The Journal of the American College of Nutrition has confirmed that cinnamon lowers blood pressure.
The active ingredients in cinnamon are cinnamaldehyde, flavonoids, and coumarin. Cinnamaldehyde gives cinnamon its flavor and aroma. Flavonoids work as antioxidants. Coumarin has anticoagulant properties. Cinnamon may also possess anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antibacterial properties, and has been shown to help regulate blood sugar.
It’s not clear exactly how these ingredients combine to be effective so it’s generally best to avoid supplements that may be only partially effective. It’s also safest to take cinnamon whole and in foods. It takes only a half a teaspoon a day to reduce your blood pressure levels.
You may have heard that there is a “true” cinnamon and a “fake” cinnamon. There are a number of varieties of cinnamon. The botanical names differ and one of them translates to “true cinnamon” but all cinnamons are effective and helpful. It’s reasonable to use what is available and affordable.
More is Not Better
The least expensive cinnamon, cassia, is effective and safe when used in food, but it does contain more coumarin, the anticoagulant, than other types, so too much in the form of supplements could cause problems for people with liver or blood issues. If the cinnamon is used in food in reasonable amounts, there’s no need to worry, but unregulated supplements taken to excess could be dangerous.
So enjoy your cinnamon toast, stir your tea with a cinnamon stick, toss a little extra into your oatmeal. It’s a healthy, tasty way to keep your blood pressure down.