We have used cinnamon for centuries. It is one of the oldest and most popular spices for culinary delights and medicinal qualities. Did you know that you may not be using “true” cinnamon living in North America? True cinnamon is sold under the label “Ceylon Cinnamon.” It comes from India, Brazil, Madagascar, Sri Lanka, and a few Caribbean islands. The “cinnamon’ most commonly found in North America is often called “Chinese or Saigon cinnamon.” It comes from Japan, Korea, Vietnam, China, and Indonesia.

Cinnamon Can Help Lower Blood Sugar Levels

Research has shown that cinnamon can help normalize blood sugar levels in people with Type 2 diabetes by improving the ability to respond to insulin. Cinnamon helps to slow the rate at which the stomach empties after eating. A recent study showed that adding true cinnamon slowed the rate of stomach emptying from 37% to 34% and slowed the rise in blood sugar levels significantly. Studies and research suggest that even less than half of a teaspoon a day of cinnamon helps reduce blood sugar levels in patients with Type 2 diabetes.

Cinnamon Is Good for Your Brain

A research study in 2004 discovered a link between the cinnamon flavor and improved brain activity. Researchers found that simply chewing cinnamon-flavored gum or smelling cinnamon helps increase the brain’s cognitive processing. Participants’ test scores improved attention, memory, and visual-motor speed when working with a computer. Another study that was finished in 2011 found a promising link with cinnamon and its potential role in reducing chronic inflammation that leads to various neurodegenerative diseases. These diseases would be Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, brain tumors, meningitis, and multiple sclerosis.

Cinnamon for Pain Relief

Cinnamon contains a natural chemical called cinnamaldehyde. Research has shown that cinnamaldehyde can improve hormone balance in women by increasing progesterone and reducing testosterone. A study recently published in Korea found that the consumption of true cinnamon has shown promising results in reducing cytokines that are linked to arthritic pain.

Cinnamon Is Good for Your Stomach

Research has shown that cinnamon is an excellent source of the trace mineral manganese. Cinnamon also is a good source of iron, calcium, and dietary fiber. Calcium and fiber have been a powerful team as they bind to bile salts and remove them from the body. Removing the bile salts reduces their ability to damage colon cells, decreasing the risk of developing colon cancer. Studies have shown that spice can relieve constipation because of the dietary fiber found in cinnamon.

Cinnamon May Help Fight off Viruses

Researchers suggest that a daily dose of cinnamon may keep various viruses away. A recent study from New York found that Saigon and Ceylon cinnamon effectively killed a virus similar to ones that harm both animals and humans in as little as 10 minutes. These researchers found that the results lasted more than a day. The study compared cinnamon against onion, garlic, peppermint, and cocoa. The study’s authors suggested that cinnamon added to your food could be an effective way to fight the viruses. A delicious way to stay healthy!

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