Cinnamon Benefits Abound | health beat

If you’re trying to limit your sugar intake, cinnamon is a great option for adding a taste that resembles sweetness. (For the rhythm of health)

Pumpkin pie. Apple chips. Chai tea. Hot cocoa and coffee.

What do they all have in common? They can often include cinnamon, one of the most popular spices during the holiday season.

And like many spices, cinnamon is, gram for gram, one of your best options when looking to add antioxidants to meals or drinks, Kristi Veltkamp, ​​RD, Registered Dietitian at Spectrum Healthsaid.

“Cinnamon is a natural antimicrobial and (it) can help lower cholesterol and blood sugar“said Veltkamp.

He has phytonutrients, too. The two main types of phytonutrients are cinnamaldehyde and proanthocyanidins, or PACs.

“The PACs get into your colon, and the microbes digest it and break it down,” Veltkamp said. “The byproduct of this creates beneficial compounds that help reduce inflammation, protect you from cardiovascular disease, and also help with metabolism.”

It’s important to keep moderation in mind when sprinkling cinnamon.

“Some people go crazy with cinnamon,” Veltkamp said. “I would say half a teaspoon a day is the safest amount to have. Anything more than that could lead to problems with over-consumption of a compound that is bad for the liver.

If you’re trying to limit your sugar intake, cinnamon is a good alternative. It will add some sweetness and you might not even notice the lack of sugar.

“Try it in coffee, tea, or your oatmeal,” Veltkamp says. “It’s also delicious in chai tea, which has other spices like cloves, ginger, cardamom.”

The must-have for the holidays

When the holidays roll around, that’s often the cue for all things pumpkin spice.

“Pumpkin spice snacks also contain cinnamon,” Veltkamp said.

Energy bites, warmed seasoned nuts and chickpeas are some of her favorites. She often seasons them with cinnamon and spices.

“Crepes or baked apples are absolutely delicious too,” she said. “Shake a little cinnamon on top and your taste buds will thank you.”

Baked apples are an easy snack that can provide nutrition. Cinnamon also has its place here.

“Just add water and cinnamon with your apple slices and reheat them in the microwave,” she said. “You can also add a little oatmeal or granola on top for a bit of crunch.”

While many people will opt for ground cinnamon in recipes, cinnamon sticks are just as good for taste and nutrition.

“I use the cinnamon sticks when I steep my tea,” Veltkamp said.

Veltkamp shared two of his favorite recipes from the Spectrum Health Lifestyle Medicine crew:

Keep in mind that cinnamon isn’t just for sweets, it can also be salty. Many Indian dishes, such as garam masala, contain a little cinnamon, Veltkamp said.

And the benefits of cinnamon can be realized beyond just nutrition. The researchers found that olfactory memories can boost psychological and physiological health, which can help disrupt food cravings, reduce stress, and improve mood.

Given cinnamon’s place as a staple flavor during the holidays, it’s all the more reason to add this favorite spice to your hot chocolate and festive dishes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *