When you get home from work, tired and exhausted, which drink do you grab first? Many people opt to take water, wine, energy drink, or even coffee. While all these are beneficial and healthy, well, except for most energy drinks, there are other healthier choices one can opt for. One of them is cinnamon tea.
Cinnamon, a renowned fragrant and a spice used in cookies, cakes, and oatmeal, can also be brewed as a tea. It has many amazing health benefits, including providing the body with antioxidants, protecting heart health, promoting weight loss, boosting immunity, among many others. It is obtained from the bark of several trees in Cinnamomum genus and ground to form a powder.
Before we talk about Cinnamon tea benefits, let's discuss what it is and the various types of cinnamon tea.
This is a beverage prepared by boiling powdered cinnamon in water and allowing it to steep for a few minutes. The tea is sweet and has a fragrant flavor. And although many people add other ingredients such as honey, milk or ginger to, drinking it in its natural flavors will still give you all its health benefits.
In addition to being a soothing and delicious caffeine-free beverage, cinnamon tea also boasts of many other benefits.
Regarding the flavor, cinnamon, which is a woody spice, has a sweet, savory flavor. This tea has a delicious, warm aroma that entices your senses. The tea has a deep-brown color when brewed and has hints of resin, honey, and spice that leaves a sweet after-taste in your mouth.
Which is the best cinnamon tea? There are two main types of cinnamon commonly brewed as a tea. They include;
This is the most common form of cinnamon, and you can find it in most superstore. Although it is native to China, Cassia cinnamon is cultivated in many parts of the world and is used by many tea lovers. However, it is important to mention that this type of cinnamon can be harmful when taken in high doses. This is because of the presence of a compound known as coumarin, which can be toxic to the body when consumed in large quantities.
Often called true cinnamon, Ceylon cinnamon is popular cinnamon, which boasts of many health benefits. While this too contains coumarin, it is a safer substitute to Cassia cinnamon as the quantities of coumarin are low.
Well, there are other types of cinnamon that can be used to make tea, but the above ones are the most common.
To help you understand the benefits of cinnamon tea, it is important that we talk about what this tea packs;
One cup of cinnamon tea packs two calories per serving, with the majority of calories coming from carbohydrates, fat, and protein.
However, naturally, cinnamon tea is considered sugar-free and thus can make a healthy alternative drink for sugar-sweetened beverages. It is for this reason that people who are used to taking energy drinks and other sugary beverages opt for cinnamon tea to help them with weight loss.
Cinnamon tea also has substantial amounts of manganese, iron, fiber, and vitamin K.
With that in mind, you will be in a better position to understand why cinnamon tea is beneficial in different ways.
Let’s now talk about its benefits
Like many other herbal teas, cinnamon tea packs plenty of antioxidants that offer health benefits in the body. Among the antioxidants that cinnamon bark packs include catechins and procyanidins that protect body cells from being oxidized by free radicals.
Free radicals are known to cause different chronic diseases, including cancers and heart disease. They also cause premature aging.
Cinnamon bark also packs flavonoids and polyphenols, both of which protect the body from oxidation-effect of free radicals. (1)
Cinnamon is a great drink for people who have blood sugar problems. According to different studies, cinnamon was found to act like insulin in the body. Insulin is the hormone that regulates sugar in the body and tissues. (2)
Cinnamon may help promote insulin activity in the body and also prevent insulin resistance. A study done in the U.K by Thames Valley University showed that cinnamon could decrease blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. (3)
Drinking cinnamon tea may help lower the risk of heart disease. With cardiovascular diseases being among the leading killers in the US, it is important to protect yourself from these chronic diseases, and drinking cinnamon tea may help with that.
As discussed above, cinnamon tea packs anti-inflammatory and antioxidants that may help fight free radicals in the body, which are linked to heart problems. Besides, cinnamon tea help reduce triglycerides and cholesterol levels in the body.
A study done on 60 individuals with type 2 diabetes in Diabetes Care found that cinnamon tea increase insulin sensitivity and thus may help improve blood sugar levels. The participants in the study were divided into six groups, three of which were taking a placebo while the other three received different doses of cinnamon for a period running for 40 days.
After the 40 days, the groups that were receiving varying doses of cinnamon had decreased levels of lipid content, bad LDL, and total cholesterol levels. The other group taking a placebo showed no significant changes in the amount of cholesterol in the body. (4)
Therefore, if you want to protect your heart health, you should add cinnamon tea to your daily routine. Cinnamon has shown abilities to reduce heart disease risk factors, thereby keeping your heart working optimally. By decreasing the levels of bad cholesterol in the body and increase levels of beneficial cholesterol, you can keep your arteries and heart safer.
Can drinking cinnamon tea help me lose weight? This is a question many overweight people ask. And although there is limited research on the effects of drinking cinnamon tea for weight loss, the few studies conducted relating to the effect of this beverage on weight loss has shown promising results.
One study conducted in India showed that taking 3g of cinnamon on a daily basis for 16 weeks can help decrease your waist circumference and overall body weight. (5)
Another scientific study published in Scientific Reports showed that cinnamon extract caused browning of fat cells in the body, which is a process that occurs when metabolism is increased. This means that cinnamon tea may help increase metabolism, thereby helping with weight loss and protecting against obesity. (6)
As mentioned in the first benefit that we discussed, cinnamon bark packs a significant amount of antioxidants, which may help to fight cancer.
There have been many impressive studies done to test whether or not cinnamon may help in preventing cancer.
Among them is one study published in BMC Cancer Journal, which showed that cinnamon extract might induce death of tumor cells in skin cancer. It does this by altering the activities of specific proteins. (7)
In another study conducted in Maryland, cinnamon was found to have similar properties. Polyphenols extracted from the bark of cinnamon showed potential to reduce the growth and spread of cancer cells in the liver. (8)
Of course, more studies need to be done to prove the cancer-fighting abilities of cinnamon tea in a human body, but the few already done are promising.
Many teas, including cinnamon packs antibacterial properties that help them fend off pathogens that can make your body sick. Different studies show that cinnamon may inhibit the growth of bacteria, such as Candida albicans and salmonella.
The antibacterial properties of this tea can help prevent the spread of bacteria that causes common cold and bad breath. (9)
Among the greatest health benefits of drinking cinnamon tea on a regular basis is its ability to preserve brain function and protect brain health.
Studies have also shown that cinnamon tea may help protect mental health. Drinking cinnamon tea on a regular basis may help protect your brain from different neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. (10)
Well, from the above benefits, it is true that Cinnamon tea is a highly beneficial beverage, which you should include in your daily diet. However, it has its risk factors.
When taken in moderation, cinnamon has no side effects. However, drinking large quantities of this tea may cause lips and tongue irritation and also cause mouth sores. In some people, cinnamon tea may trigger an allergic reaction.
High quantities of Cassia cinnamon may be poisonous, especially to people with liver problems. Also, people who are taking diabetes medicine may need to adjust their treatment as cinnamon promotes the functioning of insulin, thereby lowering blood sugar levels. This tea is not recommended for women who are breastfeeding or pregnant
If you are under prescription medicine, you may need to talk to your doctor before drinking cinnamon tea.
Overall, we can say that cinnamon tea is among the healthiest beverages you can include in your diet. It is rich in antioxidants that help prevent cancer and heart diseases, and also help regulate blood sugar as well as boosting immunity.
Although more studies need to be done on how cinnamon is beneficial to the body, the few already conducted have shown promising results. This is why you need to include cinnamon tea in your daily diet.