Nutritional Information for Cinnamon

Cinnamon is rich in nutrients yet has very little calories. Ounce per ounce, cinnamon is one spice bursting with an inexpensive source of powerful antioxidants. Adding a bit of cinnamon to the diet may be a really good thing. Cinnamon has been found to exhibit antibacterial activity, which may be helpful for boosting immunity. Interestingly, some types of cinnamon are more powerful than others (cassia – Chinese) for areas like lowering blood sugar, but may actually be harmful to the liver if consuming more than 1 teaspoon per day. Ceylon (true) cinnamon appears safer, but may not be as effective for lowering blood sugar in diabetics. It still has all of the amazing antioxidants needed to promote good health and there’s plenty of evidence to promote its consumption.

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Benefits of Cinnamon

Cancer Prevention Benefits

Cell studies have found that compounds in cinnamon and other herbs and spices have an ability to target cancer pathways. They seem to be able to signal certain markers in the body associated with cancer growth and turn them down, reducing cancer progression. Compounds in cinnamon appeared to lower the growth and spread of prostate and breast cancer cells. These findings suggest some of the compounds in cinnamon may be a therapeutic agent for both the prevention and treatment of cancer.

Other research has tested just how powerful the antioxidants in cinnamon are against cancer progression. Natural antioxidants in cinnamon have the ability to quench free radical damage. Some of them have been known to work against different cell lines including breast, lung and colorectal cancer cells. Human trials are needed to get a better idea of how much cinnamon can really help. It seems best to fill up daily on several different herbs and spices in order to provide antioxidant diversity. 

Men's Health Benefits

Cinnamon has been thought to help lower blood sugar and therefore be a useful treatment for people living with type 2 diabetes. Although in certain studies it may help lower glucose and improve insulin response just adding cinnamon alone to the diet cannot undo diabetes. Eating a whole foods primarily plant-based diet while taking a teaspoon of cinnamon daily though may significantly help lessen the complications associated with diabetes. Plus, the antioxidant load obtained from cinnamon is massive! Eating it has been shown to help lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels, as well.

Ways to Use Cinnamon

+ Sprinkle on top of morning oatmeal, whole-grain toast or cereal

Use to spice up a dessert

+ Add to applesauce

Resources for Cinnamon

American Institute for Cancer Research: www.aicr.org

Nutrition Facts: www.nutritionfacts.org

Physicians Committee: www.pcrm.org

USDA Nutrient Database: Cinnamon

Citations
  1. Gruenwald J, Freder J, Armbruester N. Cinnamon and health. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2010;50(9):822-34.
  2. Abraham K, Wöhrlin F, Lindtner O, Heinemeyer G, Lampen A. Toxicology and risk assessment of coumarin: focus on human data. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2010;54(2):228-39.
  3. Chen TW, Tsai KD, Yang SM, et al. Discovery of a Novel Anti-Cancer Agent Targeting Both Topoisomerase I & II as well as Telomerase Activities in Human Lung Adenocarcinoma A549 Cells In Vitro and In Vivo: Cinnamomum verum Component Cuminaldehyde.Curr Cancer Drug Targets.  Published Ahead of Print April 26, 2016.
  4. Bandara T, Uluwaduge I, Jansz ER. Bioactivity of cinnamon with special emphasis on diabetes mellitus: a review. Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2012;63(3):380-6.
  5. Solomon TP, Blannin AK. Changes in glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity following 2 weeks of daily cinnamon ingestion in healthy humans. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2009;105(6):969-76.
  6. Davis PA, Yokoyama W. Cinnamon intake lowers fasting blood glucose: meta-analysis. J Med Food. 2011;14(9):884-9.
  7. Akilen R, Pimlott Z, Tsiami A, Robinson N. Effect of short-term administration of cinnamon on blood pressure in patients with prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. Nutrition. 2013;29(10):1192-6.
  8. Allen RW, Schwartzman E, Baker WL, Coleman CI, Phung OJ. Cinnamon use in type 2 diabetes: an updated systematic review and meta-analysis. Ann Fam Med. 2013;11(5):452-9.
  9. Park KR, Nam D, Yun HM, et al. β-Caryophyllene oxide inhibits growth and induces apoptosis through the suppression of PI3K/AKT/mTOR/S6K1 pathways and ROS-mediated MAPKs activation. Cancer Lett. 201;312(2):178-88.
  10. Zu Y, Yu H, Liang L, et al. Activities of ten essential oils towards Propionibacterium acnes and PC-3, A-549 and MCF-7 cancer cells. Molecules. 2010;15(5):3200-10.
  11. Sharma UK, Sharma AK, Pandey AK. Medicinal attributes of major phenylpropanoids present in cinnamon. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2016;16(1):156.

 

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