glucose levels.
2. Packed with antioxidants
Cinnamon’s high concentration of antioxidants, in particular polyphenols, helps to protect the body from free radicals, inflammation, and disease. Studies have even shown cinnamon’s antioxidant qualities to be more potent than those in superfoods!
3. Increases metabolism
Cinnamon has natural thermionic properties, meaning it helps you burn many calories by eating it, which in turn helps improve the metabolism of both fat and glucose. If you consume it (for example as a tea) on a regular basis, you may well notice speedy weight loss, which is why cinnamon is often suggested as a key ingredient if you want to get a flat stomach.
4. Improves cognitive function
It has been shown that even just smelling cinnamon improves the brain’s processing power! It is believed that cinnamon aids the protection of neurons, enhances neurotransmitter control and improves motor function. This has led to research involving using it to ease and manage symptoms of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s Diseases with promising results.
5. Reduces risk of heart disease
There are many factors that can contribute to an increased risk of heart disease; high blood pressure, high ‘bad’ cholesterol (LDL’s), and inflammation of the arteries to name a few. Cinnamon helps lower blood pressure, lowers the amount of LDL’s while keeping HDL’s (good cholesterol) stable and acts as an anti-inflammatory – altogether notably reducing the risk of heart disease.
Hopefully you’ll realise why cinnamon is so valuable -so why not go ahead reap the benefits? Here are some ideas to get you started; try sprinkling it on your breakfast, whether you have porridge, cereal, yogurt, toast or a smoothie, it’s going to taste great! Or if you fancy a sweet treat after dinner try some baked or stewed apples sprinkled with a little brown sugar and cinnamon. Of course if you have any fab cinnamon recipes, let us know @keepfitkingdom !