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The health benefits of cinnamon, according to a dietitian

This versatile spice packs in more than just flavor.

Here, a dietitian breaks down those health benefits of cinnamon and goes into detail of how how to enjoy this versatile spice, and more.

Here, a dietitian breaks down those health benefits of cinnamon and goes into detail of how how to enjoy this versatile spice, and more.

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Like many people, there’s a good chance you enjoy a dash of cinnamon in sweet classics from oatmeal to apple pie. But did you know this spice can be enjoyed in a wide range of dishes and beverages, providing a slew of health benefits to boot?

Here, a dietitian breaks down those health benefits, how to enjoy this versatile spice, and more.

Health benefits of cinnamon

According to Annelie Vogt von Heselholt, a registered dietitian and doctor of clinical nutrition specializing in cancer nutrition, cinnamon provides a wide range of health benefits. For starters, cinnamon is rich in a type of antioxidants called polyphenols that have anti-inflammatory properties. 

“[These antioxidants] can help protect against heart disease, control hyperglycemia and improve how your cells react to insulin,” she explains. 

Cinnamon may also play a role in reducing aging and protecting the brain from degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s dementia, Vogt von Heselholt adds. 

Does cinnamon help with inflammation?

No surprise here that the answer is likely yes. 

“Since cinnamon is very high in antioxidants, it may help reduce what’s called oxidative stress that can cause inflammation, chronic diseases, and cancer,” Vogt von Heselholt says.

What is the best way to take cinnamon?

According to Vogt von Heselholt, cinnamon comes in two main varieties, Cassia and Ceylon. The Cassia variety is commonly found in supermarkets and contains coumarin, a potentially toxic compound. Ceylon cinnamon, on the other hand, doesn’t have coumarin and is a healthier and safer choice to consume on a regular basis.

You can buy it in sticks, powders, and in supplement forms. Vogt von Heselholt recommends using it in various foods, from homemade cinnamon tea to hummus, smoothies, stir-fries, and more. 

Health benefits of cinnamon tea

Unsurprisingly, consuming cinnamon in tea is another equally good way to reap the health benefits of cinnamon. According to Vogt von Heselholt, drinking cinnamon tea can help protect against heart disease, control hyperglycemia and improve how your cells react to insulin. 

“It may also play a role in reducing aging and protecting the brain from degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease,” she says.

Benefits of cinnamon and honey

Cinnamon and honey are often a winning combination when it comes to flavoring sweet breakfast dishes and desserts. They also complement each other quite well when it comes to health benefits, Vogt von Heselholt says. 

“Cinnamon can help reduce inflammation, control hyperglycemia, and reduce heart disease, while honey, on the other hand, is packed with antioxidants, has antibacterial properties, and may suppress the common cough,” she says. “In combination, they may help reduce heart disease and hyperglycemia.”

Can you drink cinnamon every day?

As with many things in life, it’s possible to have too much of a good thing, and that includes cinnamon. According to Vogt von Heselholt, consuming too much of the Cassia variety of cinnamon can potentially cause side effects because of its higher coumarin content, in addition to other plant compounds that shouldn’t be consumed in large amounts. 

“It’s best to use cinnamon, preferably Ceylon cinnamon, in moderate amounts as a spice, not a supplement,” she says.