Cinnamon is a spice that comes from the inner bark of cinnamon trees. Once this inner bark is dried, it begins to curl and form cinnamon sticks. These could be sold as is, or ground up into a cinnamon powder. The essential oil found in cinnamon, cinnamaldehyde, gives the spice it’s distinct smell and flavor. Cinnamaldehyde also contains anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antifungal properties which help reduce infections and prevent swelling/blood clots.
Cinnamon has been known to significantly improve the daily lives of type 2 diabetics by controlling blood sugar levels. By stimulating insulin receptors, cinnamon increases cells’ ability to use glucose while also lowering cholesterol levels in diabetic patients. Additionally, cinnamon has been proven to lower the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and lowers triglyceride levels.
Including just one teaspoon of cinnamon into your daily food intake reaches your daily necessary fiber goal while also increasing the feeling of fullness and satisfaction. By interfering with digestive enzymes, cinnamon slows the breakdown of carbohydrates in the digestive tract, comparable, yet not as fast acting as insulin itself.
It is important to recognize the two main varieties of cinnamon- ceylon and cassia. Ceylon cinnamon is true cinnamon, containing lower levels of coumarin, which can lead to liver issues. Cassia cinnamon is found in most grocery stores today and contains higher levels of coumarin. Overall, the intake of cinnamon should be consistent, and if using ceylon cinnamon, this can be ingested more frequently so its benefits can be fully acquired.