If super spices were comic book heroes, ginger would be Flash, turmeric would be Superman, and cinnamon would most definitely be Thor, the most powerful of them all. (Full disclosure: I don't know anything about comics, so this is all based on a very scientific study I found).
Actual superhero or not, cinnamon deserves the sort of praise reserved for a character portrayed by a Hemsworth—just one teaspoon is equal to the antioxidizing power of a half cup of blueberries. It's got a host of other health benefits, too, from memory retention to antidiabetic effects and heart support, that, if we're really going to run with the comic analogy here, truly make it the hammer-wielding spice of its category.
Below, take a look at the many ways adding cinnamon to your meals and drinks will make you an all-around healthier person.
1. It's a Powerful Antioxidant
Aside from having more antioxidants than a handful of blueberries, in a recent study, cinnamon proved to be more of an antioxidant powerhouse than 25 other spices like garlic and oregano. In fact, it's so successful at preventing oxidization that it can be used as a method of food preservation.
2. It's an Anti-Inflammatory
Experiencing some post-gym soreness? Try adding a little cinnamon to your protein shake. In a study of 60 women aged 13 to 25, cinnamon was proven to significantly reduce muscle pain in the participants. Cinnamon also has the ability to reduce inflammation in the central nervous system, which brings us to our next point…
3. It Supports the Brain
An extract of cinnamon called CEppt significantly reduces the number of toxins in the neural cells and improves cognitive performance, even reducing symptoms of and future proneness to Alzheimer's disease. Ground cinnamon has also been found to counteract symptoms of Parkinson's disease due in part to the protective nature of sodium benzoate, which is what digested cinnamon metabolizes into.
You don't have to eat raw cinnamon to reap its brain-boosting benefits, either: In one study, participants were given cognitive tasks on a computer and administered cinnamon gum, cherry gum, peppermint gum, flavorless gum, or no gum in five different tests. Out of all of the tests, the participants showed the most success while chewing cinnamon gum in terms of memory, visual-motor response, and attention.
4. It Promotes Heart Health
If you've just overindulged in a fatty meal, eat some cinnamon afterward: triglycerides, or levels of fat in your blood, have been shown to decrease by about 30% after eating the spice.
Cinnamon is also proven to reduce blood glucose levels and cholesterol when consuming 120 mg per day. One teaspoon is equal to 5000 mg, so rest assured you'll get your daily dose in one day without feeling like you're consuming too much.
5. It Lowers Blood Glucose Levels
Type 1 diabetics don't produce enough insulin, however, the polyphenol Type A polymers in cinnamon are proven to act as insulin-like molecules. And as mentioned previously, cinnamon helps lower blood glucose levels, making it a powerhouse against diabetes.
6. It's an Anti-Cancer Agent
When tested in mice, cinnamon extract was found to reduce oxidative stress in melanoma cells. Cinnamic acid (found in cinnamon oil) has also been shown to reduce tumor growth, as well as kill tumor cells, suggesting that it's a successful force against cancer.
While we're on the topic of spices, read up on the six ancient variations that kill acne.
Opening Image: @bookofcoffee