Dr Axe stated that of 26 of the most popular herbs and medicinal spices in the world, the wonder spice called cinnamon actually ranks number one in terms of its protective antioxidant levels.
The unique smell, colour and flavour of cinnamon is due to the oily part of the tree on which it grows. The health benefits of cinnamon come from the bark of the Cinnamomum verum (Cinnamomum zeylanicum) tree.
1. High source of antioxidants
The health benefits of this spice are attributed to the antioxidants called polyphenols, phenolic acid and flavonoids. These are similar antioxidants to those found in other ‘superfoods’ including berries, red wine and dark chocolate. These compounds work to fight oxidative stress in the body, which can lead to disease formation when uncontrolled.
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2. Contains anti-inflammatory properties
The antioxidants in cinnamon have anti-inflammatory effects, which may help lower the risk of heart disease, cancer, brain function decline and more.
Because cinnamon lowers swelling and inflammation, it can be beneficial in pain management. Cinnamon is shown to relieve muscle soreness, PMS pains, severity of allergic reactions and other age-related symptoms of pain.
3. Protects heart health
Cinnamon reduces many of the common risk factors for heart disease including high cholesterol levels, high triglyceride levels and high blood pressure. Research also shows cinnamon is a helpful blood coagulant and prevents bleeding by helping the body to form blood clots.
This wonder spice also increases blood circulation and advances the bodily tissue’s ability to repair itself after it has been damaged.
4. Helps fight diabetes
Cinnamon is known to have an anti-diabetic effect. It helps lower blood sugar levels and also can improve sensitivity to the hormone insulin, the vital hormone needed for balancing blood sugar levels.
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5. Helps defend against cognitive decline and protects brain function
Cinnamon intake can help defend the brain against developing neurological disorders, such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases.
6. May help lower cancer risk
Cinnamon can help protect against DNA damage, cell mutation and cancerous tumour growth.
Cinnamon is now being investigated as a natural anti-cancer agent because of its strong antioxidant abilities, so in the future, it may be useful for those who are at higher risk for cancer to supplement with cinnamon extract.
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7. Fights infections and viruses
Cinnamon is a natural anti-microbial, antibiotic, anti-fungal and anti-viral agent. Cinnamon is used in many cultures to naturally help fight harmful infections and viruses. Cinnamon oils also have protective abilities against various bacteria which can cause negative symptoms in the digestive tract, on the surface of the skin, and can lead to colds or the flu.
8. Protects dental health and freshens breath naturally
Extracts found in cinnamon were shown to be protective against bacteria living in the oral microflora that could cause bad breath, tooth decay, cavities or mouth infections. The essential oil from cinnamon has been shown to be more potent than other tested plant extracts and can be used to naturally combat bacteria in the mouth, acting as a natural anti-bacterial mouthwash.
9. Benefits skin health
Cinnamon has antibiotic and antimicrobial powers that protect skin from irritations, rashes, allergic reactions and infections. Applying cinnamon essential oil directly to the skin can reduce inflammation, swelling, pain, and redness.
Cinnamon and honey, another antimicrobial ingredient, are frequently used together to boost skin health for this reason and are beneficial for acne, rosacea and signs of skin allergies.
10. Helps fight allergies
Cinnamon can be helpful in fighting common allergy symptoms because it reduces inflammation and fights histamine reactions in the bodies of animals. Many naturopaths believe it can also help reduce symptoms of asthma attacks.
Read the original article and more on Dr Axe.
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