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Yello Herb & Spice Rack: Cinnamon

by Lou-Ann Jordan Nov 18, 2019

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Decidedly aromatic and subtly sweet, cinnamon has been a favourite spice in households for centuries.

Both western and eastern cultures use this spice in a variety of recipes whether for food or medicinal purposes.

The warm, heady spice comes from the inner bark of an evergreen tree. When the bark dries it naturally rolls into cinnamon sticks.  Cinnamon power is produced when the sticks are grounded.

There are two types of cinnamon, Ceylon and cassia.  Ceylon is commonly viewed as the ‘true’ cinnamon.  However, cassia is the more common of the two.  So it likely your packet of sticks or powder comes from the cassia cinnamon.

Both varieties do offer numerous health benefits.  However, large dosages of cassia may cause health problems.

That being said, let’s take a look at four of the most well-known benefits of cinnamon:

High in Antioxidants

Cinnamon is high in polyphenol antioxidants.  Why is this significant?  Antioxidants keep us healthy.  They protect the body from damage or what is called ‘free radicals’.  Generally, we get them from fruits and vegetables.  The antioxidants found in cinnamon is also said to slow the ageing process.  Now, isn’t that fantastic?

Fights Digestive Discomfort

Cinnamon is among the ranks of spices that help alleviate gastrointestinal problems.  Its properties can help relieve stomach cramps, indigestion, nausea and flatulence.   The best part is you can incorporate it into your meals quite easily–a dash here, a dash there!

Protects against Neurodegeneration

According to the National Centre for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) recent studies have shown that cinnamon has properties which may help in protecting against neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer and Parkinson diseases.  As we hinted earlier, the antioxidants are said to reduce the effects of ageing on the body, and the brain.

Relieves Chronic Inflammation

Inflammation is good as long as it’s not long term.  It is the body’s way of protecting against infection and tissue damage.  It also aids the body in healing.  However, chronic (long-term) inflammation is harmful to the body.   The properties in cinnamon can effectively reduce inflammation levels and swelling.

Studies on the benefits of cinnamon continue, and we imagine the list will continue to grow.  The great thing about this spice is it tastes good.

So whether it’s to your oatmeal, French toast or cupcakes add a sprinkle of cinnamon.

And, if you need to pick up a packet, check Yello’s supermarket listing.

Sources: Health Link, PubMed, BBC Good Food