By Tamara Jacobi December 31, 2013
Just the smell of cinnamon is enough to inspire nostalgic childhood memories: sipping hot cocoa, playing in the snow, and nibbling grandma’s baked treats. Though cinnamon is considered a classic holiday spice, I’ve become absolutely convinced that it should be a permanent addition to both my spice cabinet and my medicine cabinet.
Cinnamon is one of the oldest known spices, and was traditionally used not only as a spice, but as a healer and even as perfume! Did you know that cinnamon sticks are actually the brown bark from a cinnamon tree? The bark is harvested and dried into rolls to make cinnamon sticks. Powdered cinnamon is simply bark that has been ground and ready for you to use!
Here are six reasons to love this diverse superfood:
1. It satisfies your sweet tooth.
Cinnamon has the ability to enhance the natural sweetness of foods containing sugar. I don’t know about you, but I’m always looking for healthy ways to satisfy my sweet tooth! For a sweet treat that’s low in calories, try sprinkling cinnamon over sliced fruit such as apples or bananas. Simple and sweet!
2. It aids weight loss.
Adding a dash of cinnamon to your meals can help stabilize your blood sugar, reduce fat storage, keep you satisfied for longer and allow you to eat less. If you’re trying to lose a few pesky pounds, cinnamon will give you a nice push in the right direction! Given its ability to stabilize blood sugar, cinnamon can be very helpful in the treatment of diabetes.
3. It boosts brain function.
Studies suggest that this aromatic spice can help boost brain activity, and can also help prevent Alzheimer’s disease. It seems that cinnamon is good for the mind now and down the road .
4. It’s easy to use.
Even if you’re not a cook, it’s incredibly simple to add cinnamon to tea, coffee, yogurt, smoothies, fruit, granola, whole grains, desserts, and more. If you’re a lazy chef like myself, cinnamon is a simple spice that can give basic dishes some flare without much effort. Though we often associate cinnamon with sweet, you can also add it to grains, sautés, beans and beyond.
5. It’s anti-inflammatory.
As an athlete, cinnamon has been one of my nutritional epiphanies. Cinnamon is a natural anti-inflammatory that can help athletes recover quickly from workouts and injuries. Not surprisingly, cinnamon has become one of the key ingredients in my post workout smoothies.
6. It’s anti-microbial.
Adding a dash of cinnamon to your life can help stop candida overgrowth. Everyone has candida in their tummy. The problems arise when candida gets out of control. Adding cinnamon to your diet regularly can help keep candida at bay.
Though I probably won’t be wearing cinnamon as a perfume anytime soon, you can be sure that this unique spice has a special spot on my kitchen counter!