Meet cinnamon, the superfood
that does way more than add flavour to gooey bakery pastries
. There are a growing number of healthy reasons to include the red-brown spice in your everyday cooking. Try adding cinnamon to dishes such as oatmeal, veggie curry or even roasted chicken
to tap into these health benefits. 1. It reduces the risk of diabetes. Studies
are showing that cinnamon appears to prevent and relieve metabolic syndrome, the cluster of factors—including insulin sensitivity, high resting blood sugar and blood pressure, and a large waistline—that increase your risk for heart disease and diabetes. There's also evidence that eating a meal with cinnamon can help your body process what you’ve eaten and keep your blood sugar in check after the meal. 2. It's an anti-inflammatory.
As researchers learn more about the role of chronic inflammation in the body—and its connection to disease—they’re looking at the foods we eat for answers. Cinnamon might just be one solution. Finnish researchers
have pinpointed one of cinnamon’s compounds, coumarin, as an anti-inflammatory that may ease arthritis symptoms. 3. It helps with healthy weight loss.
If you’re trying to reduce or maintain your weight, cinnamon packs a low-calorie flavour punch. Plus, it might help you fight fat. In a 2010 study, researchers found that cinnamon helped build lean muscle mass and reduce body fat in those who added it to their diet. It doesn't hurt that it has 1.3 grams of fibre in each teaspoon, which can help keep you feeling full. 4. It's an anti-microbial.
Researchers have found that cinnamon works well as an anti-microbial agent to eliminiate harmful micro-organisms that could make you sick. In fact, a Washington State University study suggests a cinnamon essential oil could one day be added to packaging materials
or used to wash meat, fruits and vegetables.
5. It may fight boost brain health.
The research is still in its infancy, but many scientists are working on the theory that cinnamon could be key player in fighting these Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases. That's because cinnamon metabolizes into a substance called sodium benzoate that appears to stop the degenerative losses that accompany Parkinson's disease
. Likewise, compounds in cinnamon are thought to help prevent the development of the "tangles" found in the brain cells
that characterize Alzheimer's.
Learn about more healthy spices to add to your diet