Cinnamon is a spice that has been used for centuries as a food and as a traditional medicine. It is a common ingredient in desserts, such as pies and cakes, as well as a flavoring in many types of hot beverages. In addition to being a food, cinnamon can be used to treat an array of ailments, including arthritis, asthma, and cardiovascular disease, just to name a few. If you haven’t yet tried to add cinnamon to coffee, here are 12 reasons why you should consider doing so!
Many laboratory studies and clinical trials have been done on cinnamon, and they give us quite a few reasons to use it regularly. Cinnamon has been shown to lower blood sugar levels, reduce sugar cravings, promote healthy weight loss, inhibit bacterial growth, decrease inflammation, improve cognitive function, reduce the severity of headaches, and combat heart disease.
A Brief History of Cinnamon
Cinnamon is a tropical spice made by drying the inner bark of the cinnamon tree (Cinnamomum zeylanicum, Cinnamomum verum), or true cinnamon. Beware, all that goes by the name cinnamon may not be the real stuff; there are some imposters that could put your health at risk.
The true cinnamon, known as Ceylon cinnamon and Saigon cinnamon, after its place of origin, is rather expensive, so several related species have been used as alternatives, the much cheaper Chinese Cassia cinnamon among them. Cassia cinnamon (Cinnamomum aromaticum), made from a tree in the same genus, is a close relative of cinnamon, but comes from a completely different species, C. cinnamomi. Due to their morphological and genetic similarities, cassia has been suggested as cinnamon’s natural progeny.
The essential oil of cinnamon comes from a component known as cinnamaldehyde, which is produced by a number of plant species, most notably from the Lauraceae genus “Cinnamomum”. Cinnamon oil is commonly used in cooking for its flavor, and occasionally used as a spice.
Cinnamon has enjoyed widespread use since ancient times. Cinnamon bark, largely used to flavor beverages such as cinnamon tea, was known to the ancient Greeks (2800 BC), who called it kyphi.
The 12 reasons why you should add cinnamon to coffee and health benefits are listed below:
1. Cinnamon can substitute sugar and cream in coffee
There’s nothing like fresh grinded coffee beans to perk you up in the morning! Studies have shown that coffee drinking can actually be good for your brain. But if you habitually add a lot of sugar and cream, it can probably do more damage than good. Cinnamon’s naturally sweet flavor may help reduce the need for sweeteners that add a caloric load to your morning drinks.
2. Cinnamon helps avoid sugar spikes
Cinnamon flavor is amazing and is often thought of as adding a new twist to the standard cup of coffee. The benefits of adding cinnamon to coffee is not just how it tastes, but also because it can help avoid blood sugar spikes. According to statistics, over one in three adults in the U.S. are obese. Cinnamon can help prevent this with its natural ability to lower blood sugar levels.
Do you like to add cinnamon to coffee? A recent study showed that adding cinnamon to coffee can help lower blood sugar levels.
3. Cinnamon boosts heart health
The small, warm spice known as cinnamon has been found to have significant effects on heart health, by decreasing LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. By flavoring your morning cup of coffee with this vibrant spice, you can reduce your risk of heart disease.
Cinnamon is a great accompaniment to a nice cup of black coffee, and is just one of many ways to add sweetness to your cup. Adding cinnamon to your coffee can lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases by 25%.
4. Cinnamon helps with blood sugar control in diabetics
Cinnamon has been found to be effective in reducing blood sugar levels when used regularly. It reduced triglycerides and cholesterol too. What’s more, it didn’t take much of the spice to have this beneficial effect.
Therefore, if you are diabetic, adding just 1 tsp cinnamon to the morning coffee may help you cut down your diabetic medication, if not completely eliminate it.
5. Cinnamon may aid with weight loss
Using cinnamon in the studies on diabetics, one unexpected outcome was the weight loss experienced by the participants. If you are overweight, this is great news because one doesn’t have to be diabetic to see this effect. Cinnamon could be working in different ways to bring about weight loss. For instance, delaying stomach emptying can keep you feeling full for longer periods, and this may translate to a reduced intake of calories.
Excess sugar in the blood is normally converted to fat, adding to the existing fat stores. Cinnamon increases the metabolism, which means one would utilize more sugar, leaving little for storage.
The cause of obesity is not always excess food consumption. Nutritional deficiencies resulting from poor diet, poor digestion, and faulty assimilation of nutrients can make one pile on pounds. Cinnamon improves digestion and absorption of nutrients.
Certain gut bacteria can impact your weight. For instance, there’s evidence that Clostridium difficile and Candida spp. infection can cause weight gain. The strong antibacterial and antifungal property of cinnamon may help keep microbial populations under control. The cinnamaldehyde in the spice is responsible for this.
6. Cinnamon is helpful in inflammatory conditions
Inflammation is a natural response to tissue injury. It can be a sign of an infection, a type of autoimmune disease, or a result of a physical injury. Invasive treatments, such as surgery and medications, are often the only option for treating inflammatory conditions, but they have a number of potential side effects. In recent years, a number of people have started to use cinnamon to treat inflammation in a natural way.
Cinnamon has been shown to help decrease inflammation and may be helpful for those who suffer from inflammatory conditions such as arthritis. A 2014 study published in the journal of Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior found that adding cinnamon to a meal helped decrease markers of inflammation in a laboratory setting.
7. Cinnamon contains antioxidants
Cinnamon contains many antioxidants that are beneficial for your health. Research published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that 1 teaspoon of cinnamon per day may help protect the body from free radical damage, which is known to cause cell aging and disease.
Cinnamon contain an antioxidant substance called quercetin, which is also naturally found in red wine. Quercetin can protect cells from free radical damage and also helps regulate the body’s inflammatory response.
8. Cinnamon helps prevent/treat yeast infections
You might not know this, but cinnamon is the perfect way to treat a yeast infection. It can also help you prevent one from happening in the first place. There are plenty of reasons why you should be add a sprinkle of cinnamon to your coffee.
Cinnamon has been shown to be an effective antifungal, meaning it can kill yeast infections. A test done in the microbiology laboratories of the Universidad Nacional Federico Villarreal in Peru showed that cinnamon essential oil had a much higher antifungal effect compared to nystatin (the substance used against Candida albicans infections).
9. Cinnamon improves blood circulation
One of the health benefits of cinnamon, among other things, is improved blood flow. Recent research has shown that cinnamon can help to relax blood vessels and lower blood pressure in humans. This will improve your circulation and keep your heart healthy.
10. Cinnamon aids in digestion
People have been using cinnamon as a digestive aid for years. This tasty spice is often found in numerous desserts and dishes. But cinnamon can be used for more than just cooking. Add some to your coffee for an extra kick of flavor, or add it to your pancakes.
Due to its antiseptic and antibacterial properties, it stimulates gastric secretions and fights various intestinal and digestive problems such as diarrhea, bloating, gastric reflux or indigestion.
11. Cinnamon can help you sleep better
A study recently found that cinnamon can help you fall asleep faster and wake up less often. It makes sense, because the ethanolic extract from cinnamon has been proven to have an analgesic effect.
12. Cinnamon can help you avoid colds
People who eat cinnamon are less likely to catch the common cold. While this isn’t really a reason to add it to your morning coffee, it does show that there’s more behind the seemingly magical powers of cinnamon.
Cinnamon is an excellent spice to have on hand during the cold and flu season. Cinnamon contains a healthy amount of antioxidants that can help fight off free radicals in the body. When combined with a teaspoon of honey, it creates a natural remedy that can be used for sore throats, coughs, or congestion.
How do you add cinnamon to coffee? Stick with the real thing!
Both Cassia and Cinnamon come in sticks, but true cinnamon is thinner and rolled into tight coils. The Cassia bark is thicker than the cinnamon bark, and has more open coils than the cinnamon bark. It has a more intense taste and flavor too. Cassia is the more common flavoring agent in most of the commercial products for obvious reasons. But, it has higher amounts of coumarin, which can cause kidneys and liver damage. It is particularly dangerous to people under blood-thinning drugs medication because coumarin can enhance the effect of these drugs and cause complications.
Coumarin-derived from tonka beans is a banned substance in the U.S.. However, the coumarin content in cinnamon substitutes is not regulated, probably because of their wide usage in the food industry. The maximum recommended safe limit of coumarin per kilogram of body weight is 0.1mg, according to the European Food Safety Authority. In other words, a person weighing around 100 pounds can safely consume no more than 5 mg of coumarin a day.
Occasional use of cassia may not do much damage. To be on the safer side, we recommend Organic Ceylon cinnamon from a reputed source such as this Organic Wise Ceylon Cinnamon Ground Powder if you add cinnamon to coffee regularly.
They are the only Ceylon cinnamon seller on Amazon who does everything from farming to selling their product on Amazon. Their Ceylon cinnamon, which is known for its fine, bright flavor is freshly ground and sealed in small batches in a resealable stand-up pouch. The Organic Ceylon Cinnamon is USDA Certified, Salt Free, Non Irradiated and verified Non Genetically Modified Organism.
About the Author
Adrian Kutnik is the Founder and Managing Editor at LiveHealthyandwell.com