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Include Cinnamon in Your Diet - a Blessing in Disguise

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Include Cinnamon in Your Diet - a Blessing in Disguise

4 min read


Cinnamon is a spice added to foods. This article discusses the benefits of including cinnamon in one’s diet and some practical ways to use it.

Medically reviewed by

Dr. K. Shobana

Published At April 13, 2017
Reviewed AtMarch 6, 2024


Cinnamon is a spice used in cooking and baking. It has a distinct aroma and is used as a flavoring agent in many foods. Cinnamon is usually found in the inner bark of the trees from the genus Cinnamomum. The main ingredient of cinnamon is cinnamaldehyde, responsible for its aroma and flavor. Cinnamon has its own health benefits and has been used in the medical field for more than a thousand years. It is the second most popular spice in the United States and Europe.

What Are the Types of Cinnamon?

There are two major types of cinnamon: cassia and Ceylon. Cassia is the commonly available cinnamon in grocery stores. Ceylon cinnamon is popularly known as the true cinnamon and primarily grows in Sri Lanka. Cassia is cheaper than the Ceylon type.

What Are the Available Forms of Cinnamon?

Cinnamon is available in powder form or sticks. Cinnamon powder can be adulterated easily. So, it is beneficial to buy cinnamon sticks instead of powder. The cinnamon stick can be bought and ground to a powder form before use. Cinnamon is also available as cinnamon essential oil and supplements.

What Are the Benefits of Taking Cinnamon?

  • Lowering Blood Glucose Levels: Some studies have shown that cinnamon has an effect on lowering the blood glucose level in type 2 diabetes. Cassia cinnamon has more effect in controlling blood glucose, while Ceylon type is under study. However, it does not show any improvement in HbA1c levels. Cinnamon also lowers the cholesterol levels of patients with diabetes. Cinnamon can reduce insulin resistance in people with type 2 diabetes.

  • Weight Loss: Cinnamon can help in weight loss by reducing the side effects of eating high-fat foods. Cinnamon alone will not help in effective weight loss. However, adding cinnamon to the diet during a weight loss program can help achieve it. One teaspoon of cinnamon contains 1.6 g of fiber. Adding cinnamon to the daily diet will help reach the fiber goal, give a feeling of fullness, and reduce food intake.

  • Lowers Cholesterol: Eating cinnamon powder daily can reduce LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) and increase HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol), thus reducing the risk of heart disease. It improves blood circulation.

  • Antioxidant: Cinnamon, when consumed regularly, shows its antioxidant properties. Antioxidants can reduce oxidative stress and help prevent many conditions. It also has antibiotic and anti-inflammatory properties.

  • Against Infections: Cinnamon is useful in preventing dental caries and bad breath. It works against fungal infections also. Cinnamon oil is used to treat respiratory tract infections.

  • Relieves Headache: Consuming cinnamon can relieve headaches and reduce many types of pain, including arthritis pain.

  • Anticancer Property: Cinnamon reduces the risk of cancer. It also has cancer-treating properties.

  • Digestive System: It also has its effects on the digestive system. It helps in healing stomach ulcers caused by Helicobacter pylori. It is also found to be effective during dysmenorrhea (menstrual pain).

  • Alzheimer's Disease: An extract that is present in the cinnamon bark can prevent the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. It also helps in improving motor function in Parkinson's disease.

  • Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection: Research has found that cinnamon bark, shoot, and fruit are effective against HIV.

  • Multiple Sclerosis: Cinnamon has an anti-inflammatory effect on the central nervous system, including the brain. Thus, they are useful in treating multiple sclerosis.

  • Chronic Wounds: A combination of peppermint and cinnamon can promote wound healing and is used as a part of medicine for treating infected chronic wounds.

Cinnamon also has some benefits in the following conditions:

  • Common cold.

  • Irritable bowel syndrome.

  • Loss of appetite.

  • Bronchitis.

What Are the Side Effects of Cinnamon?

Cinnamon is usually used in small amounts in food. However, when taken in extremely high doses, it has some effects. There is no proper set dose for taking cinnamon. Some researchers suggest taking half to one teaspoon of cinnamon every day, which would be about two to four grams. Taking high doses may have some effects.

The common side effects of cinnamon include:

  • Both cassia and Ceylon contain coumarin, which can cause liver problems and affect coagulation. Ceylon type has less coumarin. Coumarin plays a role in the production of Warfarin, which is a blood-thinning drug.

  • Excessive use of cinnamon can irritate the mouth and lips, leading to sores or ulcers.

  • People allergic to cinnamon can develop redness and irritation in the skin.

  • Cinnamon supplements might interact with some medications.

  • There is no research to prove the safety of using cinnamon during pregnancy and breastfeeding. So, these women and children should avoid taking cinnamon.

  • Eating too much cinnamon may cause breathing problems when the fine powder is aspirated. It can cause irritation, coughing, gagging, and trouble breathing.

What Is the Nutritional Content of Cinnamon?

Cinnamon has almost no protein or fat. One teaspoon of cinnamon (2.6 g) has 2.1 grams of carbohydrates, 2 mg magnesium, 26 mg calcium, 2 mg phosphorus, 11 mg potassium, vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin C, and vitamin K. It also has antioxidants like choline, beta carotene, alpha-carotene, and lycopene.

What Is the Chemical Composition of Cinnamon?

This intriguing plant yields various oils, the bark oil containing cinnamaldehyde, the leaf oil containing eugenol, and the root-bark oil containing camphor. One can find abundant amounts of trans-cinnamyl acetate in the fruits and flowers.

How to Include Cinnamon in a Daily Diet?

  • It can be used as a regular spice in food.

  • The most common way to eat cinnamon is to sprinkle a small amount over the food, as in toast.

  • Mix honey with cinnamon. This is useful for coughs and sore throats.

  • Mix cinnamon powder with tea, green tea, coffee, etc., and have it every morning. Drinking cinnamon tea can increase the antioxidants in the body and reduce the risk of developing heart disease and cancer.

  • Add cinnamon, jaggery, tulsi (basil) leaves, lemon, and mint leaves to boiling water. Allow the water to cool, and then use it as a healthy drink. Have two to three glasses of this healthy drink every day for best results.

  • Cinnamon can be taken during a high carbohydrate meal, which will reduce the effect of high sugar levels in the meal.


Cinnamon is flavored but also has health benefits when added to the diet. It is extremely nutritious and one of the healthiest spices. It has been used medicinally all over the world. It is safe to eat in small amounts. Eating a large amount of cinnamon can have some adverse effects.

Frequently Asked Questions


What Are the Benefits of Cinnamon?

Cinnamon is enriched with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. It reduces the risk of heart disease by improving the risk factors like cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood pressure, it can lower the blood sugar levels, and it is also known to have some protective effects against cancer.


What Does Cinnamon Do to a Female Body?

Cinnamon reduces inflammation and blood sugar levels. It fights off infections and reduces the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and menstrual cramps. Cinnamon also aids in weight loss.


What Kind of Cinnamon Is Good For You?

There are two different kinds of cinnamon. The type that is commonly found in grocery stores is Cassia cinnamon which contains significantly fewer polyphenols, whereas type Ceylon has higher amounts of health-promoting antioxidants, but it is less common and quite expensive. Therefore Ceylon type of cinnamon is better than Cassia cinnamon.


Does Cinnamon Help in Weight Loss?

Cinnamon is rich in fiber content; hence adding this spice to the diet can reduce the food cravings by giving a feeling of satiety, and it also speeds up the metabolism. Therefore cinnamon helps in weight loss.


What Does Cinnamon Do to Your Virginia?

Cinnamon is known to fight off infections. It helps to get rid of a vaginal yeast infection by destroying Candida albicans, the fungus causing it.


Is Cinnamon Bad For Kidneys?

According to the data available, cinnamon has shown no adverse effects on the functioning or morphology of the kidneys. In fact, it helps reduce blood sugar levels, thereby improving kidney health.


What Does Cinnamon Do To Your Teeth?

The antimicrobial properties of cinnamon help protect against oral pathogens, thereby preventing caries and other periodontal diseases. Its anti-inflammatory properties help relieve pain. Cinnamon oils have the potential to help prevent gum infections.


Can I Drink Cinnamon Powder with Water, And How Often Can I Drink?

Cinnamon-infused water is one of the best wonder drinks having a number of benefits. It has an anti-diabetic effect and is well known for lowering blood sugar properties. To have better results drink cinnamon water 20 to 30 minutes before bedtime for 15 days.


Does Cinnamon Help You Sleep?

Cinnamon helps in relaxing your body muscles, thereby reducing the tension from the body. It helps to reduce fatigue. So drinking a glass of warm milk with cinnamon before bedtime can help you get much better sleep.


Does Cinnamon Burn Belly Fat?

Cinnamon is rich in fiber content, so it lowers your food cravings by giving a feeling of fullness. It suppresses appetite and speeds up metabolism.


Does Cinnamon Detoxify the Body?

In certain studies, it was shown that cinnamon activates the detoxifying enzymes in the body, thereby protecting the body against further cancer growth.


Is Cinnamon an Anti-inflammatory?

Cinnamon is an excellent anti-inflammatory agent. It contains plant compounds called polyphenols which boost the anti-inflammatory properties, thereby reducing the risk of heart disease. These anti-inflammatory properties help fight cell-damaging free radicals.


What Are the Benefits of Cinnamon On Skin?

Cinnamon is known to be a wonder spice for skincare. It has antibacterial properties, which help with acne. Cinnamon is a powerful antioxidant, and so it helps prevent the signs of aging. It promotes blood flow to the face and improves the appearance of the skin. And cinnamon is an excellent anti-inflammatory agent, so it can help with the redness caused by acne and helps acne scars heal faster and better.
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Dr. Noela David Andrew David
Dr. Noela David Andrew David



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