By Jennifer Copley (Last Updated 8 January 2010)
This delicious spice not only offers potent antioxidants and antimicrobial activity, but may also provide benefits for diabetics by reducing blood glucose levels. Cinnamon also helps to stop the growth of fungi such as Candida, protects against heart disease, and provides iron, calcium, and manganese. Research suggests that the scent of cinnamon may boost brain function as well.
Cinnamon can improve the flavour of most sweet baked goods and sweet toppings, and it goes well with many other spices including ginger, cloves, and nutmeg. It is a good addition to many fruits, and can be used to enhnace dishes featuring sweet potatoes or squashes (particularly pumpkin) as well. It is also a common addition to sweetened oatmeal and other cereals.
A touch of cinnamon can enhance chili, burritos, bean dishes, curries, and mulled wine, and a cinnamon stick or a little powdered cinnamon is a tasty addition to hot chocolate, hot cow’s milk, soy milk, coffee, or tea as well (when making cinnamon-flavoured tea, you can brew the cinnamon stick in the hot water for a few minutes before adding the teabag if you don’t want the tea to get too strong). Cinnamon is also good in most recipes that call for raisins, and kids love it with sugar on toast.
For a full list of healthy herbs and spices and the reference list for this information series, see the main High-Antioxidant Herbs and Spices page.