Cinnamon bark is perhaps best known for its spice and warm fragrance. As such it has been used for centuries for both culinary and medicinal purposes. In contemporary alternative medicine cinnamon is highly regarded for the treatment of a number of ailments, which includes high cholesterol and diabetes.
Origins of Cinnamon Bark
Cinnamon is a spice that is derived from the internal bark of certain species of trees. It is very popular for cooking and will be found in dishes which are savory or sweet. However, this is merely one of its many potential uses.
Popular Uses of Cinnamon Bark
Aside from food preparation, cinnamon has also been used to combat diabetes, specifically type 2. A person who suffers from this condition will have abnormally high sugar and glucose levels within their bloodstream. Research from the ADA or American Diabetics Association has shown that small doses of cinnamon which range from one to six grams may lower the levels of blood glucose.
Health Benefits of Cinnamon Bark
Cinnamon is also a noted antioxidant. This means it contains compounds that are responsible for the protection of living cells against damage which is caused by free radicals, which are oxygen molecules that are highly reactive and result from environmental pollution, stress, cigarette most and unhealthy foods. Studies have indicated that individuals who are obese experienced a reduction in free radicals when they consumed supplements containing cinnamon. When these free radicals are blocked, they lower the incidence or certain types of cancer and cardiovascular problems.
A Look at the Popularity of Cinnamon Bark
Cinnamon is used in many dishes and foods throughout the world and this is because it provides many nutritional benefits. For instance, it is rich in micronutrients such as iron and calcium, as well as vitamin K and dietary fiber. A single tablespoon of cinnamon is also found to have manganese, in amounts which are over 70 percent of the intake that is recommended daily. Manganese is important because it has been round to block the development of osteoporosis as well as pre-menstrual syndrome and anemia. Cinnamon is also low in both sugar as well as fat, while bringing zest to dishes without increasing its sugar or caloric content.
Patients suffering from diabetes who regularly consume cinnamon have been found to have lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels. Cinnamon seems to have an effect not only on cholesterol, but blood sugar levels in general. In some studies, triglyceride levels have been found to decline by at least thirty percent when cinnamon was consumed and bad cholesterol was found to decline by around twenty seven percent.
Good cholesterol seems not to be positively or adversely affected by cinnamon, which has led a growing number of people to eat it not just in foods, but to take it in the form of a supplement. However, one should speak with a doctor before using cinnamon for supplementation, especially if they have known health problems. Cinnamon’s many benefits and spicy flavor are tough to ignore, especially by chefs and cooking enthusiasts.