Health Benefits of Cinnamon

cinnamon sticksCinnamon has been highly prized as a spice since ancient times. And its popularity still continues today. Its fragrant, sweet and warm taste makes it quite a popular spice.

But little do people know that this spice also has a lot of health benefits that comes with its use. Aside from being used as a medicine by other cultures since ancient times, the health benefits may also come from eating it.

The health benefits of cinnamon may come from the three components that can be found in the essential oils found in its bark.

The known active components called cinnamaldehyde, cinnamyl acetate, and cinnamyl alcohol, aside from a wide range of other volatile substances. These components provide cinnamon with the following health benefits:

Anti-Microbial Effects

Cinnamon has been known as an anti-microbial food. It has the ability to stop the growth of bacteria as well as fungi and some yeasts.

The anti-microbial properties of cinnamon has been known to be so effective that some has recommended its use as an alternative to conventional food preservatives.

Anti-clotting Properties

A component found in cinnamon known as cinnamaldehyde has been well-studied for its anti-clotting effects. Cinnamaldehyde is known to prevent blood platelets from clumping together which can impede blood flow.

This substance does it by preventing the release of an inflammatory fatty acid from the platelet membranes called arachidonic acid which further reduces the formation of inflammatory messaging molecules called thromboxane A2.

This ability of cinnamon to prevent the release of arachidonic acid from the cell membranes puts it in the category of anti-inflammatory food types.

Blood Sugar Control Properties

Cinnamon has also shown in tests that some of its compounds not only help stimulate insulin receptors but also inhibit a certain enzyme that can inactivate them.

This action helps significantly increase the cell’s ability to use glucose and may help in trying to normalize blood sugar levels. Cinnamon would prove to be very beneficial for people with Type 2 diabetes.

Improves Colon and Heart Health

Cinnamon also contains a number of essential nutrients such as manganese, iron, calcium and fiber. The fiber and calcium in cinnamon work well together to bind with bile salts in the body and help remove them from the system.

Bile salts can cause some significant damage to colon cells. Removing them may help reduce the damage and even help in reducing the risk of colon cancer.

Not only that the calcium and fiber combo can also help lower down high cholesterol levels which can help reduce the risk of heart disease.