Mmmm, cinnamon. It's got to be my favourite spice. There's something about its aroma that just sends me. So fragrant and warm and sweet. I think I have it every almost every single day in some form or way. Usually on my oatmeal..wink. wink. :)
It's not only one of the most widely common spices, but it's also one of the most oldest known. It has many unique health benefits too. It should be a super-food. Here's a short list of things you may not have know about the spice:
- Ceylon and Cassia cinnamon are the most popular kinds. (One of my favourite places to buy my spices is Penzeys. Sadly they're not here in Canada but they are just across the border)
- Ceylon, or "true cinnamon", can be found in specialty stores and is more expensive. It's lighter in colour and has a sweet taste and almost earthy aroma. You should be able to snap a stick of of the real stuff in half quite easily. Cassia on the other hand is the one that is found in mostly all grocery stores in America + North America. It's less expensive and has a darker colour.
- It's a great remedy for colds, flu and nausea. And it can also be used as a digestive aid to relieve abdominal discomfort.
- Numerous studies show that cinnamon can quite possibly have a positive effect on lowering blood sugar. Most studies suggest its effects can be seen with just a 1/2 teaspoon.
- It reduces LDL cholesterol levels (The one that's harmful to your heart health).
- It has an anti-clotting effect on blood (great to help stem pesky nose bleeds).
- When cinnamon is combined with honey it has been found to relieve arthritis pain. It's also considered a pain killer for headaches and migraines.
- It contains fiber, calcium, iron, and manganese.
- Just smelling the spice can boost cognitive function and memory.
- It acts as a natural food preservative.
- The compound cinnamaldehyde is what gives cinnamon its flavour and aroma. The same compound that makes it act like a natural food preservative. It has an antimicrobial effect which can actually get rid of bad breath.
Now I wouldn't start guzzling cinnamon because as it has been found to be toxic in high doses, but a little pinch, 1/2 a teaspoon here and there is full of some wonderful benefits. Not to mention it warms your soul especially on a cold rainy day. So go make that apple pie. Or if you're like me, oatmeal.
Now I'm going to tease you with what's to come (I know, that's mean)...hint: it involves cinnamon and honey.