You may love the warm flavor that cinnamon adds to food dishes. But did you know that this ancient spice is loaded with antioxidants and incredible health benefits? Cinnamon has one of the highest antioxidant levels of any spice, and many foods, too. You'll get as many antioxidants in one teaspoon of cinnamon as a full cup of pomegranate juice or a half-cup of blueberries, two foods known for their antioxidant content.
Nutritional Content of Cinnamon
Beyond antioxidants, cinnamon is also rich in natural compounds called polyphenols. Polyphenols appear to mimic the action of insulin and may help regulate blood sugar levels. That's great news for people with diabetes. Cinnamon is also a good source of the minerals manganese, iron, and calcium. Cinnamon's unique healing abilities come from three basic types of components in the essential oils found in its bark. These essential oils are potent antibacterial and antifungal stimulants. Cinnamon health benefits include relief from a variety of health disorders, including diarrhea, arthritis, menstrual cramps, yeast infections, colds, flu, rheumatism and digestive problems. Cinnamon has found a prominent position in traditional healing medicines such as Ayurveda (the traditional Indian medicinal system).
Specific Cinnamon Health Benefits
Type 2 Diabetes. Several studies suggest that cinnamon may have a regulatory effect on blood sugar, making it especially beneficial for people with Type-2 diabetes and hypoglycemia.
Studies have found that cinnamon contains certain polyphenols, or antioxidants, that help activate insulin and transport glucose. Cinnamon may significantly lower LDL cholesterol, total cholesterol and triglycerides as well.
Arthritis and Inflammation. Cinnamon health benefits include powerful anti-inflammatory properties. It helps in relieving the pain and stiffness of muscles and joints. Cinnamon is commonly recommended for arthritis.
Anti-Microbial and Anti-Fungal Activity. Studies have indicated that cinnamon oil and cinnamon extract have antifungal, antibacterial and antiparasitic properties. Cinnamon has been found to be effective in fighting vaginal yeast infections (Candida), oral yeast infections, stomach ulcers and head lice.
Cinnamon Boosts Brain Function. Cinnamon stimulates the activity of the brain and qualifies as an excellent brain food. Studies found that chewing cinnamon-flavored gum, or just smelling cinnamon, improved memory and performance of certain tasks. Encouraged by the results of these studies, researchers now are interested in cinnamon's potential for enhancing brain function in the elderly, possibly even patients with Alzheimer's and other degenerative neurological diseases.
Cinnamon Protects Against Heart Disease. Cinnamon health benefits include potent anti-inflammatory properties that are helpful in the prevention of heart disease. Cinnamon also improves your circulation, due to the presence of a blood thinning compound. Good blood circulation ensures oxygen supply to your cells, leading to higher metabolic activity and further protection against heart disease. Blood Purification. Cinnamon helps in removing blood impurities, and is often recommended for pimples.
Infections. Due to its antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral and antiseptic properties, it is effective on external as well as internal infections. It helps in destroying germs in the gall bladder and bacteria in staph infections. Healing. Cinnamon helps to stop bleeding, and facilitates the healing process.
Indigestion. Besides adding flavor to your food, cinnamon also aids your digestion. It's very effective for indigestion, nausea, vomiting, upset stomach, diarrhea and flatulence. It also relieves acidity, diarrhea and morning sickness. Respiratory problems. Cinnamon helps in cold, flu, influenza, sore throat and congestion.
Menstruation. Cinnamon is effective in providing relief from menstrual discomfort and cramping.
Diuretic Effects. Cinnamon is diuretic in nature and helps in secretion and discharge of urine. It is also believed that cinnamon aids in the secretion of breast milk.
Cancer Prevention. In a study published by researchers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Maryland, cinnamon reduced the growth of leukemia and lymphoma cancer cells.
Cinnamon reduces your risk of colon cancer by helping to remove excess bile in your digestive tract and prevent the damage it can cause to colon cells. As you can see, cinnamon health benefits are numerous. Adding this incredible spice to your diet means that you'll get an extra hit of antioxidant protection for your body.
Stan Mrak is an active baby-boomer who has had a passion for health and nutrition for more than 30 years, ever since he picked up a book by Richard Passwater and discovered the world of preventive health. He has spent the better part of his adult life practicing what he's learned about nutrition and is quite pleased with his results, thank you. No worries here! You are invited to visit his website at http://www.antioxidants-for-health-and-longevity.com/ and learn much more about cinnamon and antioxidants and how to get more of them into your diet. Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Stan_Mrak