Within the plant kingdom, there are some plants that are well known throughout the world. Their use extends to different areas of life, being cooking and medicine the most important ones. One of these is cinnamon.
In this article we will see what cinnamon is, how it is used in daily life, as well as the good effects it produces on health
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what is cinnamon?
Cinnamon is a spice of high nutritional value, as well as with a very particular aroma, easy to distinguish anywhere. It comes from a tree known as Canelo. That is where its name comes from
It is the bark of this tree and, after letting it dry for a few days, you get a product that can be used rolled or ground
Due to the many proven properties of cinnamon, it has spread all over the world, causing many more people to make use of it. Now, if we go back to the first people who used it, we have to get to the country of Sri Lanka.
Properties of Cinnamon
The website expert in medical issues, Mayo Clinic, assures that cinnamon is more than a simple seasoning for meals, although it fulfills that function very well. Let’s take a look at some of its properties.
- Antioxidants. This is achieved due to the flavonoids it possesses. One of them are catechins, responsible for counteracting the effect of radicals.
- Antibacterial. Cinnamaldehyde, one of the main components of cinnamon, is able to limit the action of bacteria, thus protecting the body.
- Anti-inflammatory. Organic extracts of cinnamon help reduce swelling in different areas of the body. This was verified by the magazine Food and function.
- Antibiotic. Cinnamaldehyde, among other components such as acids, significantly affect any harmful element, including fungi and viruses.
- Analgesic. In the presence of pain, and even in order to anesthetize any area of the body, you can make use of eugenol, present in cinnamon.
Health benefits of cinnamon
The above mentioned are just some of the many properties of cinnamon. Thanks to all of them, the human body enjoys many benefits when consuming cinnamon. Ramón Cangas, expert dietician and nutritionist, points out the most relevant ones.
Helps the respiratory system
It is capable of clearing the airways to improve the entry and exit of air. This helps to improve the obtaining of oxygen throughout the body, increasing the capacity of the functions of different organs.
On this subject, at least 5 medical experts, through different studies, highlighted the good effect that cinnamon can produce. Its contribution was revealed by the magazine Nutrients. It highlights that the best way to obtain this benefit is through cinnamon tea.
Helps to lose weight
When you combine the practice of exercise, a balanced diet and the consumption of cinnamon, you can lose a good amount of body fat. This combination works, as revealed by the journal Clinical Nutrition Scotland.
One of the most relevant features of this publication is that the results vary according to age. A healthy, young person can lose calories faster than someone over 40. However, even if the process is a little slower, everyone enjoys the possibility of losing weight with this method.
Boosts the brain
Cinnamon positively affects breathing, that contributes to better oxygenation of the body, including the brain. In addition, essential oils help to increase and maintain good blood circulation. Thanks to all this, the brain is able to function properly.
Reduces pain from dysmenorrhea
Dysmenorrhea, or menstrual pain, is one of the most unpleasant sensations of this process in women. But, thanks to its consumption, this discomfort can be mitigated to a great extent. Some people have even obtained complete relief.
The good effect of the consumption of cinnamon against menstrual pain is progressive, seeing a steady improvement after about 4 hours after consumption.
Controls several diseases
High cholesterol, as well as diabetes, are serious and very common conditions. In this sense, cinnamon is very useful to alleviate the symptoms related to these conditions. The American College of Nutrition, as well as other respected health organizations, approves the use of cinnamon to improve the health of patients with type 2 diabetes.
Use of cinnamon
Thanks to all the benefits it brings to the body, it has been used for hundreds of years. Nowadays we can find it in different presentations. Let’s see the most common ones.
- Capsules. A medical expert should indicate the amount to be consumed, depending on the condition you have. The maximum daily dose is 1 gram.
- Powder. The preparation of infusions with cinnamon powder is one of the best ways to use it. Besides helping in breathing, it reaches the body faster.
- Cream. It is possible to obtain cinnamon-based creams, or prepare one at home. It is always necessary to take care that it does not come in contact with the eyes.
In case of negative effects when using it, you should go to a health center as soon as possible.
Risks and contraindications of cinnamon
The problems related to its consumption are associated with too high an intake. An overdose causes allergic reactions. The ideal is to seek medical help in these cases. In addition, the following groups should not consume it.
- Pregnant women. Although the mother is out of danger, the same is not true for the baby, so its use in pregnant women is not approved.
- People with liver problems. It may worsen their health condition, so it is recommended to abstain from its use.
Both in cooking and medicine, cinnamon is a great ally for human beings. If used in the right way, great benefits can be enjoyed.