Use cinnamon to control inflammation
Edited by Christine dela Cruz, Lynn, Maria Sharon Ubando, Alma and 2 others
is most commonly used as an interesting additional flavor to many pastries and even lattes. However, it is actually more than that. There are many other benefits that can be realized from the intake of cinnamon, which dates back to ancient years in China where people used it for medicinal purposes.
What is Inflammation?
Inflammation is one of the body's first reaction to protect itself from external factors that negatively affect the body. When it occurs, it only tells us that the body is doing a defense and self-protection, which means that the body is trying to recover on its own from those harmful factors.
Inflammation is often misconstrued as equivalent to infection. However, it's not quite right to refer to these two symptoms as one. Infection does cause inflammation, and infection is caused by viruses, fungi, and even bacteria.
Ironic as it may sound, inflammation, in most cases, is actually good because it leads a person to know that something is wrong inside the body that needs attention. For example, if there is an infection in the throat, there would be an inflammation that's visible during physical checkup. Without this, diagnosis would be much more complicated. Inflammation is most commonly characterized by swelling of the affected area.
Once an inflammation has been identified, it must be addressed as soon as possible. When left untreated, it may lead to further inflammation of that same area or even spread to another. One of its qualities is that it is self-perpetuating.
Treatment is usually involving attempts to reduce swelling. Once this happens, the healing process begins.
Stages of Inflammation
- 1Redness, and sometimes itching or a burning feeling, is common to see at this stage.Irritation.
- 2This is the first step of the immediate process of healing that the body engages with.Inflammation.
- 3This is characterized by the discharge of pus from the area.Suppuration.
- 4This is when small masses of tissue form to begin healing.Granulation.
Components of Cinnamon that Work Against Inflammation
One of these many benefits is the fact that cinnamon is effective in controlling inflammation. It is because of the powerful antioxidants that are contained in every serving. Antioxidants are known to help in repairing tissue damage, which leads to effective control of inflammation.
Also, the cinnamon bark is known to contain essential oils which in turn have three important components that work towards the reduction of inflammation. These components are called cinnamaldehyde, cinamyl alcohol, and cinnamyl acetate, which are very volatile. The main component here that has an effect on inflammation is cinnamaldehyde. It has a direct effect on platelets, which are constituents of the blood that are responsible for clotting during injury to stop bleeding. The cinnamaldehyde sourced from cinnamon would prevent unnecessary clotting of blood through inhibition of the release of inflammatory fatty acids.
The Power of Antioxidants
Antioxidants are commonly heard recently and are said to play a very important function in maintaining healthy cells, by protecting them from the adverse effects of free radicals. Free radicals are molecular by-products of food when broken down. It may also come from the environment, such as when tobacco smoke is inhaled or when a person is exposed to radiation. These damage cells and play a significant role in many diseases, particularly cancer.
Antioxidants often contain:
- Vitamin A. This leads to good vision and stronger immune system. It also motivates growth of new and healthier cells.
- Vitamin C. This provides overall protection to the body by compensation for some deficiencies of the immune system. Therefore, it is not only a defense against coughs and colds, but it's for overall physical wellbeing.
- Vitamin E. This prevents heart diseases as well as thickening of the blood vessels. It is also known to prevent several types of cancers, such as lung cancer, colorectal cancer, and gastic cancer. Vitamin E is also well-known as a supplement promoting better functions of the brain.
- Beta-carotene. This benefits the body by acting as a scavenger for free radicals, therefore preventing spread and further damage to other cells.
- Lutein. This is the eyes' bestfriend. It protects the eyes from various conditions, especially those which are age-related. At the same time, it nourishes the skin through better hydration and protection from the dangerous rays of the sun.
- Lycopene. This protects the cells from further damage. It is also known to be able to prevent cancer by strengthening the cells and wiping the free radicals off.
- Selenium. This inhibits the activities and effects of free radicals in the body. It also releases a powerful enzyme called glutathione peroxidise, which flushes out peroxides that degrades essential lipids in the body.
How to Absorb as Much Cinnamon as Possible
- 1The more chemical reaction and processes it undergoes, the more the 3 components mentioned above that have direct effect on inflammation would be degraded. It's best to utilize raw cinnamon sticks compared to processed ones in the supermarket.Cinnamon is best used as natural or organic as possible.
- 2If this fragrance is missing, it means it is not fresh anymore and should be thrown away.When selecting cinnamon sticks, make sure it smells sweet.
- 3Shelf-life of cinnamon sticks typically lasts for about a year, even longer when stored in a refrigerator.Storage of cinnamon should be in a tightly-sealed container and located in an area that does not have direct sunlight nor an area that's too moist.
- 4However, there are some practical uses such as using it as a stirrer for tea, coffee, and cocoa drinks. This lets the drink absorb and mix some of the cinnamon at the same time.Cinnamon sticks are less convenient to use compared to readily available cinnamon powder.
- 5You may add a teaspoon or 2 of cinnamon to your protein shake taken after a workout.When engaging in heavy physical activity, such as exercise or sports, it's best to increase the amount of cinnamon intake as it will prevent or control inflammation coming out of the activity right away.
- 6However, 1 to 6 grams in a day would be sufficient to realize the benefits. During cases of inflammation, a slight increase in this recommended daily intake would be good, and then just taper it down as soon as the symptoms subside.There is really no such thing as overdose when it comes to cinnamon intake.
- 7At the same time, hot drinks would have a soothing effect which could lead to calming any inflammation.While there is no difference in terms of effectiveness between mixing cinnamon to hot or cold drinks, it is better to mix it with hot drinks mainly because it makes the absorption and combination to the food or drink faster than when you do so with something cold.
Tips Tricks & Warnings
- If you have a known blood disorder or are suspecting to have one, avoid consuming more than the recommended daily dose of 1 to 6 grams. Too much of it can lead to low platelet levels, and consequently result to excessive bleeding.
- It is not recommended to take cinnamon before surgery. Although it helps in preventing or controlling inflammation that may be one of the after-effects of surgery, it may have an adverse effect in terms of blood clotting during surgery.
Categories : Cinnamon usage and benefits
Recent edits by: Rob, Alma, Maria Sharon Ubando