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My love affair with Cinnamon…

Cinnamon is one of my favourite spices that I constantly add to everything. Porridge, cacao drinks, chai, smoothies, yoghurt and fruit breakfast bowls, my famous apple crumble, homemade granola. The list is endless!


A teaspoon of cinnamon powder and cinnamon sticks on a chopping board


Cinnamon is known for its warm and sweet flavour, but it has a lot more to offer than its culinary applications. Cinnamon has been valued for centuries for its medicinal properties, and research shows it can be effective in reducing high blood pressure, regulating glucose levels, reducing inflammation, and improving cognition.


Cinnamon is rich in polyphenols, which are plant compounds known for their antioxidant properties. These polyphenols, including procyanidins and cinnamaldehyde, exhibit strong antioxidant activity, protecting cells from oxidative stress and damage caused by free radicals. Cinnamaldehyde has been shown to inhibit the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines in the gut, thus aiding in the reduction of gut inflammation and promoting gut health.


Cinnamon also exhibits prebiotic-like activity, supporting the growth of beneficial gut bacteria and suppressing the growth of pathogenic bacteria, positively impacting the balance of the gut microbiome. Several studies in healthy adults have demonstrated that cinnamon extract significantly increased the abundance of Bifidobacteria, Akkermansia and Lactobacillus, all known for their beneficial effects on gut health.


Studies have also shown that cinnamon oil can improve the oral microbiome by exhibiting a broad range of antimicrobial activity against the microbes causing dental caries. This is significant as dental caries is a risk factor for heart disease and Metabolic Syndrome.


Cinnamon also has many nutritional benefits. Adding one teaspoon (2-4 grams) of cinnamon powder a day provides calcium, potassium, vitamin A as well as small quantities of fibre and trace amounts of many other vitamins and nutrients.


So be bold and start adding cinnamon to your food and reap the benefits of its exotic taste whilst also supporting your gut microbiome and promoting optimal health.


xxx


By Vicky



REFERENCES

Jeong. et al. (2021). Antibacterial and antibiofilm activities of cinnamon essential oil nanoemulsion against multi-species oral biofilms. Sci Rep 11, 5911. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-021-85375-3


Kim et al. (2019). “Severity of dental caries and risk of coronary heart disease in middle-aged men and women: a population-based cohort study of Korean adults, 2002–2013.” Scientific Reports 9:10491 DOI: 10.1038/s41598-019-47029-3


Lu et al. (2019). "Mixed Spices at Culinary Doses Have Prebiotic Effects in Healthy Adults: A Pilot Study" Nutrients 11, no. 6: 1425. DOI: 10.3390/nu11061425


Lu et al. (2017). “Prebiotic Potential and Chemical Composition of Seven Culinary Spice Extract” Journal of Food Science Aug; 82(8): 1807–1813 DOI: 10.1111/1750-3841.13792


Mollazadeh et al. (2016). “Cinnamon effects on metabolic syndrome: a review based on its mechanisms.” Iran J Basic Med Sci. Dec; 19(12):1258-1270. DOI: 10.22038/ijbms.2016.7906.


Rao PV, Gan SH. (2014). “Cinnamon: a multifaceted medicinal plant.” Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 642942. DOI: 10.1155/2014/642942



Vicky Ellenport BHSc NUT is a registered Nutritionist and Microbiome Analyst who uses a food first approach in her treatment protocols. If you want to book in for a consultation you can do so here: Vicky Ellenport | The Microbiome Group



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