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Pumpkin spiced lattes, cinnamon rolls, and autumn scented candles are just a few of the items that make us love cinnamon. At least for me, the taste and smell of cinnamon bring a little extra joy to my day because it vividly reminds me of the holiday season, my favorite season. But, did you know that cinnamon is more than just a flavorful and great smelling spice? Cinnamon can do a lot more than just make your hot cocoa taste that much sweeter, it actually has a surprising number of health benefits.
Here Are The Health Benefits Of Cinnamon
Right off the bat, let's take a look at cinnamon's nutritional benefits. Mary Poppins should have been singing a spoon full of cinnamon makes the medicine go down because just a tablespoon of cinnamon contains:
- 0 grams of fat
- 0 grams of sugar
- 0 grams of protein
- 4 grams of fiber
- Around 78 milligrams of calcium
- About 0.6 milligrams of iron
- 3% of your daily vitamin K
Here goes my cheesiest infomercial voice, but wait! There's more! Besides the nutritional value, here's a deeper look into some of the health benefits cinnamon can provide you.
Great Source Of Antioxidants
You may have seen the latest trend of antioxidants hitting store shelves everywhere. These miracle foods and vitamins find a way to protect your cells, and stop oxidants from doing any damage. Antioxidants also have a really cool effect that can even slow down your aging process.
Antioxidants are also great at keeping you protected from inflammation levels, basically, they're an anti-inflammatory that can help you reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease. However you spin it, antioxidants are great for you and should be added to your regular diet.
Help In The Fight Against Diabetes
Essentially, diabetes takes shape when your body no longer has the ability to effectively control the amount of sugar that finds its way into your blood. Cinnamon can play a vital roll in helping control your blood sugar levels and can even help you fight off diabetes.
Stop Getting Sick
Built into the very fiber of cinnamon are some of the best antibiotic and anti-viral agents. If you were ever sick as a child, your parents may have told you to drink hot water with lemon and cinnamon, and that's because cinnamon has been used throughout history and across the globe to help fight illness. A scoop of cinnamon can help boost your immune system and can protect you from bacteria and even the flu!
No More Allergies
If you're still not convinced, here's another fun fact about cinnamon. Cinnamon has the ability to help you enjoy springtime by fighting those pesky allergies that always seem to make an appearance at the most inopportune times. Aside from fighting inflammation, which we touched on earlier, cinnamon has properties that fight histamine. So next time you are planning a nice picnic at the park, try bringing some cinnamon along, and maybe couple it with your regular allergy medication. You know, just in case.
Is There More Than One Type Of Cinnamon?
Actually, there are over one hundred different types of cinnamon. Each one is identifiable by the different colors, tastes, and smells they have, but usually, you'll only find the following 4 types of cinnamon in your local grocery store.
- 1. Ceylon (True Cinnamon)
- 2. Cassia (Chinese Cinnamon)
- 3. Saigon (Vietnamese Cinnamon)
- 4. Korintje (Indonesian Cinnamon)
Unless you are a cinnamon connoisseur, you probably won't really be able to tell the difference between each one. However, just for your next trivia night, cassia cinnamon is the most common type of cinnamon used today.
Which Cinnamon Is Better For You?
Ceylon cinnamon or true cinnamon is the best for you. The reason being is that it has been shown to contain lower levels of a compound known as coumarin. Coumarin has been shown to have some serious side effects which include, but are not limited to, nausea, blurred vision, severe headaches, loss of appetite and more. Like most things, make sure to eat cinnamon in moderation. While it may have health benefits, too much can be harmful.
How Much Cinnamon Should You Be Eating In A Day?
According to WebMD, there's no right amount of cinnamon you should be eating in a day. Although, depending who you talk to, and where you are in the world, it has been recommended you eat about 2 to 4 grams of cinnamon each day, which roughly translates to about 1/2 to 1 teaspoon.
What Happens When You Eat Too Much Cinnamon?
There aren't too many issues that will arise from eating too much cinnamon, but as touched on earlier, high levels of coumarin can be harmful. However, some of the more common side effects of eating too much cinnamon include irritated lips and mouth, which can even lead to sores.
If you have any liver problems, be wary of your cinnamon intake. Consult your physician before adding any more cinnamon to your diet, especially cinnamon supplements that could have a negative reaction to other medications you may be taking. Also, if you have diabetes, make sure to monitor your blood sugar levels extra carefully, because cinnamon can lower your blood sugar levels.