What are the benefits of cinnamon? Well, for me this is an easy question. I love cinnamon – its taste – and this is above and beyond all the health benefits of cinnamon. For me, when I go to Starbucks or any other coffee house, the first thing I do is look for the cinnamon shaker, and sprinkle cinnamon into my cup of coffee, stir it in, and yummm. Sometimes I will opt for vanilla, sometimes sugar, sometimes combinations, but cinnamon is my all-time favorite regardless of recipe.
Before discussing all the benefits of cinnamon or cinnamon extract, let’s first cover what it is. Cinnamon actually is one of the most famous and oldest known spices. It is the name of a tree, from which the spice takes its name. The cinnamon tree flourishes in warm climates, such as found in India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Brazil, Cambodia, parts of China and Vietnam.
The spice people like so much is prepared by drying the bark of the cinnamon tree and rolling the bark into sticks of cinnamon, which are also referred to as quills. One of the benefits of cinnamon is the spice can be consumed in different forms, whether cinnamon sticks, or dried and ground into powder form, making cinnamon powder. The essential oil that is present in the cinnamon bark is called cinnamonaldehyde, and this is the compound that is responsible for the distinctive aroma and flavor of the spice.
There are four primary varieties of the spice having the benefits of cinnamon with Cassia cinnamon and Ceylon cinnamon, also known as true cinnamon, being the most popular. Ceylon cinnamon, which is the more expensive of the two, typically has a sweeter taste and is more easily ground. Cassia cinnamon, on the other hand, has one of the advantages of cinnamon in that it is less expensive and is the one that is commonly sold in grocery stores or used as baking ingredients – whether pre-prepared baked goods or baking at home. A lot of the health benefits of cinnamon are achieved regardless of the variety selected.
Health Benefits of Cinnamon
What are some of the specific benefits of cinnamon?
Although cinnamon is a wonderful cooking ingredient for its unique taste, the benefits of cinnamon, include many health benefits of cinnamon extract. Although some may dispute scientific bases for all these benefits, it is said that Cassia cinnamon is said to have been used in China for a reputedly positive effect on reducing flatulence, helping with colds, diarrhea, nausea, and also in relief of effects of PMS. The benefits of cinnamon were also believed by some to include the improvement of vitality, energy, as well as circulation. In Ayurveda Indian practice, there has been a notation of health benefits of cinnamon. They believed that these cinnamon benefits included a help with indigestion, colds, and diabetes. Cinnamon is also one of the ingredients typically found within chai tea, which is believed also to help with digestive issues.
Scientific Evidence of the Health Benefits of Cinnamon have included some studies that may have indicated an improvement in blood sugar level. One early study conducted on the subject of the health benefits of cinnamon relates to diabetes care. In it 60 individuals with type 2 diabetes took varying doses of cinnamon orally with some taking 1, 3, or 6 grams. What was found was that, after the end of 40 days, the cinnamon benefits appeared to result in reduction of glucose levels by 18% to 29%, LDL cholesterol by 7% to 27%, and total cholesterol 12% to 26%.
Additional studies performed on animals have shown that benefits of cinnamon may include the control of some types of fungi and bacteria. One example is Candida albicans, a fungus which is the cause of thrush and yeast infections. Another example of a potential benefit of cinnamon relates to reduction of the bacteria that may be responsible for ulcers of the stomach.
So much for the health benefits of cinnamon. But what about just the great enjoyment it brings. One of my favorite breakfasts from childhood is cinnamon toast. Does that have a cinnamon health benefit? I don’t know, but I loved to eat it. Here is a cinnamon recipe for it:
Cinnamon Toast Recipe:
- Mix together one teaspoon of cinnamon and one teaspoon of sugar
- Butter a slice of bread
- Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture on the slice of bread
- Toast in a toaster oven to taste
Cinnamon Coffee Recipe: Well, this is not really a recipe. I like to make my coffee, sprinkle in cinnamon and stir. Sometimes I will mix in sugar or milk too, and that really depends on your taste.