Most of the cinnamon found in North America is the cassia cinnamon. Ceylon cinnamon is sweeter, lighter, more refined, and more expensive than cassia cinnamon. While both types of cinnamon have coumarin, a natural blood thinner, cassia cinnamon has higher levels, and anyone taking the blood thinner warfarin is usually advised to limit their intake of cinnamon.
Cinnamon is an excellent source of manganese, and a good source of dietary fiber, iron, and calcium.
Cinnamon is an anti-inflammatory food that helps reduce inflammation by inhibiting the release of arachidonic acid, which contributes to inflammation.
Cinnamon has antioxidant properties. Cinnamon neutralizes or prevents the formation of free radicals, which helps prevent degenerative diseases, including cancer. According to the USDA as cited by http://cinnamonvogue.com/cinnamoncommonuses.html, cinnamon is one of the top seven antioxidants in the world.
Cinnamon helps control blood sugar. Cinnamon slows the rate that the stomach empties following a meal, which reduces the rise in blood sugar.
Cinnamon may help people with type 2 diabetes by helping to lower fasting blood glucose levels. While the impact of cinnamon on fasting blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes or prediabetes is unclear, a meta-analysis of eight clinical studies by Davis and Yokoyama at the University of California – Davis found that cinnamon intake, whether whole cinnamon or cinnamon extract, results in a statistically significant lowering of fasting blood glucose.
Cinnamon may help reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglycerides. While there are claims that cinnamon does help reduce cholesterol and triglycerides, according to Mayo Clinic Cardiologist Thomas Behrenbeck, MD, PHD, there is little evidence that cinnamon can lower your cholesterol.
Cinnamon improves digestion. Cinnamon is believed to improve digestion of fruit and dairy products, including milk. Cinnamon is used for gas, stomach cramps, nausea, and diarrhea in traditional Chinese medicine.
Cinnamon reduces clotting. As a natural blood thinner, cinnamon helps prevent unwanted clumping of blood platelets.
Cinnamon has antimicrobial activity. Cinnamon helps stop the growth of bacteria, fungus, and Candida (yeast). Cinnamic aldehyde, a plant essential oil used for flavoring, prevented growth of oral bacteria associated with bad breath. Because of its antimicrobial activity, cinnamon is used as a natural food preservative.
Some of the foods I love adding cinnamon to include over hot cereal, over a baked sweet potato, in my green smoothie, and in sauces with curry and coconut milk. Where do you like adding your cinnamon?