The Holidays are fast approaching and fall is already here, so what better spice to cover than cinnamon. It’s perfect this time year and evokes those feel-good feelings of winter and warmth. This spice is more than a seasonal star and you’ll be wanting to use it year-round after reading this! Spices can be more than just an after thought added to a dish for flavor; you could be getting health benefits as well (check out the turmeric post)
Cinnamon has a long history and has been around since ancient times (especially popular in the Middle Ages in Europe). Cinnamon comes from a tree, that can be found in South Asia and the Middle East. It is made from the bark of the tree and can be found in either stick form or ground. There are three varieties of cinnamon, Ceylon is more refined and subtle, but the most popular and easiest to find in the U.S. is cassia. I’ll just make this simple and provide the benefits below:
- Good for diabetics because it regulates blood sugar
- Research by the Department of Agriculture have shown it to reduce proliferation of leukemia and lymphoma cancer cells.
- A Copenhagen study showed that 1/2 tsp added to 1 tbsp of honey before breakfast in the morning relieved arthritis
- Food preservative: it can be added to food to protect against bacteria and spoilage
- High antioxidant activity
- Aids in digestion and treats diarrhea
- treats toothaches and eliminates bad breath
- Good source of: manganese, fiber, iron, and calcium
- It’s fiber and calcium content help improve colon health and protect against heart disease
- 1/2 tsp a day lowers LDL cholesterol levels
- smelling cinnamon enhances cognitive function and memory
What’s great about cinnamon is that it can be used in not only sweet dishes but savory as. Brittany likes to add it to salmon or meat. Jeannine likes it on chicken; so add a sprinkle anywhere. Add to some to tea, a pumpkin dish, to fruit, or add to a curry. Saturday I’ll try to provide some recipes with cinnamon (but look at the pumpkin recipes from last week which have cinnamon as well).