By Dr. Janet Brill
Add a sprinkling of cinnamon on a meal and you can get your daily dose of health benefits!
Used in various kinds of foods and cuisines, cinnamon is a heart healthy spice that not only adds a great taste to the meal but also is exceptionally good for the heart and blood vessels.
Cinnamon is a spice obtained from the inner bark of various wild trees that belong to the genus Cinnamomum. Consumed since ancient Egyptian times, cinnamon has been used to treat several ailments over the course of human history. Let’s have a look at some of the benefits of cinnamon and why you should add this delicious and super healthy spice to your meals:
Cinnamon has been shown to exert powerful anti-bacterial properties that prove helpful in treating colds, flu and stomach pain. The next time, you experience stomach cramps, have a cup of cinnamon tea or add cinnamon powder to your food. Eating this spice may just help kill bacteria and reduce stomach bloating.
Cinnamon is very effective in lowering cholesterol levels in the body. It reduces LDL cholesterol—the “bad” cholesterol that harms the heart and also increases HDL (good cholesterol). Sprinkle a little cinnamon on your oatmeal to bring that cholesterol down, and start the day off right by taking a step to prevent heart disease—our nation’s leading cause of death in both men and women
Cinnamon helps in regulating blood sugar and insulin levels. This health benefit makes this spice an ideal additive for those people suffering from diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Cinnamon also helps prevent and treat heart disease—the primary cause of death in people with diabetes mellitus.
Have a sore throat, phlegm or cough? Add cinnamon bark to your cup of tea. Its warming properties help increase blood flow and will provide natural relief for your sore throat.
Cinnamon’s anti-bacterial properties also make it a popular spice in Asian cooking. Especially in Indian and Sri Lankan cuisines, a pinch of cinnamon is added in almost every dish to inhibit bacterial growth and preserve food.
Adding this healthy spice to your food is good for the stomach. It has been used to treat vomiting, diarrhea and loss of appetite. Cinnamon is rich in manganese – a mineral that helps build bones, blood and connective tissues. Naturally it also acts as a pain-reliever for people suffering from arthritis and osteoporosis.
Cinnamon in good for the brain. Regular intake has been shown to boost alertness and improve memory and concentration. In fact, research has shown that cinnamon may help prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
Are these exceptional health benefits reason enough to love the exotic sweet, woody taste of cinnamon? It is full of nutrients and adds a delicious flavor to your dishes, and all this for just 19 calories per tablespoon! What’s more, it is such a versatile spice, perfect in apple pie or an Indian curry.