Cinnamon isn’t just a flavorful addition to our favorite dishes — it’s also a versatile spice with wide-ranging health benefits that elevate it to superfood status.
Cinnamon comes from the inner bark of trees belonging to the Cinnamomum genus. This fragrant spice has been revered across cultures and civilizations.
Historians report that cinnamon was used as a seasoning, medicine, and even an embalming tool at least as far back as 2000 B.C.E. In the Roman Empire, cinnamon was considered to be so valuable it was used as currency.
A Spice Laden with Health Benefits
1. Antioxidant Powerhouse
Cinnamon is packed with antioxidants that help combat oxidative stress in the body. Compounds called polyphenols protect cells from damage caused by free radicals, potentially reducing the risk of chronic diseases.
The antioxidants in cinnamon may be helpful as we age because of their ability to reduce inflammation. This in turn could help reduce chronic inflammation which is heavily involved in the progression of many age-related diseases.
2. Regulating Blood Sugar
Research suggests that cinnamon may improve insulin sensitivity, aiding in the regulation of blood sugar levels. It could be particularly beneficial for individuals with insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes by enhancing the way glucose is metabolized.
3. Anti-Inflammatory Properties
With its anti-inflammatory properties, cinnamon may help alleviate inflammation linked to various health issues, including heart disease and certain types of cancer. Research shows it has the potential to reduce markers of inflammation in the body.
4. Heart Health Support
Studies indicate that cinnamon may positively impact heart health by reducing cholesterol levels and triglycerides, consequently lowering the risk factors associated with heart disease.
Regular cinnamon consumption also appears to have a positive impact on reducing blood triglycerides as well as cholesterol levels.
5. Antimicrobial Abilities
Cinnamon has natural antimicrobial properties used for centuries in traditional medicine as well as Chinese herbal medicine. It may help fight bacterial and fungal infections, contributing to improved oral health and potentially aiding in the treatment of certain infections.
7. Promising Research
Conditions like Alzheimer’s are more common as we age, and are typically caused by a progressive deterioration of brain cells. In Alzheimer’s, the accumulation of protein fragments in the brain acts by slowing how a person thinks and remembers.
Cinnamon contains two compounds that appear to inhibit the buildup of these proteins. Much of the research is still in the early stages, so there is still much to learn, but the initial research looks promising.
Spice it Up: Incorporating Cinnamon into Your Diet
Adding cinnamon to your daily routine is easy with these quick tips:
- Sprinkle on Breakfast: Add a dash of cinnamon to oatmeal, cereal, or yogurt for a flavorful and nutritious boost.
- In Beverages: Stir cinnamon into your morning coffee, tea, or smoothie for a hint of warmth and added health benefits.
- Baking and Cooking: Use cinnamon in baking recipes such as cinnamon raisin bread and chocolate chip cookies or on roasted vegetables and savory dishes for a flavorful twist.
Senior Star + Seven Areas of Wellness
At Senior Star, wellness is incorporated into everything we do. Every activity, program, and event is developed to positively impact our residents’ minds, bodies, and spirits.
Each month you’ll find our superfood connected in creative ways to our Nourishment and Health initiatives. Look out for cinnamon within our Taste Testers, Spice of Life Dining and themed meal events. You never know what fun surprises and special touches we have in store.
Get in touch with your Senior Star location for monthly recipes and other ideas.
Contact us to learn more.