Cinnamon is one of the spices people know today. It is obtained from the inner bark of the trees from the genus Cinnamomum. As an ingredient, it is used in both sweet and savory meal recipes and along with its flavor-enhancing properties, cinnamon is also packed with multiple health benefits.
Cinnamon is rich in vitamins and minerals. According to Dr. Axe’s website, cinnamon contains vitamins A, B, C, E, and K. Vitamin A is essential for vision and integrity of the skin and the mucus membranes. Vitamin B, on the other hand promotes nervous function, which includes learning, thinking, memory, and sensation. Vitamin C promotes the body’s defenses against infection and sickness and it also heightens the function of the substance collagen, which acts as cement to bind loosely connected cells and tissues. Then, vitamin E promotes the integument and along with vitamins A and C, vitamin E also acts as an antioxidant to help the body get rid of toxic and unwanted substances like free radicals. Meanwhile, vitamin K boosts wound healing through blood clotting. This way, vitamin K also prevents excessive blood loss.
In terms of minerals, cinnamon contains calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, zinc, copper, manganese, and selenium. Calcium and phosphorus promote bone health while iron assists in the effective oxygen delivery throughout the body. Magnesium promotes neuromuscular health while zinc aids in digestive health and wound healing. Potassium and sodium regulate body fluid levels and the former contributes to cardiovascular health by reducing cardiac workload and preventing hypertension. Meanwhile, copper, manganese, and selenium promote the metabolic process, as well as the growth and development of cells and tissues.
Cinnamon and Antioxidants
Along with vitamins and minerals, cinnamon is also rich in antioxidants. According to Authority Nutrition, the spice contains polyphenols, a powerful antioxidant. In addition, a study found out that cinnamon tops in the list of 26 spices in terms of antioxidant activities, surpassing oregano and garlic. As per the publication, some studies also found that the antioxidants found in cinnamon also have potent anti-inflammatory properties; thus, the spice helps reduce the risk of developing certain diseases.
Cinnamon can be added to various meal options like Megan’s Granola. According to All Recipes, the ingredients include a tablespoon of ground cinnamon, a cup of vegetable oil, three-fourth cup of honey, one-fourth cup of maple syrup, one-half cup of brown sugar, two cups of raisins or sweetened dried cranberries, a tablespoon of vanilla extract, one and a half teaspoons of salt, a cup of finely chopped walnuts, a cup of finely chopped pecans, a cup of fine chopped almonds, one cup sunflower seeds, one and a half cups of at bran, one and a half cups of wheat germ, and eight cups of rolled oats.
To prepare, as per the publication, the oven is preheated to 325 degrees Fahrenheit or 165 degrees Celsius. Then, two baking sheets are lined with aluminum foil or parchment. Next, the oats, oat bran, almonds, walnuts, pecans, sunflower seeds, and wheat germ are mixed in a large bowl. After that, the cinnamon, vanilla, oil, honey, maple syrup, brown sugar, and salt are stirred together in a saucepan. They are brought to a boil over medium heat and they are poured over the dry ingredients, stirring them to coat. Once done, the mixture is spread out evenly on the baking sheets.
After that, the mixture is baked in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes, until the ingredients become crispy and toasted. The ingredients are stirred once halfway through. Finally, the food is allowed to cool and the raisins or cranberries are stirred in before storing in an airtight container.
Cinnamon is considered healthy due to its numerous health benefits. Thus, its inclusion to different meal options helps boost a person’s health and reduce the risk of developing illnesses.