We are all familiar with cinnamon as a spice. It is used to flavour soups, salads, curries and desserts. Made from the inner bark of the cinnamon tree, it is scientifically called Cinnamomum. In Ancient Egypt, this spice was much treasured and treated as a gift fit only for kings. Like many other spices, cinnamon comes with its share of health benefits. This is mainly owing to the presence of cinnamaldehyde in it. Ten health benefits of cinnamon are listed here-
1. Cinnamon is full of powerful antioxidants such a polyphenols. These protect the body from oxidative damage that are caused by free radicals.
2. Cinnamon has anti-inflammatory properties that helps the body fight infections and also repair tissue damage.
3. Cinnamon helps in preventing heart diseases. Heart diseases are majorly responsible for premature deaths in the world. Cinnamon reduces the levels of total cholesterol and blood pressure, thus drastically reducing the risk of heart disease.
4. Cinnamon helps to treat type 2 diabetes. It considerably reduces insulin resistance and increases insulin sensitivity which is the key solution for lowering blood sugar levels.
5. Cinnamon has a powerful anti-diabetic effect. This is how it manages to counter increasing blood sugar levels. First, it decreases the amount of glucose that enters the bloodstream after a meal. Secondly it acts on cells in the way similar to insulin.
6. Cinnamon can control neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. The compounds in cinnamon inhibit the progress of the diseases.
7. Cinnamon can also prevent cancer. Studies show that cinnamon reduces the growth of cancer cells and the formation of blood vessels in tumours.
8. Cinnamon is useful in fighting bacterial and fungal infections. One of the primary and most active components called cinnamaldehyde in cinnamon, helps to fight against various infections.
9. Cinnamon helps in the prevention of tooth decay. The antimicrobial effects of cinnamon help prevent tooth decay and bad breath.
10. Cinnamon may also help to fight HIV. It fights primarily with HIV-1 which is the main type of HIV virus in humans.