Cinnamon has been one of my favorite spices since childhood. I remember growing up and eating white rice with cinnamon when I had a stomach ache, and to this day I’ll sprinkle cinnamon in my coffee if it’s burnt. I also drink cinnamon tea almost daily. I used it often in cooking when I lived alone; I only don’t nowadays because my husband isn’t a big fan of the taste. Lately, however, I’ve been wondering if my daily dose of cinnamon is healthy. After all, if variety is the spice of life, should I try not to eat so much of this particular spice?
Studies show that cinnamon is similar to chilies (link to post), in that it has many beneficial health qualities that are not yet fully understood. In fact, scientists have linked the prevalence of certain diseases to different cultures dietary patterns, and to spices in particular. For example, neurogenerative disease are less common in regions where people consume spices regularly, like in the Asian subcontinent, than in the western world. As a result of such observations, many studies have been undertaken to show how spice consumption, particularly cinnamon, is linked to the development and prevention of chronic diseases.
Cinnamon is strongly anti-inflammatory and is considered an anti-oxidant. It is being studied as a potential supplement to prevent or reduce type-two diabetes, as well as improve cholesterol and blood pressure. It possibly diminishes the potential of neurodegenerative diseases, as do other spices including sage, turmeric, horseradish, cumin, licorice, clove, ginger, garlic, coriander, basil, celery seed, onion and different types of pepper.
I freely admit that I eat lots of cinnamon and even more spices on a daily basis. I love spices! And I am happy to find that they potentially represent an upside to my long-term health.