Who does not know about cinnamon? But how many know cinnamon’s nutrition values? It is one of the most common item available in every kitchen, and there is no doubt about that!
Wait! but is it not cinamon? or cinnamon! Let us settle it first.
Cinnamon or Cinamon?
Quite an ask! Many spell cinnamon as cinamon, while the correct one is really cinnamon, and cinamon hardly exists or perhaps only found in google images!
Now that it is settled, another common confusion is cinnamon a fruit, a tree, leaf? may be the seed, or what?
What is cinnamon?
Cinnamon commonly known as a spice, and found as powder. It is used mainly as an aromatic ingredient and to enhance flavor in a wide variety of cuisines.
However, it is actually the inner bark of the tree species, called cinnamomum. The bark is processed differently as powder, oil, supplement etc. for the market.
How is the extraction process?
It all starts with the bark extraction from the cinnamon tree; Of course, there is a long extraction process involved in it.
After removing the inner bark from stem of a cinnamon tree, it is left under the sun to dry until cinnamon is fully dried, which is called strips. These dried strips upon further heat form rolls, which we know as cinnamon sticks, that sell in the market.
You must have seen cinnamon power selling in the market, correct?
After grinding the cinnamon sticks, it will become powder, which is an essential ingredient and used in multiple cuisines around the globe.
Its distinctive aroma is because of the presence of essential oil called cinnamaldehyde. It is the same compound responsible for cinnamon’s strong medicinal properties.
What are the different types of cinnamon?
There are two main categories of cinnamon, Ceylon Cinnamon and Cassia Cinnamon, besides some other wild varieties of cinnamon.
Within these two different group of cinnamon, multiple types are found, but mostly produced and consumed are:
Ceylon Cinnamon Type
- Cinnamomum Zeylanicum, or Cinnamomum Verum
Cassia Cinnamon Type
- Indonesian Cinnamon, or Cinnamomum Burmanni
- Vietnamese Cinnamon, or Cinnamomum Loureiroi
- Chinese Cinnamon, or Cinnamomum Aromaticum
However, cinnamomum cassia is the most common commercial type, and chinese cinnamon found in almost every household in United States, and Canada.
But, do we really know the nutritional value of cinnamon?
There are scientific evidence and published research papers about cinnamon’s nutritional benefits. One such recent study elaborately explain chemical properties with the facts about the amazing medicinal values of this herb.
You will be surprised to know, cinnamon is in use for its medicinal properties since ancient times, as early as 2800 BC!
Cinnamon has potent antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, and anti diabetic properties. For this reason, it can cure various ailments such as diabetes, parkinson’s, alzheimer’s, and even heart diseases.
It can also cure neurodegenerative diseases, acne, fungal infections, and other severe illnesses. In addition to it, cinnamon fights with HIV and can help in preventing cancer.
Is that all?
Certainly not! cinnamon is a power packed medicinal herb; it is not a bad idea to call it super food.
Let us explore this highly delicious spice by looking at its nutritional facts, benefits, and usage in detail.
Cinnamon nutrition facts
Here is a comprehensive nutrition data of cinnamon, more specifically cinnamomum cassia, researched through different sources1,2 and presented in sorted order of nutrients with respective quantities.
Cinnamon (100g serving) contains nutrients as follows:
|Fat and Fatty Acids||1.24 g|
|Protein and Amino Acids||4.0 g|
Vitamins in cinnamon
|Vitamin A||295 IU|
|Vitamin B2 ( Riboflavin )||0.041 mg|
|Vitamin B3 ( Niacin / Nicotinic Acid )||1.33 mg|
|Vitamin B5 ( Pantothenic Acid )||0.358 mg|
|Vitamin B6||0.16 mg|
|Vitamin B7 ( Biotin )||0.0 mcg|
|Vitamin B9 ( Folate )||6.0 mcg|
|Vitamin B12 ( Cobalamin )||0.0 mcg|
|Vitamin C||3.8 mg|
|Vitamin D||0.0 mcg|
|Vitamin E||2.32 mg|
|Vitamin K||31.2 mcg|
Minerals in cinnamon
Other properties in cinnamon
But hold on, we have got some other exciting facts about cinnamon as well, that you may not know. Let us see them.
Interesting facts about cinnamon
- It is the bark of a giant sixty feet tall tree
- Cinnamon oil is a powerful mosquito larvae destructor
- It is one of the world’s known oldest spices
- Sri lanka is the world’s largest cinnamon producer, the Cinnamomum Verum
- In Chinese medicine, it is seen as cure to many ailments
Having discussed facts and figures, let us explore different health benefits and uses of cinnamon.
What are the health benefits of cinnamon?
As we have discussed the medicinal properties of cinnamon, we will now briefly discuss the health benefits of cinnamon.
Various scientific theories and reports states that cinnamon helps in losing weight by burning the fat cells fast and convert them into energy, one such study published by Metabolism Journal. It is because of the presence of cinnamaldehyde, which is a chemical compound responsible for that.
Cinnamaldehyde also helps to curb cravings, and therefore you eat less, which reduces the chances of gaining additional weight.
Cinnamon boosts metabolism, and better metabolism helps to regulate blood sugar, which is especially beneficial for people with type 2 diabetes.
A study shows an improvement in glycaemic control in patients with pre-diabetes, who received cinnamon as the sole therapy for diabetes. Robust metabolism also helps in lowering triglycerides and keeps cholesterol levels in check.
Our skin pigmentation depends on the amount of melanin secretion. Cinnamon contains cinnamon oil, which controls the tyrosinase enzyme responsible for melanin formation.
In case you are facing a skin pigmentation problem, apply cinnamon oil, and that will give you amazing results.
You can make a natural face mask using cinnamon power, and that is a home remedy for acne. It is because of the anti-inflammatory property.
Otherwise, add cinnamon oil in your face mask, and that will be great to treat acne.
Other benefits for skin
Besides treating skin pigmentation and ache, cinnamon has to offer several other benefits for skin! Such as cinnamon oil adds moisture to the skin, it also helps to ease dry skin. Cinnamon powder could provide relief from eczema.
Some beauty products even use cinnamon as complexion enhancing agent.
Hair care treatment
Cinnamon is excellent for natural hair care treatments as well. It contains essential oils such as ethyl cinnamate, cinnamaldehyde, methyl chavicol, and others.
You can mix ground cinnamon power with organic honey and apply it on your scalp. It will help you to overcome from the dandruff problem and give healthy glowing hair.
Healthy oral hygiene
Cinnamon is also known for providing several oral health benefits. If you are suffering of toothaches, bad breath, or just hate the yellowish color of your teeth.
Try using cinnamon powder as tooth powder, there are off the self toothpaste and mouthwash as well. Those will not just help with your dental problems and bad breath, those will also help you fight off oral microbiota.
Soothe an upset stomach
If you have got an upset stomach, there is an excellent home remedy, and that is cinnamon. It has potent antioxidants that act as a natural medicine to cure you, in case your stomach is upset.
A warm cup of cinnamon tea is what you need to ease your stomach. So, prepare the magic drink by boiling a small piece of cinnamon stick in water and drink it warm.
Other usage of cinnamon
Well, we all know the use of cinnamon in food as one of the most popular spices. We have also discussed, how it is equally famous for its high medicinal values and usage.
Where else can cinnamon be helpful? Let us see.
Helps to repel moths
Do you know a small cinnamon stick can help you to repel moths?
It is one of the best household usages of cinnamon. So, what exactly you have to do? If you want to repel moths from your clothes, take a small sachet and fill it with black peppercorns (1tbs), whole cloves (1tbs), and a little cinnamon stick.
Now, hang it somewhere near to your clothes. It is an effective home remedy to repel moths.
Helps to erase scratches
You will be wondering to see how a small pinch of cinnamon powder can vanish scratches and wipe scrapes from any wooden furniture after rubbing it on those areas. Do not know? Give it a try!
Acts as a natural car air freshener
Great news! Do not buy any expensive air freshener for your car next time, as you have got the best natural air freshener, cinnamon.
The pleasant strong aroma of cinnamon not only adds freshness to the air but, it also helps to reduce stress and anxiety.
Cinnamon side effects
There are hardly any cases of side effects reported for cinnamon consumption.
However, it contains coumarin, and excess consumption can damage the liver. Especially those with liver disease, taking a large amount of cassia cinnamon might worsen their condition.
And those consuming cinnamon as supplement, it is safe in most of the cases if consumed in small qualities, but consuming large quantities or for longer period may prove allergic to some.
So, have it as food ingredient in reasonable quantity to enhance the taste of your cooked food, while reaping its positive health benefits. But you should discuss with your physician or dietician prior taking it as supplement or to treat any particular health issue.
Cinnamon tree known as “the eternal tree of tropical medicine”, rightly so because of its unmatched medicinal values. The bark is extracted from plant stem and dried, which we know as cinnamon sticks or rolls.
There are different varieties of cinnamon, while some are found as regular culinary ingredient in almost every kitchen, which is also used by pharmaceutical companies.
There are also wild cinnamon which is less known, and mostly used in medicines, oil, supplements, and as fragrance in perfumes, cleaning materials etc.
From the ancient times, as early as 2000 BC, there were uses of cinnamon. Around 2800 BC, there are mentions of using cinnamon for its medicinal properties.
There are significant health benefits of different types of cinnamon. Besides its general usage for treating ache, skin pigmentation, oral health, or minor health issues, modern day studies and researches further exploring the potential of cinnamon for treating neurological disorders, cardio vascular diseases, and even cancer.