Cinnamon is a popular spice with a distinct taste and aroma. Cinnamon or dalchini is known as the best amongst spices and herbs because of its effective health benefits. Its medicinal usage has a wide range because of its anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-diabetic properties. Different varieties of this wonderful spice originate from India, China, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Myanmar, and Southeast Asia.
What is Cinnamon?
Cinnamon or Dalchini is a bark derived from the Cinnamomum Verum tree. This bark contains a few compounds including cinnamaldehyde, cinnamic acid, and cinnamate that are responsible for its health benefits and aroma. It is majorly used in baking and desserts.
There are 2-types of Cinnamon:
Ceylon cinnamon & cassia cinnamon. Ceylon cinnamon is known as true cinnamon which is high-quality cinnamon with 50-63% cinnamaldehyde whereas Cassia Cinnamon contains a lot of coumarins that can be toxic in large quantities so your best pick should be Ceylon cinnamon.
Nutritional Value of Cinnamon
Cinnamon is full of nutrients and even a little amount of it contains plenty of nutrients comparatively. One teaspoon of ground cinnamon contains:
This table represents several nutrients and their amounts present in 100 g of Cinnamon:
|Nutritional Value of Cinnamon|
|Nutrients (in 100 grams of Cinnamon)||Its amount|
|Vitamin A||0.39 micrograms|
Apart from these nutrients in significant amounts, it also contains various antioxidants that help reduce the risk of various health conditions like type 2 diabetes, cancer, or heart problems.
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Glycemic Index of Cinnamon
Cinnamon is considered one of the best sources for diabetic people in reducing increased blood sugar. The reason lies in its low glycemic index and low glycemic load. The glycemic index of dalchini is 5 which is considered low whereas the glycemic load is 2.9. These mark it as a low GI & GL food.
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Health Benefits of Cinnamon
Cinnamon is known as one of the best foods for diabetes because of its anti-diabetic properties. It can reduce insulin resistance which is responsible for increased blood sugar levels in the bloodstream. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that can prevent or delay the development of type 2 diabetes. Dalchini has the ability to slow the absorption of glucose from the blood with the help of reducing digestive enzymes’ activity. All these properties of cinnamon make it the best option for diabetic people to reduce blood glucose levels and increase insulin sensitivity.
Cinnamon is one of the effective anti-inflammatory foods. It has many phytochemicals, and flavonoids that help reduce inflammation and protects the body from cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and other cognitive conditions. This spice is loaded with polyphenols, a powerful oxidant, that makes it a superfood. In addition, it also protects the body from free radicals and their negative impacts.
Since it works well with inflammation and swelling, it eases pains like muscle soreness, period cramps, age-borne pain, etc.
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Good for Heart Health
Cinnamon helps to reduce multiple risk factors related to heart health. It improves multiple markers impacting the heart and protects it from multiple heart conditions. It helps in reducing LDL bad cholesterol, high blood pressure, and triglycerides. These factors aid to prevent various heart diseases and promote heart health.
Cinnamon plays another important role in strengthening the heart tissues that prevent stroke and cardiac attack.
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Good for Brain Health
Cinnamon health benefits include improved brain health. It has various compounds that help to prevent various neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
It improves motor function and neurotransmitter levels for the brain to function normally and reduces the risk of such brain conditions. Although more studies are needed to prove these benefits.
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Some studies show that cinnamon can help in the prevention of cancer by suppressing angiogenesis. Angiogenesis is the process where new blood vessels form in a tumor from pre-existing vessels and increase the growth of cancer cells. Cinnamon can reduce its function thus preventing cancer.
Its antioxidant properties act as a detoxifying agent in the colon thus preventing colon cancer. Although these wide studies were done on animals and in test tubes, it still promotes cinnamon’s anti-cancer properties.
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A Good Antibiotic
Dalchini or cinnamon sticks are also known for their antibiotic, antifungal, antiviral and antibacterial properties. The Cinnamaldehyde compound found in dalchini has anti-bacterial, antiviral, and antifungal qualities that protect the body from various infections. It fights against various bacterial infections involving staphylococcus, Listeria, E. coli, salmonella, and candida.
This superfood also helps in increasing immunity by fighting various infections thus a strong immunity. Its consumption also helps with tooth decay and bad breath.
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Good for Skin Health
It is also helpful to boost skin health because of its antibiotic properties. It reduces many skin conditions like rashes, swelling, acne, irritation, redness, etc. Its essential oil also helps in improving skin health.
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This is one distinct property of cinnamon. Cinnamon powder can act as a natural preserver because of its antibacterial and antioxidant qualities. It can keep food items preserved without any artificial or chemical preservative.
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Substitute of Sugar
Cinnamon is naturally sweet in taste so you can use it as a sweetener and can reduce the negative points of using sugar in many dishes. It’s sweet yet with low GI, GL, low carb, low calorie, and high nutrients and acts as a perfect sweetener for diabetic people. It reduces sugar levels in the body without cutting sugar off. It can be used in tea, oatmeal, coffee, yogurt, smoothies, etc.
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Ways to Consume Cinnamon
Since cinnamon is a superfood and promotes health in multiple ways, there are multiple ways to consume cinnamon in daily life.
Drink Cinnamon Water
Soak a 2-inch cinnamon stick overnight & drink it on an empty stomach
Replace Sugar with Cinnamon
It’s a Natural sweetener so it can be used in all desserts like cake, pies, kheer, halwa & barfi.
- Drink Cinnamon tea or coffee
- Add Cinnamon To Your Oatmeal, breakfast, porridge
- Use in Indian curries
- Sprinkle cinnamon powder on a bowl of fruit salad
- Add it to smoothies & shakes
- Diabetic people can also use them as a pill
Side Effects of Cinnamon
Although an adequate quantity is good for health, it also has some side effects. It can be harmful to people with liver conditions as it can worsen liver diseases.
Cinnamon has anti-diabetic properties but too much cinnamon can decrease blood glucose levels more. It also can trigger hypoglycemia, especially when taken with anti-diabetic medicines. Excess low sugar levels cause nausea, dizziness, fatigue, etc.
Some people can be allergic to cinnamon and can show allergic reactions like skin allergy or stomach conditions so make sure you are not allergic to it before consuming it.
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Can Diabetics Eat Cinnamon?
As discussed above, cinnamon is a superfood for diabetic people because of its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It reduces insulin resistance and glucose absorption in the body. It also reduces elevated blood sugar levels post-meal. That’s why having cinnamon after a meal or a carb diet can decrease the sugar levels in the body.
It is also a natural sweetener so diabetic people can enjoy sugar without having actual sugar. It can substitute sugars in oatmeal, tea, coffee, etc.
3-6 grams of cinnamon in a day is enough to avail of its benefits.
Do not take cinnamon continuously & take a break for a week or two after 6 weeks
Cinnamon is not a magic stick that will show its effect right after you eat it, it takes at least 40 days to start showing its benefits.
Eating cinnamon is good for your health but an excess amount can lower your blood sugar & make you feel dizzy, tired, or fainting.
Consult your doctor about the quantities if you are already on anti-diabetic medications.
So Increasing soluble fiber, exercising regularly, eating mindfully, and consuming cinnamon are some of the most effective ways to improve your insulin sensitivity.
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These health benefits of cinnamon, cinnamon powder, and cinnamon stick conclude it is one of the best spices found in your kitchen. It reduces the risks of various health conditions like heart diseases, diabetes, neurodegenerative diseases, infections, and many more.
It can be termed a superfood because of its big basket of benefits. Furthermore, it is also one of the easiest spices to add to different delicacies. A simple cup of tea and coffee can contain this amazing food in your daily consumption.
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How much cinnamon is good to consume every day?
Cinnamon is abundant in many nutrients including minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants. It is one of the best spices to add to your daily diet. Half a teaspoon of cinnamon is best consumed daily for better results. It helps lower blood sugar, improves digestion, elevates immunity, and strengthens the heart.
Which is the best cinnamon to consume?
Out of two cinnamon types, Ceylon cinnamon is considered the best one. It is free from coumarin and is very mild. It has more essential oils. People who use more cinnamon in their daily diet should use Ceylon as it has more positive results.
Is cinnamon good for diabetes?
Cinnamon is one of the foods or spices that is highly suggested for diabetes. It has multiple anti-diabetic properties like low GI, GL, low carbs, low calories, etc that reduce insulin resistance and helps diabetic people to manage their sugar levels. It also delays the absorption of glucose from the food and keeps the levels maintained post-meals. It is also the best substitute for people with diabetes.
How does cinnamon help your health?
Cinnamon is a treasure of health benefits with its anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-cancer, anti-diabetic, and antibiotic properties. These qualities help our body to reduce the risk of multiple chronic diseases and infections. It also boosts our immunity. This super spice lowers the risk of heart diseases, high blood sugars, brain conditions, various infections, cancer, and other chronic conditions.
https://glycemic-index.net/cinnamon/Last Updated on by Dr. Damanjit Duggal
The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.