Health Benefits of Cinnamon, The Most Loved Autumnal Spice!.

5 Health Benefits of Cinnamon, The Most Loved Autumnal Spice!

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Also note: While I am a certified nutrition coach, I am not a medical doctor. Information here is not intended to be a replacement for the advice you should seek from your doctor.

Autumn, Fall (or whatever you call this beautiful season of crisp air and color-changing trees) has come. With it has come our love for cinnamon, spice, and everything nice!🍁🍂 On the topic of Cinnamon – did you know that the health benefits of cinnamon are remarkable!? In this article, you will learn more about the main properties of this spice, its possible counterindications, as well as some tasty ways to add it to your favorite dishes.

The Most Incredible Health Benefits of Cinnamon

The health benefits of cinnamon are truly incredible, to the point that this spice can be considered a real superfood. This spice has been used since Ancient times as a natural remedy to treat gastrointestinal diseases, bacterial infections, and even to ease menstrual cramps and stimulate appetite.

Still today, this plant is appreciated for its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-diabetic properties. Let’s learn more about them.

1. A Natural Antioxidant

Cinnamon (and especially cinnamon oil) is a natural source of antioxidants, primarily butylated hydroxyl anisole, trolox, and ascorbic acid. In turn, antioxidants are powerful compounds that can help to counteract the aging effects of free radicals, as well as to effectively respond to metabolic disorders and diseases.

Cinnamon also contains different flavonoids and phenolic compounds. Both have powerful effects against cell oxidation and the damaging action of free radicals.

2. The Anti-inflammatory Properties of Cinnamon

Also, among the main health properties of cinnamon are its remarkable anti-inflammatory properties. In particular, cinnamon is rich in flavonoid compounds, such as hesperidin, gossypin, hibifolin, hypolaetin, gnaphalin, oroxindin, and quercetin. All of them have been shown to have positive effects on reducing general inflammation in the body.

Moreover, the compound cinnamaldehyde has been reported to inhibit nitric oxide production. This is responsible for causing and heightening inflammatory states.

Finally, studies have also proven how consuming antioxidant spices (such as cinnamon) after a hefy meal may help reduce the body’s negative response to it. In particular, blood tests showed that the insuline response after the meal fell by almost 21%, whilst the tryglycerids by slightly more than 31%.

3. The Antimicrobial and Antifungal Properties of Cinnamon

One of the most well-established properties of cinnamon extracts is the antibacterial and antimicrobial activity against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria responsible for human infectious diseases and degradation of food or cosmetics.

In particular, a 2016 laboratory study found that cinnamon oil was effective against a type of Candida that affects the bloodstream. In addition, other studies have found that cinnamon extracts and essential oils could be active against oral cavity infections

Last but not least, the essential oils cinnamaldehyde and eugenol, both of which are contained in cinnamon barks, have been shown to inhibit microbial growth

4. The Anti-diabetic Properties of Cinnamon

Numerous studies (for now conducted only on animals) have discovered that cinnamon extracts might be effective in lowering blood glucose as well as cholesterol levels.

In particular, the cinnamon extract has a regulatory role in blood glucose levels and lipids and it may also exert a blood glucose-suppressing effect by improving insulin sensitivity or slowing the absorption of carbohydrates in the small intestine. However, more studies are needed to confirm the same powerful effects on humans.

5. Better Digestion

Cinnamon also has some powerful effects on promoting good digestive functions. In particular, it contains prebiotics. These can help promote the growth of good bacteria in the gut, whilst preventing the proliferation of pathogenic bacteria in the digestive tract.

In addition, adding cinnamon to your meals can help ease digestive discomfort. This is especially true if you consumed cinnamon in hot beverages such as cinnamon tea (even better if mixed with honey and cardamom).

Are There Any Counterindications to Cinnamon Consumption?

Now that you have learned all the main health benefits of cinnamon, it may be natural to wonder if there are also any counterindications linked to its consumption.

Although consuming moderate amounts of this spice is safe for most people, cinnamon (especially Cassia cinnamon) also contains coumarin. This compound has a central role in the creation of warfarin, a common blood-thinning drug. Similarly, consuming too much coumarin can lead to liver damage and affect blood coagulation. Therefore, always ask your doctor before consuming cinnamon if you suffer from any liver conditions, are diabetics, or take anticoagulant drugs.

On a more general note, always prefer Ceylon cinnamon, as it contains a lower amount of coumarin, and is, therefore, a “safer” option.

Nutrition Facts about Cinnamon

Besides being a good source of anti-inflammatory and anti-antioxidant compounds, cinnamon is also rich in several minerals and vitamins, such as magnesium, iron, and vitamin A.

A teaspoon of ground cinnamon (2.6gr) contains:

  • Energy: 6.42 calories
  • Carbohydrates: 2.1 g
  • Calcium: 26.1 milligrams (mg)
  • Iron: 0.21 mg
  • Magnesium: 1.56 mg
  • Phosphorus: 1.66 mg
  • Potassium: 11.2 mg
  • Vitamin A: 0.39 micrograms

Some Curiosities About Cinnamon

  • Sri Lanka produces almost 90% of the cinnamon (Ceylon cinnamon) used around the world.
  • Cinnamon trees belong to the same family as rose trees (the Lauraceae family).
  • The most common types of cinnamon are Ceylon cinnamon and Cassia cinnamon.
  • The medical properties of cinnamon have been first mentioned in ancient China in 2800 years B.C.
  • Cinnamon is one of the key ingredients of pumpkin spice, added to almost all Autumnal treats.
Cinnamon trees

Ingredients Selection Tips

First of all, consider which type of cinnamon you are wanting to buy, as Ceylon cinnamon has a remarkably better nutritional profile than Cassia cinnamon.

Furthermore, pay attention that the cinnamon has its characteristic brown color with a hint of yellow in it and a fresh smell. On the other hand, avoid miscolored cinnamon with traces of deterioration, or an unpleasant smell.

Delicious Sweet and Salty Recipes with Cinnamon

Cinnamon is a very versatile spice that can be used in the preparation of both sweet, salty, and savory dishes.

Use it to enhance the flavor of main courses such as my Sweet & Spicy Thai Pineapple Curry with Crispy Tofu, Almond Crusted Cod with Tropical Salsa, and Spicy Lentil Curry.

Alternatively, add it to aromatic drinks with my Cinnamon Crunch Latte Syrup or Apple Crisp Macchiato Syrup; or, use it in raw treats such as this Beet Date Carrot Cake, baked treats such as my Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal Cookie, or Pumpkin Spice Protein Waffles.

apple cinnamon yogurt served in a white bowl, topped with apples and nuts
Apple Cinnamon Yogurt

I love also love to use cinnamon in the preparation of healthy breakfasts, such as my Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal, Apple Cinnamon Yogurt, this delicious Apple Cinnamon Overnight Oat Parfait, Strawberry Rhubarb Baked Oats, Raisin Date Oatmeal, Baked Oatmeal with Apples and Cranberries, incredibly wholesome Carrot Cake Smoothie, and finally my Pumpkin Spice Overnight Oat Parfait.

Social Buzz

Sweet & Spicy Thai Pineapple Curry with Crispy Tofu
Vegan Pineapple Tofu Curry: the perfect healthy comfort food! This recipe is super nourishing, simple, and quick to make, with just 10 minutes to prep all the ingredients.
You can enjoy this sweet and spicy Thai recipe whenever you want, as it is ideal for both a fancy dinner and also for a quick lunch!
Check out this recipe
Vegan Pineapple Tofu Curry -Sweet & Spicy recipe
Almond Crusted Cod with Tropical Salsa
Almond Crusted Cod with Tropical Salsa: one of my favorite Jamaican fish recipes! In just 30 minutes, you will enjoy the taste of Caribbean food in the comfort of your own home.
Check out this recipe
Jamaican Almond Crusted Cod
Cinnamon Crunch Latte Syrup
The delightful smell of this healthier version of Panera’s Cinnamon Crunch Latte can never bore me! It just makes you want to snuggle into a blanket with a good book or movie.
Check out this recipe
Homemade Pumpkin Spice Syrup
Apple Crisp Macchiato Syrup
Don't you think Starbucks and Panera should serve healthier versions of their coffees!? I sure do! I made healthier versions of Starbucks & Panera Apple Cinnamon, Pumpkin Spice, & Cinnamon Crunch, made with date syrup which is highly nutritious, and half the sugar (from whole food sources).
Check out this recipe
Homemade Pumpkin Spice Syrup
Beet Date Carrot Cake
You'll barely realize this decadent carrot cake is packed with nutrition and sweetened with a nutritious sugar substitute – dates!
Check out this recipe
White plate with Beet Date Carrot Cake served
Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal Cookies
Craving pumpkin pie 🍂 as the fall season approaches, but looking for a quick and easy whole food recipe for an on-the-go breakfast, healthy dessert, or snack? Look no further! My Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal Cookies are here for you! 🍪
Check out this recipe
pumpkin oatmeal chocolate chip cookies overhead
Pumpkin Spice Protein Waffles
Loving these Plant-Based Pumpkin Spice Protein Waffles! These are way healthier than traditional waffles and satisfy that itch for Fall Pumpkin Spice!
The recipe makes for 4 very large Belgian waffles or ~8 small ones. Are you already addicted to the smells and tastes of fall like me !?
Check out this recipe
round pumpkin spice protein waffle served on a white surface
Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal
This Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal is a healthy, delicious, and simple breakfast! It is also part of my 5 Plant-Based Oatmeal Breakfasts plan: eating plant-based has never been so easy and enjoyable!
Check out this recipe
Oatmeal served in a white bowl topped with cinnamon stick and dried apple rings
Apple Cinnamon Yogurt
Here is a quick and easy Apple Cinnamon yogurt I made the other day – it's simply nonfat plain Greek yogurt sweetened with honey, topped with Gala apple, cinnamon, and walnuts. It's high in protein, healthy fats, and mostly healthy carbs. Great for all of your health goals, just consider less honey or a sweetener substitute if you are trying to lose weight and/or are sensitive to carbs.
Check out this recipe
apple cinnamon yogurt served in a white bowl, topped with apples and nuts
Apple Cinnamon Overnight Oat Parfait
These Overnight Oat Parfaits are an excellent healthy breakfast as well as great for weight loss! They are high in protein, healthy carbs, and healthy fats – and full of flavor!
Check out this recipe
two jars full of overnight oats and pumpkin on the side
Strawberry Rhubarb Baked Oats – Breakfast Meal Prep
Let's start my Spring Meal Prep Series with this Strawberry Rhubarb Breakfast Baked Oats: gluten-free, fully plant-based, and super easy and quick to make! Plus, this recipe is low in fats and calories and has no added sugar. Prep it ahead and enjoy it on-the-go all week!
Check out this recipe
Baked oats topped with fresh strawberries served on a white plate
Raisin Date Oatmeal
This Raisin Date Oatmeal is healthy, softly sweet, and simple breakfast and it is part of my 5 Plant-Based Oatmeal Breakfasts plan. In less than 15 minutes you can prep several breakfasts full of nutrients for the whole family, and for the whole week!
Check out this recipe
Oatmeal served in a white bowl, and topped with raisins and nuts
Carrot Cake Smoothie
This healthy and delicious Carrot Cake Smoothie is Pegan-diet compliant, super creamy, and packed with proteins. This smoothie is also great to help support weight loss and to improve your daily nutrition!
Check out this recipe
Orange smoothie served in a jar with two straws, and some carrots and oranges on the side
Pumpkin Spice Overnight Oat Parfait
These Overnight Oat Parfaits are an excellent healthy breakfast as well as great for weight loss! They are high in protein, healthy carbs, and healthy fats – and full of flavor!
Check out this recipe
two jars full of overnight oats and pumpkin on the side
Baked Oats with Apples and Cranberries
Are you craving a delicious, warming, yet healthy breakfast? Start your day with this baked oatmeal with apples and cranberries! 🍎🍏 Apple-pie inspired and simply mouthwatering, this apple and oats bake is the perfect treat that can lift you up during these first wintery days ❄
Check out this recipe
baked oats with apples and cranberries

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