Reasons to Season: Cinnamon
We’ve all heard the message to eat more fruits and vegetables. But many people are surprised to learn that herbs and spices are actually fruits and vegetables themselves. From the brown bark of the cinnamon tree, this familiar spice has been used for thousands of years both for the flavor it brings to our meals and also for its potential health benefits. And modern research suggests that cinnamon may help regulate our blood sugar levels.
Like fruits and veggies, herbs and spices like cinnamon contain vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other properties that can give a boost to your menu in a number of ways each meal and each day. They enhance the flavor and nutrition of the meal while also providing a tasty way to cut some of the salt, fat and added sugars from the plate. Cinnamon is easy and versatile to use and modest amounts—the amount you sprinkle and add to your foods—has shown benefits.
The top 5 ways to get started on adding more cinnamon to your day
1. Try sprinkling cinnamon into your morning smoothie or on your oatmeal.
2. Shake cinnamon onto your coffee grounds before brewing.
3. Spoon a little into your afternoon yogurt snack or on your baked sweet potato at dinner for a super-spice, antioxidant boost.
4. Add cinnamon to savory dishes like chilis and soups with beans for a delicious added ‘surprise’ that rounds out the other flavors of the dish.
5. Core and bake some apples in a glass dish combining cinnamon, dried cherries or raisins and some apple juice.
Wendy Bazilian is a doctor of public health, registered dietitian and freelance writer in San Diego. She is also the Nutrition Advisor at the renowned Golden Door and Co-owner of Bazilian’s Health Clinic with her husband and business partner, Dr. Jason Bazilian. Dr. Wendy is author of The SuperFoodsRx Diet (Rodale)