Health benefits of Cinnamon
Cinnamon is typically the dried inner bark of a tropical perennial tree that has a sweet, warm refreshing aroma. This spice has been used since ancient times to flavor baked products, drinks, stews, sauces, and gravies, as well as to treat many ailments. The unique healing properties of the spice are attributed to its essential oils that contain active compounds primarily cinnamaldehyde, cinnamyl acetate, and cinnamyl alcohol. It is also an excellent source of nutrients like dietary fiber, iron, calcium, and manganese. The duo of calcium and fiber prevents the damaging effect of bile salt on the cells of the colon by eliminating excess bile salts from the body, thereby reducing the risk of colon cancer. In few studies, cinnamon has been reported to reduce the proliferation of cancerous leukocytes. Eating half a teaspoon of cinnamon powder daily has been found to lower bad cholesterol, regulate blood pressure, and aid in maintaining the blood sugar levels. The active ingredient in cinnamon benefits people with type II diabetes by delaying stomach emptying and blunting the blood sugar peak following a meal. It improves insulin sensitivity (ability of cells to respond to insulin) and increases the ability of the body’s cells to use glucose. Cinnamon has excellent analgesic properties. It acts as an anti-inflammatory agent and provides significant relief from pain and swelling in joints due to arthritis. It is also beneficial to those suffering from cardiovascular diseases. Cinnamon oil is found to inhibit the growth of bacteria like Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Proteus vulgaris, Bacillus subtilis, and Staphylococcus aureus, which makes this spice useful for preventing urinary tract infections, tooth decay, gum disease, and other bacterial problems. Cinnamon oil is extremely useful in overcoming anxiety. It has a very soothing effect on the mind. It cures nausea and helps in preventing vomiting. It relieves abdominal cramps that occur during menstruation. Besides its known beneficial effects in cancer and heart disease, cinnamon has also been found to be useful in boosting brain function. It improves memory and enhances cognition in the elderly. Cinnamon aids in increasing the attention span, working memory, and visual-motor speed, while working on a computer. Overall, cinnamon is a power house of many essential nutrients and can benefit us with its exceptional medicinal properties.