(Natural News) Made from the bark of Cinnamomum trees, cinnamon is often used to add flavor to food. More than just a spice, however, cinnamon also has medicinal properties that can help with a variety of health problems.
Cinnamon has powerful antibacterial, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It has been traditionally used to treat ailments all the way back to ancient times. If you haven’t stocked up on cinnamon, here are 12 reasons why it should be a staple in your kitchen cupboard.
1. Relieves nausea
Cinnamon can help relieve nausea related to an upset stomach. It cleanses your digestive system and helps with gastrointestinal problems.
2. Antioxidant properties
Cinnamon is loaded with antioxidants such as polyphenols. These antioxidants protect your body from oxidative damage caused by free radicals that facilitate rapid aging.
A study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry tested the antioxidant activity of 26 spice extracts. They found that cinnamon bested other superfoods such as garlic and oregano in this regard.
3. Anti-inflammatory properties
The antioxidants in cinnamon also have anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce swelling, repair tissue damage, relieve muscle soreness and alleviate certain allergic reactions.
In addition, studies on cinnamon have isolated flavonoids that also have anti-inflammatory activities. Flavonoids are a group of plant metabolites thought to provide health benefits through cell signaling pathways and antioxidant effects.
4. Supports heart health
Recent studies link cinnamon with reduced levels of bad cholesterol, blood pressure and triglyceride – a type of fat that contributes to the thickening and hardening of arteries. Cinnamon can also help improve blood circulation and clotting. These factors can lower the risk of heart disease and stroke.
5. Balances insulin
Cinnamon can lower blood sugar levels while improving sensitivity to insulin, the hormone needed for balancing blood sugar levels. A compound in cinnamon acts on cells by mimicking insulin and interfering with digestive enzymes that slow the breakdown of carbohydrates in the digestive tract.
In addition, studies have also shown that taking half-a-teaspoon of cinnamon a day can help lower fasting blood sugar by as low as 10 to 29 percent.
6. Supports proper metabolism
A study from the University of Michigan Life Sciences Institute found that cinnamaldehyde, the compound that gives cinnamon its flavor, helps activate fat-burning processes called thermogenesis. The researchers sampled human fat cells and found an increase in enzymes and cells that enhance fat metabolism after being exposed to cinnamaldehyde. Given these effects, cinnamon may also help prevent obesity.
7. Improves brain health
Research has linked cinnamon with improved brain functions. An animal study published in the Journal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology found that cinnamon may be beneficial for people with Parkinson’s disease.
Other studies also suggest it can help delay cognitive impairment, especially for older individuals. In fact, merely smelling cinnamon is said to improve memory.
8. Slow tumor growth
Experts are also looking into the potential of cinnamaldehyde to slow tumor growth. A study from South Korea found that cinnamon extract strongly inhibited the spread of tumor cells in vitro and induced cell death in cancer cells involved in lymphoma, melanoma and cervical cancer.
Furthermore, studies involving mice have shown that cinnamon consumption can help detoxify enzymes involved in colon cancer. (Related: Read About Four Cancer Survivors Who Used Natural Cancer Treatments.)
9. Protects against infection
Research suggests that cinnamon can help fight bacterial and fungal infections. A study published in the European Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology determined that cinnamon is effective in treating respiratory tract infection caused by fungi. It can also inhibit the growth of dangerous bacteria such as listeria and salmonella.
10. Supports oral health
Most kinds of toothpaste use cinnamon. In addition, ancient civilizations have used it to treat toothache. Again, this has to do with cinnamaldehyde and its active antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Use cinnamon to help soothe sore gums and protect against certain strains of bacteria that cause bad breath.
11. Protects against harmful fungi
A study from the University of West England, U.K. reported that cinnamon oil damages the cell membrane of yeast. In doing so, it prevents it from forming pseudohyphae, filamentous structures used by yeast to absorb nutrients.
In addition, the researchers also found that the oil can significantly reduce the damage that C. albicans and C. auris cause to red blood cells. They are now looking at its potential to treat candidiasis, a fungal infection.
12. Supports skin healing
In a study published in the Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine, researchers found that true cinnamon promotes wound-healing when used both topically and orally. Other studies also suggest that cinnamon can help protect the skin from rashes and treat acne through its antimicrobial properties.
More than giving flavor to your food, cinnamon promotes good health. Lower your risk of various diseases by adding this superfood to your cupboard and your diet.
Learn more about cinnamon and how it can benefit your health at Superfoods.news.