Cinnamon’s distinctive taste adds an earthy, sweet flavor to practically anything it’s added to, from breakfast cereal, to baked goods, and even savory dishes. But if you’re a bit of a cinnamon hater, then you may want to reconsider your stance when you hear how surprisingly good it is for your health. As it turns out, the unassuming spice is actually chock-full of powerful antioxidants and other medicinal properties that make it an essential component to every diet. But just how does cinnamon impact the body, and how can we easily add it to our diets?
Editor's Note: Talk to your doctor before incorporating cinnamon into your daily diet.
1. Antioxidants to the rescue
Cinnamon is packed with antioxidants, and they do more than promote healthy skin. You see, cinnamon contains particular types of antioxidants that are especially advantageous to the body. They’re known as polyphenols, and scientists have discovered that these chemicals play a role in safeguarding us from some of life's most debilitating illnesses.
They promote healing on the inside and out
Apparently, cinnamon has the seventh-highest concentration of antioxidants of all foods, including spices and herbs. It's the presence of polyphenols, phenolic acids, and flavonoids that makes cinnamon such an effective fighter against everything from open wounds to cancer to other devastating illnesses we'll get to later in the list. So add some cinnamon to your protein shake, sprinkle some onto your oatmeal, or add a pinch of the spice to your pork chops. Your body will thank you.
2. Say goodbye to fine lines and wrinkles
Cinnamon could very well slow down the physical signs of aging. Now, no one is saying you should rub cinnamon on your face — this could actually cause more irritation since cinnamon is known for its spicy kick — because there are actually two main types of cinnamon. The kind in your spice cabinet is cassia cinnamon, and cinnamon in its "pure" form is called Ceylon cinnamon. It's Ceylon cinnamon that is much more beneficial to your skin health... and more difficult to obtain.
Cinnamon loves collagen
It all goes back to collagen. As you age, the collagen in your skin weakens, leading to more sagging, wrinkling, and dryness. Luckily, Ceylon cinnamon is packed with antioxidants, even more so than regular cassia cinnamon. Ceylon can help retain collagen and even promote collagen growth. But Ceylon is much harder to find than cassia, and usually more expensive. So if you find a cream or moisturizer that uses natural ingredients like Ceylon, make sure you're prepared to pay.