by Sarah G. Mason
We dish it in desserts, add it to our apples, and toss it into our tea. Cinnamon is a common pantry item, but many of us don’t realize that this sweet and savory spice is boosting not just flavor, but our health, too.
Research has shown cinnamon to relieve arthritis pain, stop medication-resistant yeast infections, and to boost cognitive function and memory, and that’s just the start. A study published by the American Diabetes Association observed the effects of cinnamon on the overall health of type 2 diabetes patients. After 40 days, researchers found that consuming between 1 and 6 grams of cinnamon per day significantly reduced the risk factors associated with diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
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Still not convinced of cinnamon’s healing qualities? In 2009, the Journal of Cranio-Maxillofacial Surgery published a study which sought to uncover the effectiveness of cinnamon and other oils as an antiseptic topical treatment option for antibiotic-resistant strains of hospital-acquired infections, such as the staph infection, MRSA (Staphylococcus aureus). The study might be a mouthful, but the results were all too clear. Cinnamon was one of the most effective treatments for dangerous hospital infections.
Of course, cinnamon isn’t just for the sick. According to Dr. Donald Hensrud of the Mayo Clinic, antioxidants – which are found in cinnamon – are an important part of every diet. Instead of taking antioxidant supplements, Dr. Hensrud recommends adding certain antioxidant-rich foods to your diet. He tells us, “[Herbs] may be unexpected suppliers of antioxidants, but cinnamon and ginger […] are good sources.”
As if being a great source of manganese, fiber, iron, and calcium didn’t make this list long enough, cinnamon has also been shown to lower cholesterol, and in one study done at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Maryland, cinnamon reduced the spreading of leukemia and lymphoma cancer cells. Talk about one amazing spice.
All in all, cinnamon is a superhero seasoning. Whether you’re looking for a healing catalyst or you just want to add a little flavor to your oatmeal, cinnamon is a recommended addition to every diet.