We have heard about cinnamon a million times especially in the cooking arena. We all know it as a delicious additive to our bread and the like. On the other hand, aside from being a delicious addition to our recipes, cinnamon also has numerous health benefits. It has been known that around a teaspoon of Cinnamon contains various nutrients including 28 mg of calcium, around 1 mg of iron, more than a gram of fiber, and lots of vitamins C, K, and manganese, and around half a gram of non-fiber carbohydrate.
Cinnamon has various species, and the True Cinnamon is from Sri Lanka. Other species of cinnamon is the ones sold in the United States also known as Cassia or the Chinese Cinnamon and it was used in Chinese medicine since ages. Various species of Cinnamon are found mainly in Asia and Madagascar and are available in the market in the form of sticks or quills, powder or soaked in liquid. In traditional medicine practice, cinnamon is used as a cure for digestive ailments like indigestion, gas and bloating, stomach upset, and diarrhea. Today, doctors have found interesting results in using Cinnamon as medicine. They found out that it has a mild anti-inflammatory effect, anti-fungal properties, and helps slows down food spoiling.
On the other hand, researchers have made a fun and unpublished study and they found out that sniffing cinnamon could result in an improved brain function. They found out that their subjects are doing better on tasks requiring memory and attention when sniffing cinnamon as compare to other odors or no odor. However, the most known health benefit of Cinnamon is its ability to affect blood glucose and cholesterol.
It has also been known that Cinnamon helps improved type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance. Studies have shown that people taking an as little ½ teaspoon of cinnamon every day have improved sensitivity to insulin and blood glucose control. In addition, cinnamon is also used as a cure for colds, flatulence, nausea, and painful menstrual period as well as it helps improve vitality, blood circulation, and energy.
In a study made by Diabetes Care in 2003, researchers let 60 people with type 2 diabetes took 1, 3, or 6 grams of cinnamon pills every day. After 40 days of taking cinnamon pills, people have reduced fasting blood glucose by 18 to 29 percent, triglycerides by 23 to 30 percent, LDL cholesterol by 7 to 27 percent and total cholesterol by 12 to 26 percent.
It is important to note though that those who are into diabetes medication that has effects on blood glucose should avoid taking cinnamon in therapeutic doses unless their doctor told them to. Doing so may create an additive effect and can cause blood glucose to drop too low. In addition, cinnamon should not serve as an alternative to prescribed medication for people who are into managing their blood sugar level. Reducing or discontinuing their medicines and take cinnamon instead is not advisable too especially if done without consulting their doctor.