#HealthBytes: Health benefits of Sri Lanka's own spice, Ceylon cinnamon
Ceylon cinnamon is native to Sri Lanka and South India. It has a distinctive shape, delicate taste, and is different from cinnamon cassia, which is more commonly used in cooking. Cassia cinnamon, when consumed over a long period of time, can be toxic to the body. This thus makes Ceylon cinnamon a better option for long-term use. Here's more about its health benefits.
Both Ceylon and cassia cinnamon are good for controlling insulin levels of patients suffering from type 2 diabetes. Several studies conducted on diabetes treatment show that Ceylon cinnamon powder helps in controlling blood sugar levels. Laboratory studies conducted on animals also provided conclusive evidence that Ceylon cinnamon helps in controlling spikes in blood sugar and increases sensitivity to insulin.
Ceylon cinnamon is a rich source of cinnamaldehyde, a compound that helps fight different types of infection. Several studies prove that cinnamon is powerful in fighting away respiratory illnesses that are caused by fungi. It also inhibits the growth of bacteria such as Listeria and Salmonella. The antimicrobial properties of cinnamon don't stop at that as it also helps in keeping away mouth odor.
The cinnamic acid present in cinnamon has anti-inflammatory properties, which aids in the easy flow of blood throughout the body. Having it after each meal thus gives relief from several digestive issues such as flatulence, bloating, and cramps. However, it is advisable to consult a doctor on the recommended dosage because high amounts of cinnamon can lead to dangerously low levels of blood pressure.
Researchers believe that the metabolic effects of Ceylon cinnamon make it useful in the prevention of neurological conditions like Alzheimer's disease. As per a study published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease in 2009, C.zeylanicum, an extract of cinnamon, inhibits the grouping of tau protein, which typically manifests as Alzheimer's disease in humans. Several consequent studies in 2011 and 2013 concluded the same finding.