Benefits Of Cinnamon: 11 Health Benefits Of Cinnamon (Dalchini)
Cinnamon is a healthy spice which is used in Indian cooking. This guide has the top 12 healthy benefits of using cinnamon.
Benefits Of Cinnamon: What Is Cinnamon?
Cinnamon, or dalchini, is one of the most common spices that is used in numerous cuisines as an additive and a dressing to add flavor to various dishes. It is attained from the inner bark of the tree called Cinnamomum. Cinnamon, which is one of the most beneficial spices, is a valued spice as it contains a number of health benefits. There are a few varieties of cinnamon, of which cassia cinnamon is commonly available in supermarkets. The extract of the cinnamomum tree bark are also used for medicinal purposes. Uses of cinnamon are widely popular in different cuisines. Before being sold in the market, the bark of the cinnamomum tree is processed and dried and then cut into small pieces to be sold. There is a variety of cinnamon but only 4 main types of cinnamon are used for cooking purposes. All types of cinnamon contain coumarin, which is responsible for the damage or failure of the liver. But Ceylon cinnamon contains the lowest level of coumarin, hence, it is the most commonly used cinnamon. We suggest some amazing health benefits of cinnamon that you would love to know. These health benefits will help make you add more cinnamon in your diet.
Benefits Of Cinnamon: Types Of Cinnamon
Cinnamon is differentiated on the basis of appearance, color, aroma, and taste. It is available in powder and sticks form. The 4 types of cinnamon used for commercial purpose are:
1. Ceylon Cinnamon
Ceylon cinnamon is also called as true cinnamon or Mexican cinnamon. The tree of Ceylon cinnamon grows in sandy soil. It contains a thin inner bark as compared to other cinnamon. As mentioned earlier, it has a low level of coumarin, Ceylon cinnamon is the best type of cinnamon if you prefer consuming cinnamon every day.
2. Indonesian Cinnamon
This type of cinnamon is also called as Korintjee cinnamon or Padang cassia. This cinnamon is used by approximately 70% of the population of North America. It has a hard bark, is really spicy and has a strong aroma. Indonesian cinnamon is cheaper than Ceylon cinnamon.
3. Saigon Cinnamon
This type of cinnamon is also known as Vietnamese cassia or Vietnamese cinnamon. Saigon cinnamon has recently gained popularity with its strong aroma and taste. It is spicy and sweet simultaneously but it has the highest levels of coumarin.
4. Cassia Cinnamon
Cassia cinnamon is also known as Chinese cinnamon. Its taste is mildly bitter, pungent and less sweet. It is used in many different Chinese medicines and Cassia cinnamon’s quality depends on the conditions of the soil in which it is grown.
12 Health Benefits Of Cinnamon
Cinnamon is commonly used as it has many health benefits and positive effects in your body. These health benefits of cinnamon will help you understand how to use cinnamon properly and wisely. However, before bringing cinnamon in to your diet, make sure you consume it under supervision, only then will it help you keep healthy. Please note that many health benefits might not have proper research studies to prove the claim; which is why it is important to ensure consuming cinnamon in a limited quantity. The following are the benefits of cinnamon:
1. Powerful Medicinal Properties
Cinnamon has a high content of the compound cinnamaldehyde and this compound is responsible for all the health benefits of cinnamon. It also helps improve metabolism.
2. Effective In Protecting From Oxidative Damage
Cinnamon has a variety of antioxidants that help protect the body against any damage caused by free radicals. Since it is loaded with a high content of antioxidants, it can be used as a natural preservative for food. The antioxidant content of cinnamon helps keep your body healthy and prepares it to fight against many health problems.
3. Protection Against Bacterial And Fungal Infection
The compound cinnamaldehyde is said to help fight against all kinds of viruses. Cinnamaldehyde has antibacterial and anti- fungal properties that help keep you away from infections. Oil of cinnamon also treats infections of respiratory tracts caused by fungi. Cinnamon stops the growth of certain bacteria in the human body which leads to infections. Apart from the antibacterial and anti-fungal properties, cinnamon also has antimicrobial effects that ensure no tooth decay and no bad breath.
4. Fight Against Cancer Or Prevent Cancer
There is no solid evidence shown to prove that cinnamon helps in cancer prevention but there may be potential benefits of cinnamon in treatment and prevention of cancer. This is largely due to the presence of anti-oxidants present in cinnamon that reduce the presence of free radicals that may be produced in the body owing to any toxicity. It is basically responsible for the reduction of the growth of cancer cells and the formation of blood vessels in tumors.
Most studies and evidence have been based on animal testing, which suggest cinnamon extracts may protect against cancer. More studies need to be conducted to prove this point.
5. Protection Against Neurodegenerative Diseases Like Alzheimer and Parkinson’s
Neurodegenerative diseases basically occur due to the loss of structure or function of brain cells. The most common neurodegenerative diseases or conditions are Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. Another study in mice proves that cinnamon protects the neurons and improves the motor function. The study of these effects is still not researched in humans.
6. Effective In Lowering Blood Sugar Levels
Cinnamon may help lower the blood sugar levels or diabetes and also resists insulin which is a great advantage for diabetic people. Cinnamon interferes with the digestive enzymes which ensure that carbs are slowly absorbed in your digestive tract and also helps reduce the glucose that enters your body after each meal. Some studies have shown that cinnamon has benefited people with high blood sugar levels or diabetes. However, more research studies or evidence need to prove if cinnamon really help lower blood sugar levels or other problems related to diabetes. You could use it in a limited quantity anyway.
A study published in Diabetes Care Journal in 2003 has shown that cinnamon may help improve blood sugar levels and cholesterol levels in people with type 2 diabetes, and may further reduce the chances of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. (1) So overall, it may have positive effects on diabetics.
Cinnamon For Diabetes:
There have been a number of studies, which have shown which prove that cinnamon has anti-diabetic effects in humans.
7. Improves Sensitivity To Hormone Insulin
Many people are resistant to the effects of insulin in their bodies. Insulin regulates your metabolism and the use of energy. It also transfers the blood sugar to your cells. When people are resistant to the effects of insulin in the body, it can lead to the risk of metabolic syndrome or type 2 diabetes.
Cinnamon is known to help reduce insulin resistance and improves insulin sensitivity in the human body. Research studies by NCBI suggests that cinnamon may improve sensitivity to hormone insulin. (2)
8. Lowers Risk Of Heart Diseases Like High Blood Pressure
Research studies have shown, cinnamon is believed to help lower the risk of heart diseases. 1 g or ½ tsp of cinnamon every day, is beneficial for blood markers. Cinnamon helps reduce the bad cholesterol from the body and ensures that good cholesterol remains stable in the body. There was also a study that proved this health benefit of cinnamon. A study held in animals, also proved that cinnamon helps reduce the high blood pressure as well. All the benefits of cinnamon combined together lower the risk of chronic heart diseases. (3) So keep your heart healthy with a pinch of cinnamon everyday!
9. Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Inflammation is extremely crucial in the human body. It helps the body to fight against infections and repair damaged tissues. Inflammation causes a difficulty in the body when it fights against the body’s own tissues. Cinnamon has anti-inflammatory properties which lower the risk of certain diseases. Studies have found that cinnamon has potent properties to reduce inflammation.
10. Treatment Of Eye Disorders
According to studies it is found that cinnamon can be good for the eyes. It may help in the treatment of conditions like conjunctivitis and dry eyes. It can be consumed alone or it can be consumed with other herbs as well.
11. Insect Repellent
A study in the journal of medicinal entomology in 2013 found that cinnamon essential oil is used as a good natural repellent for insects.
Also Read: How To Check Common Spices For Adulterants
12. Natural Preservative
Cinnamon is found to be a natural preservative and can be used as a natural preservative too.
Benefits Of Cinnamon: How Much Cinnamon Should Be Consumed Per Day?
Since there is no solid evidence or research studies that suggest cinnamon helps in the treatment of various diseases, there is no prescribed dose of cinnamon. But ½ to 1 tsp of cinnamon powder a day could be beneficial. Always remember, excess of anything, could be harmful to the human body, hence, consume cinnamon in a limited quantity in order to get all its benefits. Many people take cinnamon take cinnamon supplements too. You must ensure taking medical advce if you are looking to consume cinnamon supplements. More studies need to be conducted to know the exact amount of cinnamon that you can have.
Cinnamon Nutrition Facts
|Nutrition Facts (Per 100 grams)||Nutritional Value|
|Total Fat||1.2 gm|
|Total carbohydrates||81 gms|
Benefits Of Cinnamon: Side Effects Of Consuming Cinnamon Regularly
Cinnamon is a healthy spice. It doesn’t cause any harm unless it is consumed in large amounts regularly. Following are some side effects and risks of consuming too much cinnamon:
- It may irritate mouth and lips and cause sores if consumed in large quantity. It could also increase the risk of more problems on the skin.
- Some people are simply allergic to cinnamon.
- If applied directly to the skin, it may cause redness and irritation. You must avoid applying it on your skin.
- Consuming cassia cinnamon in large quantity may be toxic for people with liver problems. Make sure you are not consuming too much cinnamon sticks or powder as it may lead to liver problems; thanks to the presence of coumarin in it. Keep your liver safe!
- If diabetic people want to consume cinnamon, they must consult their doctor first as cinnamon lowers the blood sugar level naturally.
- It is advised not to be consumed by pregnant women without the opinion of their health care provider.
- Cinnamon must also be used carefully with children.
How To Use Cinnamon or Dalchini In Your Daily Diet? | Uses Of Cinnamon
For your information, here are some interesting and creative ways to use cinnamon in your daily diet or everyday meals.
- Make cinnamon tea: One of the best ways to increase the use cinnamon is to make some warm concoction with honey and a teaspoon of cinnamon, which again, is a great combination. All you need to do is add some cinnamon powder in warm water and a drop of honey. This concoction is great for weight loss. You could also use ground cinnamon in the tea.
- Sprinkle cinnamon powder on your drinks: Well, you could increase the use of cinnamon by sprinkling some cinnamon powder in your milkshakes, tea, coffee, and even fruit juices to add that extra sweet flavor.
- Use ground cinnamon in your curries: Many curry recipes add cinnamon sticks , in order to add extra flavor and aroma to them.
- Use cinnamon in bakery items: Cinnamon goes well with many baked goods like cakes, pudding, doughnuts, pastries, and breads.
- Use it as an essential oil: You could use cinnamon as an essential oil. The sweet aroma of the cinnamon oil can make you feel relaxed and calm.
The bottom line is that cinnamon sticks or powder is a healthy spice with many health benefits. But you must consume cinnamon in the right amount in order to make the best use of it.