Cinnamon is used as a spice to flavor foods and beverages.
A dash of cinnamon in milk, toast, snacks, cakes, stir-fries, meat dishes and more adds a wonderful flavor.
There are hundreds of varieties of cinnamon trees but the commonly used ones are Chinese cinnamon or Cassia cinnamon and Ceylon or ‘true’ cinnamon.
They grow in many regions like Indonesia, China, Vietnam, India, Sri Lanka, Brazil, and Madagascar.
Cinnamon has been used as a traditional remedy for centuries and is said to possess anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antimicrobial and other benefits.
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Cinnamon Health Benefits For Women
Cinnamon is considered a very good source of manganese, dietary fiber and calcium and a good source of iron and vitamin K.
It is also low in cholesterol and saturated fats and contains trace amounts of several vitamins.
Cinnamon offers many health benefits for both women and men.
According to the FDA, the 2mg is the daily value of cinnamon that can be consumed safely.
This is equivalent to about 2 cinnamon sticks.
The manganese content in cinnamon makes it effective in alleviating symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
In one study it was found that women who include 5.6 mg manganese in their daily diets had lesser instances of mood swings and suffered less from PMS symptoms like cramps compared to women who consumed food with just 1 mg of manganese.
This indicates that a diet rich in manganese could ease symptoms of PMS. Another study established that 46 women with PMS had lower levels of manganese, copper, calcium, and chromium in their blood.
We have already seen that according to ‘Nutrition Data’, cinnamon is a good source of manganese and calcium.
This is a specific health benefit of cinnamon for women. There are numerous other health benefits that cinnamon offers which are common for both men and women.
A study was conducted to evaluate the benefits of cinnamon in women and men with type 2 diabetes.
A total of 30 from each sex were selected and were divided into 6 groups.
While 3 groups were administered 1,3 and 6 g cinnamon daily for 40 days, the other 3 were given a placebo of similar quantity.
After the study period, various parameters like total, HDL, and LDL cholesterol levels, and triglyceride and blood glucose levels were measured.
All these levels reduced by varying percentages indicating that including cinnamon in the daily diet could reduce the various risk factors connected to type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
In one study the antioxidant properties of various spices that included cinnamon were studied.
After various tests, it was found that cinnamon was able to inhibit lipid peroxidation, therefore, making it a powerful antioxidant that could benefit human beings.
Vaginal yeast infections are caused by Candida albicans – a common fungus.
Most women are extremely susceptible to yeast infections especially when they are pregnant, obese or have diabetes.
Sometimes people taking antibiotics can also develop yeast infections in the vagina due to the reduction in protective bacteria in the vagina.
Several studies have shown that cinnamon was able to restrict the spread of yeast infections that are resistant to medications.
Cinnamon oil was found to be extremely effective in treating various strains of Candida.
Cinnamon has excellent digestive properties that can help reduce symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome-like bloating.
This is done by killing bacteria that affect the gastrointestinal tract and enabling gastric juices to function normally.
Cinnamon tea drunk 2-3 times daily can reduce pain associated with IBS.
- Cancer: There are several promising studies that have found eugenol and cinnamaldehyde – two chemical constituents of cinnamon - to be quite effective in fighting colon cancer, leukemia, and lymphoma.
- Arthritis: The high levels of manganese found in cinnamon could help build connective tissues and bones and therefore aid in preventing osteoporosis and arthritis.
- Weight Loss: A combination of cinnamon and honey took regularly before breakfast and before sleeping at night can prevent fat accumulation and aid with weight loss.
- Fatigue: Mental alertness of the elderly improved when the consumed a glass of water with equal quantities of honey and cinnamon.
- Skin Infections: Acne, eczema and other skin conditions can improve when a paste of honey and cinnamon is applied to them.
- Alzheimer’s symptoms seemed to improve when cinnamon extracts were administered to patients.
- Cinnamon oil can be used in massage therapy and to ease a toothache. It is effective against head lice, dust mites, and bed bugs.
Cinnamon bark when consumed in small quantities as food or slightly higher quantities as the medicine usually does not cause any side effects as long as you stick to the prescribed limits.
Very high doses of cinnamon oil could cause mouth sores and irritation to the intestines, stomach and urinary tract and other side effects like dizziness, diarrhea, drowsiness and more.
Pregnant and breastfeeding women are especially advised not to use larger quantities of cinnamon since their side effects during this period are not known.
Cassia cinnamon contains coumarin and hence, it could affect blood sugar levels.
Those with diabetes and liver disease are advised to use this with caution.
Anyone requiring surgery must avoid taking cinnamon for at least 2 weeks prior to the date since it could affect blood sugar levels.