While we all love the smell of freshly baked cinnamon rolls on a cold morning, you might be missing the best part of this seasoning.
As a spice, it has many healing properties.
But make sure you are getting the right type.
There are hundreds of types of cinnamon, the two which you will find in the U.S. most often are Ceylon and Cassia.
There are important differences between the two.
Cassia is what is sold in most stores because it is cheaper, but it has some potential dangers.
Ceylon cinnamon has a sweeter, more delicate flavor than Cassia cinnamon.
However, one very important distinction is the presence of coumarin, a natural plant chemical that acts as a blood thinner.
Coumarin is present in much higher concentrations in Cassia than in Ceylon cinnamon, which may be very important if you are preparing to undergo a surgical or dental procedure.
If you’re considered to be at a high risk of bleeding or have liver damage avoid Cassia.
There seems to be a link between Cassia cinnamon, coumarin, and liver damage which can’t be ignored.
Though coumarin is a natural ingredient, it carries a risk for causing liver damage or failure in sensitive individuals, and among those who consume the Cassia cinnamon daily, or in large amounts.
Cassia cinnamon has high levels (about 0.4-0.8%) of coumarin, which is why some European countries have banned the Cassia variety.
If you take cinnamon on a daily basis for health reasons consider switching to Ceylon Cinnamon, which only has 0.03-0.04% coumarin.
A 2012 article published in “Diabetic Medicine” examined 16 studies of Ceylon cinnamon specifically, and uncovered beneficial effects of Ceylon cinnamon for diabetics, yet found no toxicity to the liver and kidneys.
Why You Should Look at Ceylon Cinnamon
1 – Blood Sugar Regulation
Cinnamon has a reputation as a blood sugar regulator, and researchers are exploring it as a potential anti-diabetic treatment.
Human trials showed reduced fasting and post-meal blood sugar and increased glucose control in diabetic, pre-diabetic, and high blood sugar patients.
Even if you don’t eat sugar often, cinnamon can help keep your blood sugar in check if you’re tempted to enjoy an occasional sugary treat.
Bioactive components in cinnamon regulate blood sugar in a combination of ways.
Cinnamon promotes increased production of insulin, the hormone responsible for shuttling sugar out of the bloodstream and into cells for energy.
Polyphenol compounds from cinnamon then help maximize your cells’ response to insulin by supporting the activity of insulin receptors, and synthesis of glucose transporter receptors, which can increase a cell’s glucose metabolism up to 20-fold.
Cinnamon extracts can also inhibit the production of pancreatic amylase, preventing your body from fully digesting carbohydrates.
This means that consuming carbohydrates with cinnamon will cause a much smaller spike in blood sugar, which could help prevent metabolic disorders such as diabetes.
2 — Cinnamon may help stop Alzheimer’s Disease and Strokes
Cinnamon inhibits tau aggregation associated with Alzheimer’s disease and blocks cell swelling associated with strokes.
The anti-inflammatory properties associated with cinnamon may protect your brain.
While there is no specific dosage for these effects, daily use of cinnamon was reported to have ongoing protection against inflammation in the body, without any known harm if you stick to Ceylon.
3- Help with Rheumatoid Arthritis
Cinnamon’s natural anti-inflammation properties might help with diseases associated with it.
So, putting some cinnamon in your coffee might help lessen your knee pain.
Cinnamon is a powerful herb. During Roman times, it was 15 times more valuable than silver.
But if you have any medical conditions particularly dealing with inflammation or bleeding, you should check with your doctor before adding it to your diet.