So, we’ve mentioned our love for cinnamon in coffee, but this spice is good for so much more than just spicing up your morning cup o’ joe. As it turns out, cinnamon could also have some huge health benefits, from fighting inflammation to being an antifungal.
It’s also pretty dang delish, with a versatile flavor profile that’s great on everything from your French toast to sweet potato side dish to curry and kabobs. Also, cinnamon-sugar sprinkled on buttered toast will always slap. Seriously, try it if you haven’t.
Read on to learn more about cinnamon’s nutrition, as well as its myriad health benefits.
Cinnamon is low cal and tasty. Though, please do not eat it plain! (Anyone else still scarred from watching cinnamon challenge videos?)
Here’s what you can expect nutrition-wise from one tablespoon of cinnamon.
|Protein||0.311 gram (g)|
|Sodium||0.78 milligrams (mg)|
|Folate||0.468 micrograms (µg)|
|Vitamin C||0.296 mg|
|Vitamin E||0.181 mg|
|Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)||0.012 mg|
The researchers found out that cinnamon may help aid in glucose homeostasis, which is a fancy way of describing a balanced state of blood sugar. When glucose is unbalanced, aka too high or too low, this can lead to a host of problems, especially when someone is already at risk for developing diabetes.
This study echoed similar findings from a 2018 study where it was suggested that eating 3 to 6 grams of cinnamon had positive effects on certain markers for blood glucose. There’s still research to be done to determine if and how much cinnamon can affect blood sugar, but the findings are hopeful so far.
While some instances of inflammation are good, such as in cases of fighting infection or repairing tissues, chronic inflammation is… not so great for the bod and can cause a lot of issues.
Luckily, one 2015 study showed that cinnamon and its antioxidants may have anti-inflammatory properties useful in the treatment of age-related conditions.
There’s a growing body of evidence to suggest that cinnamon and its extracts could have anticancer properties.
Cinnamon and cancer research has been going on for quite a while. An older 2010 in vitro study found that cinnamon has antitumor benefits from multiple mechanisms. The researchers suggested that more research could potentially lead to potent antitumor treatments or complementary medicines in cancer treatment.
A more recent 2015 animal study saw that a compound derived from cinnamon could be an inhibitor of colorectal cancer in rats. A 2019 review suggested that cinnamon may have anticancer properties in multiple cancer types by affecting what’s called apoptosis pathways. This means that it could help kill cancer cells.
There’s much more research that needs to be done to really understand how cinnamon could benefit cancer treatment, but it sure looks promising so far.
Various studies have reported that cinnamon could be a good antifungal agent. One 2016 study saw that cinnamaldehyde and some of its derivatives (aka cinnamon) are likely antifungal agents, which is good to know as there’s a global rise in fungal infections, as well as antifungal resistant strains.
A 2019 study suggested that cinnamon essential oil had the most potential of the oils studied to inhibit A. ochraceus growth, which could have benefits for preventing food contamination. So not a bonus for eating it, but positive news in general.
A 2021 study looked into cinnamon and hops extracts as possible immunomodulators for severe cases of COVID-19. Do keep in mind this research is very recent and not conclusive, but the connection is interesting and shows some of the ways cinnamon could be useful in all kinds of scenarios.
But note that your best bet at avoiding severe COVID-19 infection is getting the vaccine. Don’t just toss some cinnamon on your toast and hope it helps. Just eat it because of the yum factor.