Cinnamon is one of the greatest spices on the planet. There are many health benefits of cinnamon, and in comparison to other spices, it goes great with desserts.
All health benefits of cinnamon
Cinnamon is one of the greatest spices on the planet. There are many health benefits of cinnamon, and in comparison to other spices, it goes great with desserts. Other benefits of eating cinnamon is that it makes you fall asleep easy, and that it regulates your blood sugar.
This article provides a significant amount of information on cinnamon, from what it actually is, to how beneficial the spice really is.
What is cinnamon?
Cinnamon is a spice obtained from the cinnamon trees. The spice is part of the inner bark of the tree. There are around 12 different types of cinnamon trees, but only a few of them are used to grow cinnamon commercially.
In classical times there were four types of cinnamon:
- Ceylon cinnamon, from Sri Lanka;
- Malabathrum cinnamon, from northern India;
- Serichatum cinnamon, from China; and
- Cassia cinnamon, from Arabia.
The cultivation of cinnamon
The aggregate annual production of cinnamon and cassia is between 27,500 and 35,000 tons, worldwide. The Ceylon cinnamon accounts for around 7,500 and 10,000 tons of the whole production. The remaining amount is produced by other species.
Sri Lanka provides between 80% and 90% of the world’s supply of the Ceylon cinnamon.
Indonesia cultivates two-thirds of the remaining tons of cinnamon. China, India, and Vietnam are minor producers.
Cinnamon is cultivated by planting the tree, letting it grow for two years, and then coppicing it. The stems should be cut at ground level, and after a year a dozen new shoots form from the roots. Many different pests can affect the growing plants, it can even result in death.
The stems must be processed immediately after harvesting, because the inner bark should be wet. The cut stems are processed by scraping off the outer bark, after which the branch is beaten by a hammer to loosen the inner bark. Only 0.5 mm (0.02”) of the inner bark is used, and the outer portion is discarded. A metre-long cinnamon strip is left, which curls into quills after drying. The drying process takes between 4 and 6 hours, in a well-ventilated and relatively warm environment.
The nutritional value of cinnamon
The nutritional value of 100 grams of cinnamon.
|Total lipid (fat)||g||1.24|
|Carbohydrate, by difference||g||80.59|
|Fiber, total dietary||g||53.1|
|Vitamin C (total ascorbic acid)||mg||3.8|
|Vitamin A, RAE||µg||15|
|Vitamin A, IU||IU||295|
|Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)||mg||2.32|
|Vitamin D (D2 + D3)||µg||0.0|
|Vitamin K (phylloquinone)||µg||31.2|
|Fatty acids, total saturated||g||0.345|
|Fatty acids, total mono-unsaturated||g||0.246|
|Fatty acids, total poly-unsaturated||g||0.068|
|Fatty acids, total trans||g||0.000|
10 health benefits of cinnamon
Here are 10 health benefits of cinnamon. One of the health benefits of cinnamon is that it contains healthy antioxidants, which help protecting and healing the body.
- The use of cinnamon may lower bad cholesterol. It reduces triglycerides and LDL cholesterol by around 25%.
- Consuming cinnamon keeps your mouth free of harmful bacteria, which could damage your teeth.
- The use of cinnamon may help losing weight. Cinnamon decreases the blood sugar, controls insulin levels, and speeds up the metabolism.
- Consuming cinnamon can help against a cold, due to the healthy antioxidants and antibacterial properties. This is one of the most important health benefits of cinnamon.
- The use of cinnamon can be beneficial for your skin. It has a positive effect on treating acne and eczema. Additionally, it can be used in a homemade facial scrub.
- Consuming cinnamon helps managing yeast infections. Cinnamon contains antifungal mechanisms, which will fight yeast infections.
- The use of cinnamon helps fighting against type-1 HIV. It blocks the HIV from infecting cells in the body. However, other medical treatments are also needed against HIV.
- Consuming cinnamon helps fighting against heart diseases, and maintain cardiovascular health.
- One of the health benefits of cinnamon may be that it contains anticarcinogenic effects, which helps fighting cancer.
How cinnamon is related to sleeping
In the previous paragraph 10 health benefits of cinnamon were explained. However, the use of cinnamon has more positive effects. Cinnamon also can help you fall asleep at night. It will help your body relax and alleviate your stress. It will also take care of your body's digestion and help you achieve a restful sleep.
A healthy sleep routine has many benefits, it will:
- Boost your learning and memory;
- Boost your creativity;
- Sharpen your attention;
- Improve your metabolism;
- Improve your mood; and
- Lower your stress.
Healthy recipes containing cinnamon
Because of all the health benefits of cinnamon, consuming it might be a great move. Here are a few recipes containing cinnamon.
Cinnamon banana tea
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
- Cut both ends of the banana
- Boil the whole banana, for around 10 minutes, and add cinnamon.
- Pour your tea in a cup and add more cinnamon (or honey).
Cinnamon coated banana chips
4 medium ripe bananas (or 3 large bananas)
3 tablespoons of orange juice (or juice from 1 large lemon)
- Preheat oven to 90°C (200°F). Place parchment paper on a baking sheet.
- Peel the bananas and cut them into 6mm (0,25”) slices. Dip each slice into the orange juice and place on the pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon.
- Bake for 3 to 4 hours, until your chips are dry and slightly brown. Make sure to flip your chips halfway through.
- Remove from the oven, and let the chips cool. They can be stored in an airtight container.
2 cups rolled oats
4 egg whites
1 tea spoon of cinnamon
Vegetable oil cooking spray
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup sliced strawberries
- In a bowl, combine the rolled oats, egg whites, and cinnamon.
- Spread mixture evenly in a skillet coated with cooking spray. Ladle one-fourth of your mixture into the skillet and spread until it resembles a small pancake.
- Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes, flipping them once.
- Top your oatcakes with applesauce and berries.