1. High in 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 at least 41 different protective compounds found within cinnamon to date. (4) (5)
According to the ORAC scale, which is used to measure the concentration of antioxidants in different foods, cinnamon ranks No. 7 of all foods, herbs and spices. 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 many other herbs and spices, including garlic, thyme, rosemary and oregano. (1)
Cinnamon health benefits are attributed to its content of a few specific types of antioxidants, including polyphenols, phenolic acid and flavonoids. These compounds work to fight oxidative stress in the body and aid in the prevention of chronic disease. (6)
The different antioxidants present in cinnamon help to neutralize harmful free radicals in the body and prevent oxidative stress. It can also help limit nitric oxide build-up in the blood and prevent fat peroxidation, both of which can increase the risk of brain disorders, cancer, heart disease and other chronic conditions. (7)
2. Relieves Inflammation
The antioxidants in cinnamon can help relieve inflammation, which may help lower the risk of heart disease, cancer, cognitive decline and more. Researchers have identified many different types of flavonoids in cinnamon, all of which are highly effective at fighting dangerous inflammation levels throughout the body.
Because cinnamon lowers swelling and prevents inflammation, it can also be beneficial in pain management, with studies showing that cinnamon helps to reduce muscle soreness, decrease menstrual pain, lessen the severity of allergic reactions and help relieve other age-related symptoms of pain as well. (8) (9)
3. Protects Heart Health
Studies show that one of the top cinnamon health benefits is its ability to improve heart health. In fact, cinnamon has been shown to reduce several of the most common risk factors for heart disease, including high cholesterol levels, high triglyceride levels and high blood pressure to keep your heart healthy and strong. (10) Cinnamon has also been shown to reduce high blood pressure, which is another risk factor for heart disease or a stroke. (11)
Research also shows that cinnamon is a helpful blood coagulant and can stop excess bleeding by helping the body to form blood clots. Cinnamon also increases circulation and improves tissue repair, which may be especially helpful for regenerating heart tissue in order to help fight heart attacks, heart disease and stroke.
4. Stabilizes Blood Sugar
Cinnamon is well-known for its anti-diabetic effects, which is why it’s considered one of the best foods for diabetics. It can lower blood sugar levels and improve sensitivity to the hormone insulin, which helps transport sugar from the bloodstream to the tissues to keep blood sugar levels balanced. (13)
Cinnamon for diabetes can help block the activity of several digestive enzymes to slow the absorption of sugar in the bloodstream after a high-carb meal. (14) 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. (15)
5. Preserves Brain Function
Because cinnamon is rich in antioxidants, research shows that it may boost brain function and can help defend against the development of neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. (16)
Although human studies are lacking, in vitro studies show that cinnamon helps block the build-up of a specific protein in the brain to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. (17) It’s also been shown to protect neurons against oxidative stress to reduce the risk of inflammation and cell damage in animal models, which can help preserve brain function and prevent cognitive decline. (18)
6. May Help Lower Cancer Risk
Because of its antioxidant abilities, cinnamon may protect against DNA damage, cell mutation and cancerous tumor growth. Studies have revealed that the health benefits of cinnamon come from a compound called cinnamaldehyde, which can inhibit ∫ tumor growth and protect DNA against damage while also killing off cancer cells. (19)
This is especially true in the colon; studies show that cinnamon can improve the health of the colon, which could reduce the risk of colon cancer. (1) Cinnamon is now being investigated as a natural cancer-fighting foodbecause of its strong antioxidant abilities and may be a useful supplement for those at a higher risk of cancer.