Cinnamon is a spice made from the inner bark of trees scientifically known as Cinnamomum. Dating as far back as Ancient Egypt, cinnamon was regarded as a gift fit for kings, known to be a rare and valuable spice. Cinnamon is made by cutting the stems of cinnamon trees. The inner bark is then extracted and the woody parts removed. When cinnamon dries, it forms strips that curl into rolls, called cinnamon sticks. These sticks can be ground to form cinnamon powder. There are two main types of cinnamon; Ceylon cinnamon, known as “true” cinnamon, and as Cassia cinnamon. The latter is the more common spice people use today. The distinct smell and flavor of cinnamon are due to the oily part, which is very high in the compound cinnamaldehyde. Scientists believe this compound is responsible for most of cinnamon’s powerful effects on supporting health and metabolism.
Cinnamon is a super spice packed with antioxidants, such as polyphenols (polyphenols are micronutrients that we get through certain plant-based foods. They’re packed with antioxidants and potential health benefits. It’s thought that polyphenols can improve or help treat digestion issues, weight management difficulties, diabetes, neurodegenerative disease, and cardiovascular diseases). In a study comparing the antioxidant activity of 26 spices, cinnamon was the clear winner, even outranking “superfoods” like garlic and oregano. Cinnamon’s antioxidant power is so powerful it can be used as a natural food preservative.
- Powerful antioxidant
- May help reduce inflammation
- May help treat infections
- May support healthy blood sugar