Top 5 Health Benefits of Cinnamon
Cinnamon is a spice that has been prized for its medicinal properties for thousands of years. In recent years, modern science has confirmed many potential health benefits associated with cinnamon. The health benefits of cinnamon may come from cinnamaldehyde, an organic compound found in cinnamon.
Cinnamon comes from the inner bark of trees belonging to the genus Cinnamomum, which has over 300 species. The most common types of cinnamon are Ceylon, Cassia, and Saigon.
Ceylon cinnamon, also known as “true cinnamon,” is native to Sri Lanka and southern parts of India. It is tan-brown and has thin, soft layers of bark that curl into tight rolls. It has a delicate and mildly sweet flavor and is considered the highest quality of cinnamon. It is suitable for desserts and beverages and contains about 50–63% of cinnamaldehyde, the compound that gives cinnamon its health benefits.
Cassia cinnamon is the most common and cheapest type of cinnamon. It comes from the Cinnamomum cassia tree, which is native to China and also grown in other parts of Asia. It is dark brown-red and has thick, hard sticks of bark that are rougher than Ceylon cinnamon. It has a robust, spicy flavor and contains about 95% cinnamaldehyde.
Saigon cinnamon, also known as Vietnamese cinnamon, is native to Vietnam. It is similar to cassia cinnamon in color and texture but has a more intense and complex flavor. It is the most aromatic and sweetest type of cinnamon and contains about 25% of cinnamaldehyde.
Experts recommend one teaspoon of cinnamon daily to reap its health benefits. Here are the five top benefits that cinnamon may provide.
Cinnamon is loaded with powerful antioxidants, such as polyphenols.
Studies show that this spice and its antioxidants have potent anti-inflammatory properties.
Cinnamon has been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease, the world's most common cause of premature death.
Numerous human studies have confirmed the anti-diabetic effects of cinnamon, showing that it can lower fasting blood sugar levels by 10–29%
Cinnamaldehyde, one of the main active components of cinnamon, may help fight various kinds of infection.