One of the oldest spices ever known to mankind, cinnamon has been used since times immemorial. This sweet spice not only has its mention in the sacred Bible but is also believed to be used in ancient Egypt for beverage flavoring and medicinal agent. Cinnamon also has its place in one of the earliest books on Chinese botanical medicine. Derived from the bark of an evergreen tree belonging to the family of Lauraceae, it is mainly available in the whole quill form (cinnamon sticks) or as ground powder. There are about 100 varieties of cinnamon, out of which Ceylon cinnamon and Chinese cinnamon (also known as cassia) are the most popular ones. While the former is produced mainly in Sri Lanka, India, Madagascar, Brazil and the Caribbean, the latter is produced in China, Vietnam and Indonesia. There are numerous health benefits of eating cinnamon. To get detailed information about the benefits of consuming cinnamon, its caution and cooking tips, read through the following lines.
Health Benefits Of Eating Cinnamon
- One of the most vital health benefits of cinnamon is its anti-clotting actions. The cinnaldehyde present in cinnamon helps prevent unwanted clumping of blood platelets.
- Another effective health benefit of cinnamon is its ability to lower the release of arachidonic acid from cell membranes. This ability makes it an excellent anti-inflammatory food that can be helpful in lessening inflammation.
- Cinnamon is found to have beneficial effects for people suffering from LDL cholesterol. As per studies, ½ tsp consumption of cinnamon everyday can lower LDL cholesterol, thereby helping in prevention of atherosclerosis and heart disease.
- Cinnamon has been found as an excellent anti-microbial food. It is believed that cinnamon has the ability to help stop the growth of bacteria as well as fungi, including the persistent yeast Candida.
- As per research, cinnamon is assumed to be a great alternative to traditional food preservatives. Addition of cinnamon to food not only helps prevent the bacterial growth, but also improves the flavor of the substance.
- Cinnamon has been found beneficial in controlling the blood sugar levels. Seasoning a high carb food with cinnamon would help slower the rate at which the stomach empties after meals, thereby reducing the rise in blood sugar after eating.
- Though it might sound incredible, just by smelling the aromatic fragrance of cinnamon, one gets a boost in his/her brain activity.
- Traditionally, cinnamon has been used by Chinese to treat cold and flu. A pinch of cinnamon when mixed in a cup of tea with ginger has healing effects and curbs the disease immediately.
- The presence of the trace mineral manganese, along with dietary fiber, iron and calcium, makes cinnamon one of the most beneficial spices. The fiber present in cinnamon helps provide relief from constipation or diarrhea.
- People diagnosed with diabetes or any disease that affects the blood glucose or insulin levels are best advised not to take therapeutic doses of cinnamon unless suggested by a doctor. In case one takes it, the blood glucose levels can dip extremely low.
- On the other hand, people prescribed to manage their blood sugar should not reduce or discontinue their dose of cinnamon. Improper treated diabetes can lead to serious complications.
- The normally found cinnamon variety in grocery stores (Cassia cinnamon) contains a compound known as coumarin. High levels of coumarin can damage the liver and also cause blood-thinning.
- It is suggested not to have an overdose of aromatherapy essential oils containing cinnamon. The oil is not only highly potent but has the capability of depressing the central nervous system.
- Pregnant women are advised not to consume excessive amounts of cinnamon.
- Cinnamon toast is one of the most popular dishes containing this sweet spice. For this, you can spread flax seed oil onto whole wheat toast. Then, spice it up by sprinkling cinnamon.
- To beat the chill, seethe cinnamon sticks with soymilk and honey. The result would be a deliciously warming beverage right at your dinning table.
- Cinnamon is best employed, when it is used to add a flavor to the already flavorsome dishes. Adding ground cinnamon to nachos or burritos would give the dish a unique taste.
- Cinnamon can be added to all types of curries. At the time of preparing any type of curry, make sure you have cinnamon as an important ingredient.