Cinnamon is a spice found in the inner bark of trees which originate from the genus Cinnamomum. It is used for its distinct aroma as well as a flavoring agent in a variety of cuisines. The versatile spice can be used in tea, traditional food preparations, snacks, breakfast cereals, sweet and savory dishes. The main ingredient of cinnamon, responsible for its aroma and flavor is cinnamaldehyde. The spice is a healthy source of vitamins and minerals.The spice is also known for a number of health benefits. We will be discussing a few in detail below –
Table of Contents
- Benefits of cinnamon
- Cinnamon and weight loss
- Cinnamon sticks or powdered cinnamon – Which is better?
5 Health Benefits of Cinnamon
Cinnamon provides a host of health benefits on its consumption, some of which we discuss in detail below-
1. Helps lower sugar in diabetic patients
Approximately two teaspoons of Cinnamon powder after food helps lower insulin resistance for diabetic patients and lets the hormone work better. It also reduces blood pressure, which further helps in its regulation of Type II Diabetes.
2. Helps reduce the risk of heart disease
With an intake of half a teaspoon or one gram of Cinnamon powder everyday, LDL cholesterol can be reduced, and HDL cholesterol can be increased. Furthermore, cinnamon can also naturally lower your cholesterol levels.
3. Serves as antioxidants
Cinnamon is filled with powerful antioxidants, such as polyphenols. Consuming cinnamon can relieve our body of oxidative stress that is responsible for cell damage and development of many chronic diseases.
4. Help fight fungal infections
Cinnamon is very famous for helping in the prevention of decaying of teeth and bad breath. Its oil is also used to treat respiratory tract infection. The spice’s microbial properties extend to combating fungi as well.
5. Prevents Inflammation
The compound cinnamaldehyde, which is responsible for contributing to cinnamon’s unique scent and flavor, helps in repairing tissue damage and fights infections. Consumption of cinnamon can also decrease headaches and several kinds of pain, such as arthritic pain. The spice also boosts blood circulation, which in turn, can help in alleviating pain with time.
Cinnamon and weight loss
Cinnamon powder has high fiber content – consuming as little as one teaspoon can keep you feeling full for longer and helps meet daily dietary fiber requirements.
Research has found that cinnamon consumption assists in fat burning. You may be able to slow down weight gain if you routinely consume cinnamon as part of your diet. However, this doesn’t mean you eat cinnamon whole, by itself or any of the high-calorie baked goodies associated with cinnamon. You can include cinnamon into your diet, in a variety of recipes. We discuss some in the section below.
Cinnamon recipes for weight loss
Below, we present to the reader two recipes that can be inculcated in your daily diet. Besides these, you can always look up recipes which incorporate cinnamon in them for your daily dose of cinnamon.
1. Cinnamon tea
- Heat water in a pan and bring to boil.
- Add two spoonfuls of Cinnamon powder into the water and let it simmer.
- Wait till the water turns red/brown.
- Filter and drink without added sugar. If desired, you can add a little honey to it.
2. Cinnamon and Apple Cider Vinegar
- Bring a glass of water to boil in a pan.
- Add an inch of cinnamon stick to this.
- Simmer the mixture till it turns brown
- Mix a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to this solution
- Add honey for a dash of sweetness (it is effective to consume both cinnamon and honey for weight loss)
- Add some ice to drink it cold or drink it as is
Allergies or Cinnamon for weight loss side effects
If a person is allergic to Cinnamon, the following symptoms can be seen. Excess consumption for weight loss may also result in the following weight loss side effects:
- Skin rashes
- Stomach ache
If you notice any of the above-mentioned side effects, kindly stop and consult a medical professional.
Cinnamon sticks or powdered cinnamon – Which is better?
While adulteration is possible for both varieties of cinnamon available in the market, cinnamon powder is more prone to impure additives. If you wish to enjoy the health benefits of cinnamon, we recommend that you buy cinnamon sticks instead of cinnamon powder. Cinnamon sticks are aromatic and compact. In case if you prefer powdered cinnamon, purchase cinnamon in stick form and simply ground them before use in cooking/baking with a mortar-pestle or in a mixer-grinder. You will be able to enjoy the fresh taste and fragrance of cinnamon this way, with all the inherent health benefits.
Cinnamon, as it turns out, is one of the healthiest spices in the world. It is extremely nutritious and helps reduce risks of certain diseases such as diabetes and other cholesterol-related health issues. While cinnamon alone cannot be attributed for weight loss, daily consumption of cinnamon has scientifically proven advantageous for weight loss and management. Still wondering whether you should include these little wooden spices to your culinary projects? Think no further and do so, to enjoy a wide array of health and weight loss benefits.