Due to its anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidant potential, cinnamon has been used for centuries in traditional medicine in various parts of the world. Cinnamon is made from the inner bark of a Cinnamomum tree. There are two main types of cinnamon. Cassia cinnamon, grown in southeastern Asia, is the most common option in the United States. Ceylon cinnamon is known as “true” cinnamon and is grown in Sri Lanka and can be found in the United States as well.
One of the most potent ingredients in cinnamon is cinnamaldehyde which gives cinnamon its distinct smell and flavor but is also thought to be responsible for some of cinnamon’s health benefits. When it comes to antioxidant activity, cinnamon ranks higher than most other spices. Antioxidants are compounds that protect against oxidative cell damage and the creation of free radicals. The antioxidants in cinnamon can help neutralize some of this free radical damage which may lead to improved overall health but also a reduced risk of chronic disease. Cinnamon has been shown to have prebiotic properties that can help restore a healthy gut microbiome and support digestive health. In addition, cinnamon is known for supporting glycemic control by helping regulate the amount of glucose that enters the bloodstream.
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