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Uberfood: Cinnamon

cinnamon health benefits, cinnamon, cinnamon sticks

For some weird reason cinnamon has turned into the sidekick of just about every baked dessert on earth. When you think about cinnamon what pops into your head? Cinnamon buns, cinnamon raisin bagels, apple-cinnamon pie, egg nog with cinnamon, yada yada yada…what the hell is going on!?

No doubt cinnamon tastes absolutely phenomenal when paired with sweet, fatty, sugary deliciousness, but on its own cinnamon is one of the healthiest substances on earth. It’s pretty incredible that a little sprinkle of brown, aromatic, heart-warming ground cinnamon can pack a multitude of health benefits. Here’s to cinnamon and recreating its image as a health food.

The Many Health Benefits of Cinnamon:

 

Ridiculously high antioxidant content

Statistically, on a gram by gram basis, cinnamon has the sixth highest antioxidant content of any food or spice on earth. That’s some powerful stuff. The high antioxidant content helps protect against early aging, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, inflammation, and a ton of other health conditions.

cinnamon antioxidants

Prevents blood clotting

The cinnamaldehyde in cinnamon prevents platelets from clumping up excessively, which can cause blockages and restrict blood flow.

 

Prevents inflammation and arthritis pain

Cinnamon inhibits the body’s release of arachidonic acid, a fatty acid that causes excessive inflammation in the body. Inflammation is most notably known for causing the pain that goes along with arthritis, but it also causes heart disease, stroke, diabetes and other health conditions.

 

Kills bacteria

The oil in cinnamon can help kill many species of harmful bacteria, as well as prevent the growth of fungi. Not only does this kill nasty foodborne pathogens that often make people sick, but it also prevents foods from spoiling.

 

Controls blood sugar, prevents type-2 diabetes, and reduces the storage of body fat

Cinnamon slows the digestion of carbs and curbs blood sugar/insulin spikes–all of which helps supercharge weight loss. Keeping blood sugar levels under control also helps prevent type-2 diabetes and decreases appetite. It’s interesting to think about, but this is probably one of the main reasons why sugary baked goods are so often made with cinnamon.

 

Weight loss

Via controlled blood sugar levels, which reduces the storage of body fat and helps regulate hunger levels.

 

Increases insulin sensitivity

Cinnamon significantly improves the body’s ability to respond to insulin. When the body begins to lose its ability to react to insulin–the product of repeatedly spiking blood sugar levels and releasing excess insulin–it embarks on a nasty path towards type-2 diabetes. Cinnamon actively helps prevent that.

 

Reduces triglycerides, LDL cholesterol (bad), and total cholesterol in diabetes patients–all of which are major risk factors for heart disease

In 2003, the medical journal Diabetes Care conducted a study to test the effect of cinnamon supplementation on 60 type-2 diabetes patients. After 40 days the cinnamon group showed a 23-30% decrease in triglycerides, 12-26% decrease in total cholesterol, 7-27% decrease in LDL cholesterol, and a 18-29% reduction in blood sugar, while the control group showed no noticeable health improvements.

That’s a pretty incredible reduction for a short two month period.

 

Other miscellaneous health benefits:

  • Lowers LDL cholesterol (the bad type)
  • Cures migraines and headaches
  • Alleviates toothache pain
  • No calories
  • Adds a lot of flavor without any extra fat, sugar, or calories
  • Great source of manganese (enzyme) and dietary fiber

cinnamon nutrition


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Bryan DiSanto

Bryan DiSanto

Founder & Editor-in-Chief at Lean It UP
ELLO ELLO I'm Bryan DiSanto. I'm the Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Lean It UP, a CPT/CSN/Fitness Coach, Chef trained at Le Cordon Bleu – Paris, NYU graduate, ex-fat kid, and all-around fitness junkie.

I also contribute to Men's Health Magazine.

When I'm not working on my abs (or somebody else’s), whipping up avocado roses and avocado toast, or running a Tough Mudder, I'm probably yelling at a Carolina Panthers game somewhere.

Come be friends with me on Instagram (@BRYDISANTO) & Snapchat (BRYDISANTO).
Bryan DiSanto