Recent research published by the University of Georgia in the Journal of Medicinal Food, covering a range of herbs and spices, found that cinnamon not only offers antioxidants, as has been known for a while, but also provides significant protection against the formation of advanced glycation end-products (AGEs).
The researchers found a strong and direct correlation between the phenol content of a spice and its ability to inhibit the formation of AGE compounds. And AGE is an apt acronym for these youth-destroying agents: AGEs are what trigger the body’s defense arsenal and lead to inflammation and tissue damage, which results in lines on your face, inflexible arteries and a host of other metabolic consequences.
So, how can you make the most of this? The first rule, they advise, is this: the fresher the spice, the more benefits you’ll get. Phenols are destroyed by light, heat and exposure to air, so be sure to buy your cinnamon fresh and keep it wrapped and boxed for maximum potency. Although it's intuitive, this is the first time we have read of a demonstrable correlation between freshness and health benefits.