Add More Real Cinnamon to Your Diet
Unbeknownst to many, cinnamon offers a wide array of health-related benefits, regardless if it is taken in supplement or the form of a whole food. Also, it is essential to note there are two types of cinnamon. Since true cinnamon is typically expensive, most spice containers you will find in a grocery store is cassia, not true cinnamon. Cassia is called Chinese cinnamon, Saigon cinnamon, or bastard cinnamon and is derived from Asian locations, such as Indonesia, China, Japan, Korea, or Vietnam. True cinnamon is called Ceylon cinnamon and is sources from Sir Lanka, India, Madagascar, Brazil, and the Caribbean.
In North America, Ceylon cinnamon can be challenging to find because most cinnamon found in grocery stores is the non-true form, cassia. There is also a flavor difference between the two. Ceylon has a sweeter, lighter, and more refined flavor, making it more favorable for desserts, whereas cassia is better for more robust, savory dishes.
Cinnamon’s use has been dated back in 2,800 BC for multiple purposes, such as healing anointments and burial embalming, but nowadays cinnamon is one of the principal ingredients in a real chef’s kitchen and had been researched for its wide array of medicinal uses .
One of the main differences between the two types is their levels of coumarin, which acts as a natural blood thinner. Cassia has much higher levels of coumarin than true cinnamon, so patients on blood thinning medication should be cautious of consuming cassia. However, this warning is not needed for real, Ceylon cinnamon.
Both types are superb sources of the trace mineral manganese, which is a vital cofactor to the body’s processes that support bone health and other physiological processes, including carbohydrates and fats. Also, both are good sources of dietary fiber, iron, and calcium, and the combination of natural, plant-based calcium and fiber is thought to help lower one’s chance of colon cancer, cholesterol levels, and relieving constipation  .
Whenever you look to purchase cinnamon, make sure it is organic because most non-organic manufactures expose cinnamon to intense amounts of radiation.
Now, we will review reasons on why you should add more cinnamon to your diet.
Supports Healthy Blood Sugar Levels
Cinnamon works so well at lowering and helping healthy blood sugar levels that it is one of the main ingredients in Healthmasters’ Cinnamon Extract Fuel Burner, a product that is designed to reduce and support healthy blood sugar levels. Cinnamon’s ability to lower blood sugar levels is particularly of interest and effective in patients with type-2 diabetes .
Cinnamon slows down the rate that the stomach releases food into the small intestine. In a 2011 study, participants were given a cup of rice pudding with and without a teaspoon of cinnamon. Adding cinnamon decreased the rate of stomach emptying from 37% to 34.5% and significantly reduced the rise in blood sugar levels at 0 and 120 minutes compared to ingestion of the reference meal. Even less than half a teaspoon a day reduced blood sugar levels of patients with type-2 diabetes .
In the article “Cinnamon Extract Fuel Burner: A Review of Ingredients,” I review fourteen studies, so if you would like to read more about cinnamons ability to lower blood sugar, check out that article.
Promotes a Healthy Lipid Profile
Lipids are fats in the blood, and lipid measurements may include total cholesterol, HDL, LDL, and triglycerides.
A study published in 2003 by the American Diabetes Association even noted cinnamons effect to act favorably upon lipid measurements . In the study, researchers found that after forty days of eating about two teaspoons of cinnamon a day, people with type-2 diabetes were able to lower their blood sugar levels by 18-29%, triglyceride levels by 23-30%, LDL particles by 7-27%, and total cholesterol by 12-26%.
Additionally, in a study published in 2014, researchers investigated the effects of a wide variety of spices, including cinnamon, cardamom, saffron, and ginger, on various parameters in people with type-2 diabetes . The parameters included glycemic control, lipid profiles, oxidative stress, and inflammation. After the eight-week study, researchers noted that the combination of spices has a favorable impact on total cholesterol, HDL, and LDL measurements, but not the other parameters. Though this includes spices other than cinnamon, I think the aggregate of spices used in the study is unique and beneficial .
Possesses Anti-Bacterial and Anti-Fungal Qualities
Ayurvedic medicine is one of the world’s oldest classes of natural medicine that dates back nearly 3,000 years in Ancient India. Ayurvedic medicine has long used cinnamon for its anti-microbial qualities to help support an optimal immune system and prevent diseases.
In a 2008 study, researchers tested thirteen essential oils against sixty-five strains of bacteria with varying sensitivity to antibiotics . Of all the essential oils used, cinnamon verum bark has the highest antimicrobial activity, particularly against antibiotic-resistant strains . Additional studies have also noted cinnamons ability to be effective against antibiotic-resistant bacteria, including the common yeast Candida   .
Traditionally, cinnamon extracts and oil were used as a natural food preservative because of this capacity, and a 2003 study found that a few drops of cinnamon essential oil added to refrigerated carrot broth prevented food-borne bacteria and pathogens for up to sixty days . Indeed, cinnamon was so effective the authors of the study concluded, “that the use of cinnamon essential oil can be considered as an alternative to ‘traditional food preservatives’” .
Supports Optimal Brain and Memory Function
In 2005, researchers investigated the possibility of cognitive enhancement through stimulation of the chemical senses and tested various products. The researchers examined the different cognitive effects that odorants administered through the nose or mouth have on cognitive performance in adults.
In their study, researchers noted the effects of cinnamon-flavored chewing gum, “Cinnamon, administered retronasally or orthonasally, improved participants' scores on tasks related to attentional processes, virtual recognition memory, working memory, and visual-motor response speed”  .
They continued, “Findings from the present study are most promising in providing a non-pharmacological adjunct to enhancing cognition in the elderly, individuals with test-anxiety, and perhaps even patients with diseases that lead to cognitive decline”  .
Although the study may have had a distinctive purpose, it was conducted scientifically and published . This idea would be especially useful for students or other individuals who are under situations of periodic stress that require a high level of mental attention, such as taking an exam.
Concerning neurological health, a 2011 study examined the potential of a variety of spices, including turmeric, clove, ginger, and cinnamon, to name a few, and their ability to target inflammatory pathways to prevent neurodegenerative diseases and found these natural compounds to be highly effective and called for future research . The study itself is very well-written and easy to read, and I invite you to check it out .
In this article, we examined several benefits of consuming and eating cinnamon. Cinnamon can easily be added to anyone’s diet by being sprinkled on top of fruit or being mixed in yogurt. Numerous studies have attested to cinnamon’s ability to lower blood sugar and promote healthy lipid profiles. Cinnamon also possess potent anti-microbial qualities that may help support an optimal immune system. Finally, though more of a novel point, cinnamon can help boost brain function and cognitive ability in stressful situations.
If you are interested in finding a cinnamon product to help support healthy blood sugar levels, check out Healthmasters’ Cinnamon Extract Fuel Burner, and you can read about the product in “Cinnamon Extract Fuel Burner: A Review of Ingredients.”
If you have any questions about any of our products, please feel free to call our office at 800.726.1834.