Most of us love the smell and taste of cinnamon. It is often associated with comfort foods that may have more great taste than health benefits. (Think cinnamon rolls!) However, many recent studies have been done showing that this spice actually has many potential advantages to our health. These are some of the findings of the studies.
- Reduces inflammation. In a lab study conducted with 115 different foods, cinnamon was found to be the best at inflammation reduction.
- Lowers cholesterol. Researchers had a group of 60 adults consume ¼ tsp. of cinnamon a day for a period of 40 days. At the end of the study, they found that on average, the participants’ LDL (bad) cholesterol had gone down.
- Lowers blood pressure. Several recent studies have been done with adults who were diagnosed as pre-diabetic or who had Type 2 diabetes. These subjects were given cinnamon every day for 3 months. At the end of the study, the participants’ systolic blood pressure (top number) had gone down by as much as t points.
- Lowers blood sugar. Several studies have shown cinnamon to lower the blood sugar of adults with diabetes.
- Boosts brain function. A study was done with rats who showed a build-up of a brain protein that is seen in Alzheimer’s patients. The cinnamon stopped that build-up. When the rats were put in a maze to test their memory, those who had been given the cinnamon scored higher.
- Helps with yeast infections. Using studies done in a lab, cinnamon was shown to destroy Candida albicans, which is the cause of most vaginal yeast infections. They have not yet tested this one on humans, but it shows promise.
- Boosts metabolism. Cinnamon contains an essential oil, cinnamaldehyde, which causes fat cells to burn more energy, boosting the metabolism.
- Fights cancer. When cancer cells were grown in a lab, cinnamon either slowed cancer growth or entirely killed the tumor cells. This also has not yet been tested on humans but shows promise.
- Cleared skin. Researchers found that Ceylon cinnamon can fight the types of bacteria which are known to cause acne. Studies suggest that cinnamon may boost collagen production, which would help skin to look younger.
- Fights bacteria. Cinnamon was found to fight many harmful bacteria such as salmonella, E. Coli, and staph. The hope is that eventually they will find a way to use cinnamon as a natural food preservative.
Although many of these studies have only been done in the lab, they show encouraging promise for help in humans. This would provide a great natural product rather than needing to resort to chemicals, which may do more harm than good. In the mean time, putting some cinnamon strategically in our diets is certain to be of benefit—and delicious!
*The information in this article is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition and does not substitute for a thorough evaluation by a medical professional. Please consult your chiropractor or physician to determine whether these self-care tips are appropriate for you.