Cinnamon is a highly delicious spice. Cinnamon is a spice that is made from the inner bark of trees called Cinnamomum.
There are two main types of cinnamon:
- Ceylon cinnamon ( “true” cinnamon)
- Cassia cinnamon ( common variety)
The Cassia variety contains significant amounts of a compound called coumarin, which is believed to be harmful in large doses. All cinnamon should have health benefits, but Cassia may cause problems in large doses due to the coumarin content.
Cinnamon is made by cutting the stems of the cinnamomum tree. The inner bark is then extracted and the woody parts removed from it. When it dries, it forms strips that curl into rolls, called cinnamon sticks. The sticks can be ground to form cinnamon powder.
The distinct smell and flavour of cinnamon is due to the oily part, which is very high in a compound called cinnamaldehyde. This compound contains powerful medicinal properties is highly beneficial for health.
- Cinnamon contains large amounts of highly potent polyphenol antioxidants.
- Cinnamon has anti-inflammatory effects, which may help lower the risk of disease.
- It can improve some key risk factors for heart disease, including cholesterol, triglycerides and blood pressure and ultimately reduces the risk of heart disease.
- It has a potent anti diabetic effect and has been shown to significantly increase sensitivity to the hormone insulin.
- Cinnamon has been shown to lead to various improvements for cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease in animal studies.
- Cinnamaldehyde has antifungal and antibacterial properties, which may reduce infections and help fight tooth decay and bad breath.
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