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Why you should add cinnamon to your daily cup o’ joe

By The Health News Team | March 2, 2023
Person holding coffee with cinnamon

Cinnamon in coffee isn’t just delicious, it’s also loaded with many health benefits. Both cinnamon and coffee are packed with antioxidants, vitamins and nutrients.

According to Jamie Degagne, a registered dietitian nutritionist for the Sharp Rees-Stealy Center for Health Management, adding just one teaspoon of cinnamon a day to your morning java can do more than improve its taste. You also receive a good dose of your daily vitamins and supplements in just one drink.

Benefits of cinnamon

Cinnamon is a spice that’s been used for thousands of years, both for its wonderful taste and its medicinal benefits. Cinnamon is high in cinnamaldehyde, a naturally occurring compound that gives it its flavor and odor — also found in blueberries and cranberries — and contributes to most of its health benefits.

Cinnamon possesses anti-inflammatory properties to help your body respond to infections and repair tissue damage. It also contains high antioxidant components to protect your body from oxidative damage caused by free radicals, the small compounds that have been linked to numerous health problems such as heart diseases, arthritis and cancer.

Cinnamon is also good for your heart. Studies show daily consumption of cinnamon can lead to a decrease in total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides — a type of fat found in blood. It also showed increased levels of HDL cholesterol, often known as the “good” cholesterol. In addition, cinnamon may help manage blood sugar by increasing insulin sensitivity. This controls blood glucose and decreases blood sugar levels after eating.

Benefits of coffee

Coffee has numerous health benefits, including a protective effect on liver function, reduced cardiovascular disease, decreased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and a protective effect against certain cancers.

“Both cinnamon and coffee alone could be classified as a super food for the health benefits they each provide,” says Degagne. “And when combined, you also receive a synergistic effect of antioxidants, which help the body scavenge free radicals and keep your cells healthy.”

While there are health benefits to adding cinnamon to your coffee, there is a toxic level of a compound in cinnamon called coumarin. Coumarin may cause liver damage in large amounts. While this is unlikely to happen through the consumption of small amounts of cinnamon in coffee and food, choosing Ceylon cinnamon, which has low levels of coumarin, rather than cassia cinnamon, is the safest option.

“Making cinnamon coffee is simple to make and budget-friendly,” says Degagne. “There’s no reason not to give it a try.”

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