Cinnamon… the Wonder Spice

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By: Binte Abdullah

It’s time to spice up your life! Spices are not only for making food taste good, they’re also incredibly healthy. Spices have been revered since antiquity for various reasons, including their potent medicinal properties.
Numerous spices have been shown to help with fat loss, premature aging, controlling blood sugar, and reducing inflammation, among many other benefits.
Cinnamon is a sweet spice is actually the inner bark of the cinnamon tree (of which there are numerous varieties). When it is dried, the result is a tubular form commonly known as a quill or cinnamon stick. You can also find powdered or ground cinnamon.
There are over one hundred varieties of cinnamon, with Ceylon cinnamon and Chinese cinnamon being the most commonly consumed. Ceylon cinnamon is actually referred to as “true cinnamon,” and the Chinese variety is known as “cassia.” They are both pretty similar, although the flavor of Ceylon cinnamon is subtler than the Chinese type. Cinnamon has a long history and is one of the oldest spices known to mankind.

 

Healing properties
Valued as much for its healing attributes as its culinary delight, cinnamon bark contains essential oils with highly active components. Cinnamon is rich in antioxidants, which help fight off free radicals and improve overall health and well-being.

 

Blood sugar regulation:
Cinnamon has proven itself to be a viable contender when it comes to lowering blood sugar in persons with diabetes. In fact, it has been found to have insulin-like impacts on blood sugar and slows the emptying rate of the stomach after meals, which improves insulin sensitivity. Researchers have found that just smelling cinnamon can help to increase memory and mental alertness.

 

Other noted benefits of cinnamon:
•   Relieving congestion
•   Reducing joint pain and stiffness
•   Reducing inflammation
•   Reducing headache pain
•   Relieving menstrual pain
•  Helping to prevent tooth decay and gum disease

 

How can I get more cinnamon in my diet?
There is no doubt that adding more cinnamon to your diet is a good thing. Although there is no recommended dose, some suggest between ½ to 1 teaspoon per day, while others increase this to 2 teaspoons. Keep in mind that people who are allergic should not consume cinnamon, as large doses may cause an extreme reaction.
Cinnamon is not one of those things you just eat on its own—you have to creatively work it into your daily diet. The good news is that this potent spice is extremely versatile and pleasant-tasting. Here are five ways you can get more cinnamon!

 

Mix it with your green tea:
Add one to two teaspoons of organic ground cinnamon to a hot cup of green tea. Stir slowly to help the cinnamon dissolve.

 

Mix it with your coffee prior to brewing:
Add an organic cinnamon stick or a teaspoon of organic ground cinnamon to your ground coffee before brewing. This will make your coffee taste great, and make your whole house smell wonderful.

 

Add it to soups and stews:
Cinnamon adds a wonderful flavor and aroma to a wide range of soups and stews. You won’t believe how good these can taste with just a bit of cinnamon in the mix. Add a dash or two of organic cinnamon to chili, lentils, beef stew and black bean soups for great warming goodness.
Add it to your breakfast: Ground cinnamon tastes great when sprinkled on all sorts of breakfast foods, including free-range eggs, oatmeal, cottage cheese and yogurt. Get into the habit of having a container of cinnamon handy so you can sprinkle away.

 

Add it to your green smoothie:
To further enhance the benefits of a green smoothie, add a teaspoon of cinnamon along with all of your other goodies. This will add a pleasant taste and aroma to your drink.
Getting out of the mindset that cinnamon can only be added to baked goods is a great first step to healthy living. There are many other ways you can enjoy this spice on a daily basis, such as adding it to rice, barley, casseroles and salads.

 

Cinnamon Toast with raspberries
Treat yourself to a delicious breakfast with cinnamon toast with raspberries.
Cooking time 10 min.       Prep time 10 min.

 

Ingredients
Eggs … 4                                                                   
Milk … 250 ml.
Sugar to taste (optional)
Bread slices … 8
Butter/oil … 30 gm
Caster sugar … 4 tbsp or to taste
Cinnamon powder … 1 pinch
Raspberries …  400 gm,
Cooking Directions
1.    Beat eggs,  milk and  sugar
2. Dip bread slices in mixture until saturated.
3. Heat up butter or oil in frying pan or griddle.
4. Fry  bread from both sides until golden brown.
5. Mix the caster sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over the bread.
6. Serve hot with raspberries on top.