Cinnamon – A spice full of secrets!

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Cinnamon: a spice from India that tastes great in Portuguese dishes. Have you heard about its properties and benefits? Then this article is for you!

Nutritional Composition

Cinnamon is attributed anti-inflammatory, antiseptic (reduces or inhibits bacterial and fungicidal proliferation) and antioxidant properties. And if we pay attention to its nutritional composition, cinnamon consists not only of relevant minerals and vitamins, but also of a significant content of these same nutrients. An example is the content of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, iron, vitamin C and carotenes. Beyond these cinnamon properties, several studies have alerted to the possible reducing effect that this spice may have on the proliferation of cancerous cells, cholesterol and triglycerides. However, although the scientific community is divided about this effect, the studies are still not conclusive.

The high fibre content of this spice (24.4g per 100g of product) is also one of those responsible for slowing down the digestion of simple sugars and increasing satiety. In fact, this is one of the reasons why cinnamon is considered a beneficial food for type 2 diabetics, since it helps to control blood glucose levels, reduces resistance to insulin and promotes slower digestion. But this is a beneficial effect for sports practitioners too. Adding cinnamon to meals before and after training, is a strategy that helps the body to manage blood glucose and maintain constant energy levels.

Culinary versatility

This spice has the advantage of combining well with many flavours. At this time of year, for example, cinnamon is used in most Christmas sweets like vermicelli, French toast, custard tarts, etc. But in everyday life, we could include it in coffee, milk, yoghurt, cheese, tea, fruit – especially roasted fruit, which is more familiar to us -, in the seasoning of meat, sangria or any other food you like especially.

Therefore, the cinnamon:

– Has anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and antioxidant properties;

– It has a significant content of calcium, potassium and carotenes;

– It is a satiating food due to its high fibre content;

– Decreases insulin resistance;

– It promotes good management of blood sugar levels.


  1. Tabela da composição dos alimentos. Instituto Nacional Ricardo Jorge;
  2. Anderson, RA. Chromium and polyphenols from cinnamon improve insulin sensitivity. Proc Nutr Soc 2007 Jul; 67, 48-53;
  3. Hlebowicz, J., et al. Effect of cinnamon on postprandial blood glucose, gastric emptying, and satiety in healthy subjects. Am J Clin Nutr 2007 Jan; 8 5:1552-6;
  4. Roussel, AM, et al. Antioxidant effects of a cinnamon extract in people with impaired fasting glucose that are overweight or obese.  J Am Coll Nutr 2009 Feb; 28(1):16-21;
  5. Aggarwal, BB. Targeting inflammation-induced obesity and metabolic diseases by curcumin and other nutraceuticals. Annu Rev Nutr 2010 Aug 21; 30:173-99;
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