Why cinnamon? When we started the drink, it was not only because it tasted great, but looking deeper into cinnamon as an ingredient, we came across a bewildering list of health benefits linked to it… from an anti-bacterial to a booster of the metabolism, the wide range of cinnamon’s health benefits will probably surprise you too. Let’s have a look.
Antibacterial, Antifungal and Antiviral
Herbs and spices have been used since ancient times for their antimicrobial properties. Plants’ natural defences against the outside world are made up of chemicals such as polyphenols, terpenoids, alkaloids, lectins, polypeptides, and polyacetylenes – all known to be antimicrobial agents. A lot of science… but cinnamon particularly excels in these, making it a traditional medicine of choice against cold and flu… they even help maintain healthier gums and teeth!
One of the most powerful antioxidants
We all know the term antioxidant but what exactly does it mean? Simply put, it’s a substance that prevents the damaging effects of oxygen in the form of a free radical on our body’s cells. The damage can lead to premature ageing, high blood pressure, mutation of healthy cells into cancerous ones and infertility. An antioxidant’s strength can be measured by the ORAC scale –its oxygen radical absorbance capacity. The USDA compiled a list of the top antioxidants ranking cinnamon 2nd!
Boost the metabolism
A compound known as methylhydroxy chalcone polymer (MCHP) has been found in cinnamon to help metabolise sugar. However, tests have only been done in vitro so far (i.e. in a test tube), so until they’re done on people, it’s not fair to say how beneficial this could be. Still, it sounds promising, as well as other tests that show cinnamon being beneficial to insulin production.
If you do a lot of exercise you’re going to need some good anti-inflammatories in your life. Wear and tear leads to swelling in your body that can be eased, but inflammation can be a little more serious. There are numerous diseases with ‘itis’ which is basically short for inflammation of this and that – arthritis, appendicitis etc. So having good anti-inflammatories in your diet can not only ease the pain of wear and tear, it helps fight against diseases too. Cinnamon has an abundance of phytochemicals, the substance believed to help reduce inflammation, making it a potent anti-inflammatory.
Cinnamon for Diabetes
Perhaps the most exciting findings with cinnamon are its uses for helping manage diabetes. We have a couple of posts on cinnamon’s effects of regulating blood sugar levels and the science behind cinnamon for diabetes that you need to check out if this aspect of cinnamon interests you.
There’s a quick insight into cinnamon’s most well-known health benefits but we’re always on the lookout for new studies, so I’m sure this is a topic we’ll come back to time and time again.