Cinnamon is a delicious spice that you will come across in cookbooks and recipes. The spice is quite popular and not just because it boosts the taste of your meal but due to the numerous health benefits, you will enjoy from it.
Cinnamon is produced from the inner bark of the Cinnamomum tree which is dried until they curl into rolls known as cinnamon sticks. These are then ground into a powder that can be poured over your meal or made into an extract.
Can Cinnamon Be Found in Nigeria?
No. Cinnamon is not native to Nigeria and has to be imported into the country. Cinnamon is native to Sri Lanka and Asian countries like China, Indonesia, and Vietnam from where it is imported and sold in several supermarkets in Nigeria.
Where Can I Buy Cinnamon in Nigeria?
Cinnamon is readily available in big supermarkets all over Nigeria. You might be able to purchase them from online marketing sites like Jumia. Another place to get Cinnamon is right from traders selling other spices. If you live in the North, it shouldn’t be hard to find.
However, you should take note of the type of Cinnamon you’re purchasing. You’d have better luck going for Cassia Cinnamon as it is not only more common but also quite affordable.
Types Of Cinnamon
Most people don’t know that there are two main types of Cinnamon spice. They are
Cassia Cinnamon is created from the Cinnamomum cassia tree which grows in Southern China and which why this type is commonly called Chinese Cinnamon. This cinnamon is usually dark brown-red in colour with a rough texture. It is the cheaper pick of both options and considered lower quality. However, it is the most common type consumed around the world. Cassia Cinnamon is not only used in cooking as a spice but also in traditional Chinese meals due to its numerous health properties.
Ceylon Cinnamon, also known as true cinnamon, grows in Sri Lanka and the southern parts of India. This type comes from the Cinnamomum verum tree. It is tan-brown in colour and delivers a more desirable quality and texture.
You are less likely to find this type in the market or being sold by traders as it is less common and more expensive. However, it makes for a better spice for desserts.
Health Benefits of Cinnamon
Loaded With Antioxidants
Cinnamon is a high source of antioxidants that will protect the body from oxidative damage thereby slowing the aging process and other damages due to free radicals. The healing power of this spice is so powerful that it can also be used as a natural food preservative.
Filled With Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Cinnamon is packed with several natural compounds filled with potent inflammatory properties that can reduce chronic or long-term inflammation. This makes the spice a perfect home remedy for reducing pains and swellings.
Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease
Cinnamon has been shown to have beneficial effects on people with type 2 diabetes, and could reduce the levels of total cholesterol, bad LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides while also maintaining the levels of good HDL cholesterol remains stable. It could also possibly reduce blood pressure. Overall, these effects will reduce your risk of heart disease.
Lowers Blood Sugar Levels
Cinnamon has been shown to have a powerful anti-diabetic effect and reduce blood sugar levels. It has been shown to interfere with the digestive enzymes to slow the breakdown of carbohydrates in the digestive tract which decreases the amount of glucose entering the bloodstream after a meal.
It also contains compound that acts on cells by mimicking insulin though it acts slower than actual insulin. This improves glucose intake by the cells.
Could Reduce the Risks of Neurodegenerative Diseases
Neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease lead to the progressive loss of the structure or function of brain cells. Cinnamon has been shown to contain two compounds that could inhibit the buildup of a protein called tau in the brain that indicates the presence of Alzheimer’s disease.
May Protect Against Cancer
Cinnamon has been widely studied for its potential effects on the prevention and treatment of cancer. It has shown to act against the growth of cancer cells and the formation of tumors. It could also cause the death of cancer cells.
Helps Fight Bacterial and Fungal Infections
Bacterial and Fungal infections are quite common but with a boost from cinnamon, you won’t have to worry about falling ill. Cinnamaldehyde is one of the main active compounds in cinnamon that will provide protection against respiratory tract infections caused by fungi. It can also reduce the chances of infections by certain bacteria such as Listeria and Salmonella by inhibiting their growth.
Overall, Cinnamon is a healthy spice that you won’t want to go without. While it gives a ton of health benefits, it can also boost the taste of your meal.