High Source of Antioxidants
Cinnamon is packed with a variety of protective antioxidants that reduce free radical damage and slow the aging process; in fact researchers have identified forty-one different protective compounds of cinnamon to date!
According to the OTAC scale, which is used to measure the concentration of antioxidants in different foods, cinnamon ranks #7 of all foods, spices, and herbs across the world. And in a study that compared the antioxidant activity of 26 spices, cinnamon was deemed the winner and proved to be higher in antioxidants than other powerful herbs and spices including garlic, thyme, rosemary, and oregano.
The health benefits of cinnamon are attributed to the type of antioxidants called polyphenols, phenolic acid, and flavonoids. These are similar antioxidants to those that can be found in other “superfoods” including berries, red wine, and dark chocolate. These compounds work to fight oxidative stress in the body, which can lead to disease formation when uncontrolled, especially as someone ages.
The different antioxidants present in cinnamon help to reduce a multitude of symptoms and diseases because they are free-radical-scavengers. The health benefits of cinnamon include its ability to reduce many forms of oxidative stress, including the ability to limit nitric oxide build up in the blood and lipid (fat) peroxidation, which can both add to instances of brain disorders, cancer, heart disease, and other conditions
Contains Anti-inflammatory Properties
The antioxidants in cinnamon have anti-inflammatory effects, which may help lower the risk of heart disease, cancer, brain function decline, and more. Researchers have identified over seven kinds of flavonoid compounds alone in cinnamon, which are highly effective at fighting dangerous inflammation levels throughout the body.
Because cinnamon lowers swelling and inflammation, it can be beneficial in pain management, with studies showing that cinnamon helps to relive muscle soreness, PMS pains, severity of allergic reactions, and other age-related symptoms of pain too
Cinnamon is known to have an anti-diabetic effect. It helps lower blood sugar levels and also can improve sensitivity to the hormone insulin, which is the vital hormone needed for keeping blood sugar levels balanced.
Diabetes is formed when insulin resistance occurs and poor glycemic control takes places, or someone develops the inability to manage how much sugar (glucose) enters the blood stream. The same problem with insulin resistence is also associated with other conditions like metabolic syndrome and weight gain too.
These benefits of cinnamon exist because it plays a part in blocking certain enzymes called alanines which allows for glucose (sugar) to be absorbed into the blood. Therefore it has been shown to decrease the amount of glucose that enters the bloodstream after a high-sugar meal, which is especially important for those with diabetes.
For this reason, many studies have shown that people with type 2 diabetes can experience significant positive effects on blood sugar markers by supplementing with cinnamon extract. Another benefit for those with diabetes is that cinnamon helps combat heart disease and lowers bad LDL cholesterol levels, which those with diabetes are more at risk for developing.