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5 Reasons to Use more Cinnamon

Update Date: Nov 28, 2014 11:46 AM EST

Cinnamon is a great spice to add to baked goods and hot drinks. Not only does cinnamon add flavor and aroma to a dish, it is also good for you. Here are five reasons why you should use cinnamon more often:

1. Heart

A 2011 study reported that certain spices, including cinnamon, can help fight the negative side effects of eating a meal high in fat. The researchers from Penn State University found that cinnamon was capable of increasing overweight men's blood levels of antioxidants by 13 percent while decreasing their levels of triglycerides by 30 percent, which is good for heart health. This study involved six men between the ages of 30 and 65.

2. Blood sugar

In a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) study, researchers found that participants who took a cinnamon-extract supplement had improved antioxidant levels and lower blood sugar levels when compared to participants who took a placebo.

3. Diabetes

Evidence have suggested that consuming cinnamon can help prevent sharp increases in blood sugar levels after meals. Cinnamon can also improve insulin sensitivity. According to a study conducted at the University of Georgia, the spice can combat inflammation and tissue damage caused by high blood sugar levels.

4. Brain

Smelling and eating cinnamon can boost brain processing and function. Researchers from Wheeling Jesuit University reported that participants who chewed cinnamon flavored gum while completing tasks on a computer performed better than participants who chewed plain gum, peppermint gum, jasmine gum or no gum at all.

5. Parkinson's

In one animal study conducted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the researchers found that cinnamon metabolized into sodium benzoate, which protected the brain health of mice with Parkinson's disease. The benefits included protecting neurons, leveling neurotransmitters and improving motor capabilities.

For a super easy way to eat more cinnamon, dust a bit of into your coffee, tea or oatmeal.

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