Cinnamon: Spice Up Your Food and Your Health
Cinnamon is an aromatic and delicious spice that has been highly prized for centuries. Throughout history cinnamon has been used in cooking and for medicine, and was regarded as a gift fit for a king. Luckily for us, cinnamon can be now be found in regular grocery stores and at reasonable prices. While cassia cinnamon is the most common form found today, ceylon cinnamon is considered “true” cinnamon and since it has less coumarin (potentially harmful to the liver), it is worth the extra effort to find and the extra price.
Cinnamon is made from the bark of the cinnamomum tree, which dries and curls into cinnamon sticks, which can then be ground into cinnamon powder. It is high in an oily compound called cinnamaldehyde, which gives cinnamon its distinct smell and flavor, and contributes greatly to its health benefits.
Antioxidants abound in this delicious superfood. Cinnamon is one of the spices with the highest antioxidant levels, compounds which help protect the body from damage from free radicals.
Laboratory evidence shows cinnamon helps fight both viruses and bacteria. It is thought that cinnamon may damage the structure of certain viruses. It has also been shown to limit the growth of certain bacteria, including Salmonella. These findings lead researchers to believe cinnamon may have a role in reducing or preventing common ailments, such as colds, influenza, respiratory infections, and tooth decay.
Cinnamon may even be good for your heart and blood sugar. Studies have shown intake of cinnamon to be linked with reduced cholesterol levels, reduced triglyceride levels, and blood pressure. In addition to cinnamon’s potential benefits on heart health, it has also been shown to have an effect on blood sugar levels. Cinnamon appears to help reduce insulin resistance and help reduce the amount of sugar entering the bloodstream after eating, which is especially promising for people with diabetes.
While many people associate cinnamon with desserts, we have compiled a list of other uses for this super spice:
- Brew with your coffee or tea
- Moroccan Meatballs
- Pork Loin with apples
- Sprinkled on oatmeal
- Curried Red Lentil Soup
- Roasted Acorn or Butternut Squash
- Cincinnati Chili
- Many lamb recipes
The above is offered by Dr. Shillingford’s staff at his Boca Raton office. While Dr. Shillingford is well known for his surgical weight loss solutions, including adjustable lap band, gastric sleeve, and gastric bypass, he also enjoys sharing information with his clients to promote their overall health in addition to weight loss. His clients come from all over Florida including Orlando, Tampa, Daytona Beach, Gainesville, Miami Beach, and Palm Beach.