Today I chose to write about the health benefits of cinnamon. Alhamdulillah Allah swt has blessed us with many foods, herbs and spices, many of which are very beneficial to our health and immune system.
In Morocco, we have a number of frequently used spices and one of them is Cinnamon, we use this spice in savoury foods like the famous Moroccan roast chicken, and meat Tagine’s as well as in salads and all the delicious mouthwatering sweets and desserts such as sliced oranges, milk puddings and cookies.
Cinnamon is a highly valued spice that has been used since ancient times for its medicinal and healing properties. It has the highest antioxidant strength of all the food sources and is several hundred more potent than any fruit or vegetable.
Health Benefits of Cinnamon
Cinnamon is a great source of vitamins A and B-complex and minerals such as chromium, iron, zinc, and calcium. It is particularly good for helping with diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, indigestion, flatulence, and arthritis.
Cinnamon is known to help prevent and shorten the duration of the flu as well to eliminate congestion and mucus from the body. Cinnamon is also very beneficial for lowering cholesterol and helping regulate blood sugar.
Cinnamon is known to help increase blood circulation and contains anti-clotting compounds which make it highly beneficial for helping to prevent strokes and coronary artery disease.
Cinnamon is also very good for reducing inflammation in the body making it helpful for people with autoimmune disorders such as fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome.
Cinnamon also has the amazing ability to stop yeast infections, candida, and menstrual cramps. Cinnamon has anti-cancer properties and has been known to reduce the growth of leukaemia and lymphoma cancer cells within the body.
Cinnamon is commonly used in gum and dental treatments due to its pain-relieving and antiseptic properties.
Cinnamon helps to boost memory and cognitive function, just smelling cinnamon spice or its essential oil can help make you more alert and focused.
Cinnamon oil is also one of the most antimicrobial essential oils and is a potent disinfectant around the home and office.
Cinnamon contains anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral properties that kill microorganisms such as staph, botulism, aflatoxin mould, E. coli, and cold and flu germs.
Educate your children on food benefits while cooking
When I was little I would see my father add fresh cinnamon sticks to his kahwa (expressed coffee) as he brewed it, he said that it was good for the body as well as for taste. I didn’t think much of it at the time but later come to know he was right ;). I am currently adding cinnamon to my mug of milk tea and strongly urge you to consider adding a couple of pinches of cinnamon every morning to your morning tea, cereal, smoothies, or even juice.
I am trying to encourage and educate my children from a young age to add these things to their daily routines. We frequently get our hands dirty in the kitchen together, while I enlighten them with the benefits of the ingredients we are using. The other day we made a raw apple sauce recipe with 2 apples, 3 medjool dates, and a couple of pinches of cinnamon. Placed it in a food processor and then blended it until smooth for a fresh and nutritious apple sauce 😉
Types of Cinnamon
There are several types of cinnamon available, each with its own distinct characteristics. The two most commonly known types are:
- Ceylon Cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum): Also known as “true cinnamon,” Ceylon cinnamon is considered to be of higher quality and is often referred to as the “real” cinnamon. It has a delicate, sweet flavor with subtle citrus notes and a light, tan-brown color. Ceylon cinnamon is widely used in baking, desserts, and beverages.
- Cassia Cinnamon (Cinnamomum cassia): Cassia cinnamon is the more commonly available type and is often labeled as simply “cinnamon” in stores. It has a stronger, spicier flavor compared to Ceylon cinnamon, with a reddish-brown color. Cassia cinnamon is commonly used in cooking, both in sweet and savory dishes.
Apart from these two main types, there are other varieties or regional types of cinnamon found in different parts of the world, including:
- Saigon Cinnamon (Cinnamomum loureiroi): This type of cinnamon has a strong, intense flavor and aroma. It is often used in savory dishes, such as curries, due to its bold and assertive taste.
- Korintje Cinnamon: Originating from Indonesia, Korintje cinnamon is known for its deep and rich flavor. It is commonly used in baking, spiced drinks, and as a topping for specialty coffees.
- Indonesian Cinnamon (Cinnamomum burmannii): This type of cinnamon has a similar flavor profile to Cassia cinnamon and is widely used in cooking and baking.
It’s important to note that both Ceylon cinnamon and Cassia cinnamon offer health benefits, but Cassia cinnamon contains higher levels of coumarin, a compound that can be harmful in large quantities. If you’re consuming cinnamon for its potential health benefits, it may be advisable to choose Ceylon cinnamon or consult with a healthcare professional for personalized advice.
In conclusion, cinnamon is a remarkable spice that offers an array of benefits for both our health and culinary experiences. Its distinct aroma and flavor make it a delightful addition to various dishes and beverages, while its medicinal properties have been treasured for centuries. From its potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects to its potential to improve blood sugar control and support heart health, cinnamon has earned its reputation as a powerhouse of wellness. Whether you sprinkle it on your morning oatmeal, add a dash to your favorite baked goods, or enjoy it in a comforting cup of tea, incorporating cinnamon into your daily routine can be a simple and flavorful way to enhance your overall well-being. Embrace the warmth and goodness of cinnamon and unlock its countless benefits in your life.