The Health Benefits of Cinnamon

Article Summary

“The Health Benefits of Cinnamon” was written by Julie Stewart and published April 3, 2016 in Shape magazine. Shape is a popular magazine that provides tips on fitness, healthy eating, weight loss, and other tips for staying in shape. This article discusses the health benefits of cinnamon, and ways to incorporate it into the diet. Some of the benefits mentioned include activation of key enzymes in the body, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and insulin potentiating effects, reduced blood sugar, and improved working memory. It also discusses a study published in the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research that cinnamon was found to decrease pain related to menstrual cramps. It then includes a variety of examples of how to include it in recipes, like adding it to tea, popcorn, cereal, or cottage cheese, and gives a recipe for cinnamon-roasted nuts.

Article Critique

The author of the article, Julie Stewart, is a freelance writer with a Bachelor of Arts, Journalism, and Economics from Lehigh University. She has worked with both Men’s Health and Women’s Health previously. Although she does not have a degree in nutrition or health of any kind, she appears to have done research and used accredited health journals to draw her conclusions. She cites the Journal of the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Nutrition Research, and the Journal of Clinical & Diagnostic Research. She also quotes Holley Grainger, M.S., a registered dietitian from Birmingham, Alabama. However, some of the conclusions she draws from the scientific facts published in these journals and from these health professionals appear to need further evidence to be proven to be true. For example, when she discusses the relief of menstrual cramps, she says “a small amount of cinnamon—less than a quarter teaspoon—worked better than placebo for relieving menstrual cramps” (Stewart 2016). Though this information was taken from an article posted in a scholarly journal, she fails to mention that the group receiving cinnamon in this study was compared with a group taking Ibuprofen, and Ibuprofen worked significantly better than cinnamon at reducing pain. Also, the results were analyzed over a four-hour period and an eight-hour period, and over four hours there were no statistically significant differences between the cinnamon and placebo groups (Jaafarpour 2015). She also fails to mention that those wanting to receive the health benefits of cinnamon should avoid sources of cinnamon that are high in sugar and other unhealthy ingredients, like Cinnamon Toast Crunch or cinnamon flavored desserts.

References

Jaafarpour, Molouk, Masoud Hatefi, Ali Khani, and Javaher1 Khajavikhan. "Comparative Effect of Cinnamon and Ibuprofen for Treatment of Primary Dysmenorrhea: A Randomized Double-Blind Clinical Trial."Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research : JCDR. JCDR Research and Publications (P) Limited, 1 Apr. 2015. Web. 06 Apr. 2016.


Stewart, Julie. "What You Should Know About Cinnamon." Shape Magazine. Meredith Corporation, 03 Apr. 2016. Web. 06 Apr. 2016.