Characterised by its sweet yet sharp flavour, cinnamon offers more than a tasty spice.
Dr Tamara Alireza, Functional Medicine practitioner at Skinfluencer London, told Express.co.uk that the popular spice could relieve symptoms of Covid or even prevent an infection.
What’s more, adding around one teaspoon of cinnamon to your tea or coffee could be enough to do the trick.
Packed with anti-inflammatory properties, cinnamon is able to increase your levels of nitric oxide while dampening down inflammation.
Dr Alireza said: “The virus has been known to negatively affect lung function, and nitric oxide is an important vasodilator that improves oxygenation in the lungs.
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“This can improve symptoms of fatigue by enhancing cellular oxygenation.”
Cinnamon could also “effectively” lower your fasting blood sugar levels. The doctor explained that this is important because chronic high blood glucose levels can inhibit nitrogen oxide production and hike your risk of respiratory infections.
“This would promote local inflammation that can aggravate a current respiratory issue,” Dr Alireza said.
What’s more, nitric oxide has been shown to prevent the development of SARS-CoV-2, which is the virus that causes Covid.
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This is where the “potent” spice could step in with its ability to boost nitric oxide levels.
The doctor added: “Thus, cinnamon is able to limit virus proliferation, improve certain symptoms by improving tissue oxygenation and reducing systemic inflammation via different pathways.
“While it is not a cure, cinnamon can certainly be used in conjunction with other anti-inflammatory dietary and lifestyle modifications to potentially reduce disease severity and symptom time.”
Don’t just take the doctor’s word for it, as a study, published in the journal Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy, also backs the anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant effects of cinnamon on treating Covid.
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The researchers explained that “theoretically” cinnamon could be “effective” during coronavirus infection.
However, they added that it would be best to support this hypothesis through clinical trials in COVID-19 patients before drawing definitive recommendations.
If you want to add cinnamon to your arsenal of protection, the doctor recommended sprinkling around one teaspoon or six grams of “good quality” cinnamon over your coffee, tea or smoothies daily.
“Cinnamon sticks can also be boiled to make a cinnamon tea – consume no more than one boiled cinnamon stick per day,” she added.
However, people with diabetes or those on blood thinning medication should consult their doctor before making a cinnamon staple in their diets.
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