Cinnamon: Not just for rolls

By Mina Radman • Published: March 12th, 2013
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

When you hear the word cinnamon, you may think of gooey cinnamon rolls or other sweet goodies. Although these may not be the makings of the healthiest meal, cinnamon by itself is extremely beneficial to your health.

The spice is rich in manganese, iron, calcium and fiber, and research suggests it can prevent cancer, improve Alzheimer’s disease symptoms, strengthen cognitive function and help people lose weight. A recent study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that incorporating cinnamon into meals can dramatically reduce blood glucose levels and insulin resistance.

Cinnamon is most commonly used in the U.S. for desserts, but there are many ways to add cinnamon into your everyday diet, including several you’ve probably never even thought about.

Have you ever noticed the cinnamon shaker that sits next to the sugar at Starbucks? Sprinkle cinnamon into your morning coffee to get an early jolt of flavor and energy. If you don’t drink coffee, you can sprinkle cinnamon onto your morning toast, juice, tea or cider.

Many Middle Eastern families incorporate cinnamon into their lunch and dinner by using it as a seasoning for chicken and rice. In the Persian culture, cinnamon is mixed with rosewater to make curry powder for stews.

Cinnamon can be sprinkled onto an apple as an afternoon snack. Adding cinnamon to butter, cheese and pies enhances their natural tastes, too.

Health experts aren’t sure exactly how much cinnamon you should incorporate into your diet but most suggest about half a tablespoon. If you don’t like the taste of cinnamon on food, there are also cinnamon pills on the market that claim to provide the same health benefits.

Not only does cinnamon add richness and flavor to meals, it provides many health benefits that can help you lead a healthy lifestyle.