Cinnamon: A Festively Curative Spice
It’s the season for festive flavors again! Last year I wrote all about the health benefits of our favorite wintry herb, peppermint! This time, I want to tell you all about peppermint’s good friend cinnamon.
Just like the aforementioned peppermint, cinnamon has a lot more going for it than just deliciousness. It’s good for you too! But how so? Why does your body want you to sprinkle that stuff on all of your favorite autumnal dishes?
Benefits of Cinnamon
Inflammation is the body’s innate defense response to pathogens, but it isn’t always always good for us. When inflammation persists long after the threat is gone, it will direct itself towards bodily tissue and cause discomfort. Cinnamon, however, is packed with powerful antioxidants that have anti-inflammatory properties.
Lowers Blood Sugar
Cinnamon has been shown to reduce insulin resistance. Insulin is a hormone that aids in the regulation of metabolism and energy usage, and insulin resistance increases one’s risk for diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Through the promotion of insulin sensitivity, cinnamon plays a role in lowered blood sugar levels.
Cinnamaldehyde, an active ingredient in cinnamon, has antibacterial, antifungal, and antimicrobial properties. Studies have shown that consuming cinnamon oil effectively treats fungal respiratory tract infections.
Decreases Risk of Heart Disease
More research is needed, but studies suggest 120mg of cinnamon can reduce LDL cholesterol levels while keeping HDL cholesterol levels stable. In case you don’t know the difference between LDL (low density lipoproteins) and HDL (high density lipoproteins), just remember that the word lousy starts with the letter “L”, and happy begins with “H”. LDL cholesterol is bad for you, and HDL cholesterol is good for you!
The same studies also show there may be a link between cinnamon consumption and lowered triglyceride levels. High levels of triglycerides, the LDL’s, can increase your risk for heart disease. Be kind to your heart!
Now You Know!
What are your favorite fall treats that go well with cinnamon? Whether it’s pumpkin, sweet potatoes, apples, or tea, your body welcomes the curative spice!
Author, Licensed Massage Therapist
Katrina Jenkins graduated from Towson University in 2013 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Health Science and worked as a nurse’s aide briefly before pursuing her true passion. She graduated from the Massage Therapy Institute of Colorado in April 2016 with honors and completed the Touch of Healers Scholarship Program the following summer. She has been a part of the Moyer Total Wellness Team since the summer of 2017.
CDC (2020). LDL and HDL Cholesterol: “Bad” and “Good” Cholesterol. [online] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/cholesterol/ldl_hdl.htm#:~:text=HDL%20(high%2Ddensity%20lipoprotein).
Rao, P.V. and Gan, S.H. (2014). Cinnamon: A Multifaceted Medicinal Plant. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, [online] 2014, pp.1–12. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4003790/.
WebMD. (n.d.). Cinnamon. [online] Available at: https://www.webmd.com/diet/supplement-guide-cinnamon#1.
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