Food of the Week: Cinnamon

Things are about to get a little spicy

Food of the Week has turned to a spice this week, the sweet, fragrant cinnamon.

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The sweet inner bark is taken from the stems of the cinnamomum tree, which dries into curls and can then be ground into powder.

Why is so awesome? Not only does this super spice add calorie free sweetness and flavour to food and drinks, but it’s also a super powerful antioxidant, in fact, so much more potent than garlic or oregano it can even be used as preservative.

Cinnamon has amazing anti-inflammatory effects in cells, great for promoting healing and preventing disease.

This spice is a great natural agent to aid weight management. Cinnamon can reduce insulin resistance in cells, lowering blood sugar levels and thereby increase sensitivity to the hormone insulin. Sweet 🙂

It works to reduce blood sugar levels by decreasing the amount of glucose which enters the blood after a meal by slowing the breakdown of carbohydrates. Cinnamon acts as a wing-man for insulin, aiding glucose uptake into cells.

We’re also talking about a serious brain food… Cinnamon has shown to prevent the build up of the protein tau in the brain, a major precursor to Alzheimer’s disease, as well as improving brain function in Parkinson brain cells. Awesome right?

Finally, cinnamon has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties thanks to the compound cinnamaldehyde, great at fighting off infections, and can even stop listeria and salmonella growing. Cinnamon has even shown to limit the growth of cancer cells, even proving toxic… killing them 🙂 .

Not all spices are made equal…

Cinnamon comes in two forms… Ceylon cinnamon (true cinnamon) and cassia cinnamon (which is what we find in most supermarkets). The cheaper version doesn’t hold the same plethora of benefits as the mighty ceylon, and can actually be toxic in large doses.

Hunt out super ceylon in health food stores 🙂 .

Add half a teaspoon to porridge

Add to chilli’s and bolognaise type sources for warmth and fragrance

Add to smoothies

Sprinkle on coffee for sweetness without sin

Sprinkle onto sweet potato wedges before roasting

Sprinkle onto apples, peaches or cherries before baking… serve with organic cream

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