The weather is cooling down and with the darker evenings it is easy to get into cozy mode. A fire rustling in the fireplace, a soft blanket to cuddle and a yummy snack to munch on while you binge watch Netflix. You may have noticed as you pop open that bag of Evolve trail mix that it contains that magically delicious spiciness of cinnamon. That isn’t an accident. Cinnamon has a lot of benefits that go beyond taste and that little spice can add a lot to your weekly meals.
Cinnamon was once so coveted that spice traders would trek hundreds of miles on foot across mountains and rivers to fulfill the demand of insatiable Europeans. For years, the location of where it grew was kept mysterious and hidden to help cultivate the mythos of it being a rare and valuable. Once the locations were discovered, islands were taken over and battled for to secure the spice.
Although used for medicinal purposes in Asia for centuries, the West has only more recently discovered the numerous health benefits of this aromatic tree bark.
Just a Pinch of Cinnamon
Adding more cinnamon to your diet (in small doses, not via the cinnamon challenge) is a great way to help reduce inflammation, improve your fasting glucose, and help lower your total cholesterol levels. Ground cinnamon is also a great source for vitamins. It will provide additional calcium, iron and vitamin K to the meals you add it too.
We often think of cinnamon as a spice that needs to be combined with sugar, but cinnamon is also great with savory dishes or to accent natural sugars in squashes, sweet potatoes or nuts.
Smells Like Fall
So as we enjoy the best that fall has to offer this season, don’t forget the hard-fought battles for the spices we can now take for granted. Look for cinnamon in the snacks, sides and desserts you order this week. Sprinkle a dash on your mashed sweet potatoes or add a little to your squash soup. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at the flavor it adds and get the bonus nutritional and health benefits.