Food and Nutrition

How Cinnamon Is Good for Your Brain


By Elizabeth Nolan Brown for

Cinnamon, like other herbs and spices, gets relegated to a simple seasoning in many people’s minds. But cinnamon is actually something of a superfood in its own right, with powerful anti-inflammatory properties and the ability to stop bacterial growth. New research demonstrates yet another potential health benefit of cinnamon: Fighting Alzheimer’s.

It seems that compounds found in cinnamon can help inhibit nasty clumps of proteins in the brain that are a key component of the neurodegenerative disease.

There are three active compounds in cinnamon that make it so nutritious: Cinnamaldehyde, cinnamyl acetate and cinnamyl alcohol. It also contains a range of flavanols and other antioxidants, along with a surprising amount of calcium, manganese and fiber.

In the study, published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, researchers looked at cinnamaldehyde, the compound responsible for giving cinnamon its distinct smell. They also looked at a particular antioxidant found in cinnamon, epicatechin.

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