You may think of cinnamon as just another spice on your rack, but this seasoning also has a variety of health benefits that might surprise you.
Studies conducted in the past years confirmed the remarkable benefits of cinnamon, one of the best-known and most used spices out there.
Here are four ways cinnamon can protect your health:
The research has shown that cinnamon can play a part in fighting cancer.
In a 2010 study in BMC Cancer, researchers found that cinnamon extract prevented the growth of cervical cancer cells and caused the death of cancer cells.(1)
In 2008, researchers for Clinical Laboratory Science found that cinnamon stopped the growth of human colon cancer cells, and they concluded that regularly consuming cinnamon could provide protection against colon cancer.(2)
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Lower Blood Sugar
Cinnamon may have a role in diabetes prevention, as it has been shown to lower blood sugar levels.
In a 2006 study of people at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes, researchers for the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found that a cinnamon extract supplement reduced blood sugar levels by 8.4 percent when taken daily for 12 weeks.(3)
Cinnamon can be especially beneficial if you have already been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
In a study in a 2006 edition of the European Journal of Clinical Investigation, diabetic subjects given cinnamon extract experienced a 10.3 percent reduction in their fasting blood sugar levels after four months.(4)
Cinnamon was found to be more effective than a placebo in reducing blood sugar.
Impact on Cholesterol Levels
Cinnamon can improve heart health by lowering high cholesterol.
In a 2011 study in the International Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, subjects were given a cinnamon supplement, a garlic supplement, or a placebo every day for three months.(5)
Subjects who received the cinnamon and garlic supplements both experienced a significant reduction in artery-clogging LDL (Low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol levels, but the drop was greater among those given cinnamon.
LDLs increased slightly in the placebo group. A study in a 2015 edition of the Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine found similar results. (6)
The study participants, who had elevated blood sugar levels, experienced a decrease in LDLs after taking a cinnamon supplement twice a day for two months.
Cinnamon can protect the body by preventing inflammation.
In a 2013 study in Food Chemistry, scientists found that cinnamon could stop inflammation in the nervous system.(7)
They concluded that cinnamon may, therefore, provide protection against neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Similarly, researchers for a 2015 publication of Food & Function found that certain compounds in cinnamon had anti-inflammatory effects, and they asserted that cinnamon could be used to treat inflammatory conditions.(8)
Adding cinnamon to your diet could reduce inflammation as well as protect you from cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and neurodegenerative diseases, according to the research.
It is easy to find ways to make cinnamon a part of your healthy diet.
It can be great addition to both sweet and salty culinary creations.
You can use it to add flavor to your coffee or tea, or take advantage of its health benefits by including it in one of your favorite recipes.