Cinnamon may bring to mind thoughts of oatmeal, buns and toast. In addition to adding a spicy accent to these foods, cinnamon offers numerous health benefits as a supplement. Purchase cinnamon supplements in capsule form, or use ground or stick cinnamon in a variety of preparations to improve your health.
Cinnamon is commonly used in Chinese medicine to treat coughs and the common cold. Homeremedies.com recommends steeping a stick of cinnamon in boiling water for two minutes and then using that water to make an herbal tea to be consumed two times per day until cold symptoms subside. Mix the supplement cinnamon oil with honey as another treatment for cold and flu symptoms.
Supplementing your diet with cinnamon may help reduce risk factors related to diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The journal of the American Diabetes Association, Diabetes Care, published a study in December 2003 showing cinnamon supplementation affects cholesterol levels. Researchers from Maryland’s Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center concluded that the intake of between 1g and 6g of cinnamon a day reduces triglyceride, LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol in people with type 2 diabetes.
Stabilize Blood Sugar
The Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center study also found that the 6g daily dosage of cinnamon helped lower blood sugar in diabetes patients. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in June 2007 reported that adding 6g of cinnamon to rice pudding consumed by healthy participants reduced spikes in blood sugar. This study, performed by researchers at Malmo University Hospital in Sweden, confirms cinnamon’s ability to calm blood sugar in healthy subjects.
Cinnamon supplements also contain polyphenols–a type of antioxidant that may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, reports Dr. Ann Kulze, a physician in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, in Women’s Health Magazine. Cinnamon’s antioxidants also help create healthier arteries. Nutrition Data also reports that cinnamon contains beneficial amounts of vitamin K, iron, calcium and manganese.
About this Author
Andrea Cespedes is a professionally trained chef who has focused studies in nutrition. With more than 20 years of experience in the fitness industry, she coaches cycling and running and teaches Pilates and yoga. She is an American Council on Exercise-certified personal trainer and has degrees from Princeton and Columbia University.