Today’s article is going to be very flavorful and spicy because we’re going to talk about cinnamon, a fairly well-known spice that we mainly use as a culinary seasoning. Let’s talk about cinnamon, its beneficial properties, and its contraindications.
Did you know that cinnamon used to be worth its weight in gold? Yes, yes, literally. In ancient China, a thousand years before Christ, it was considered a very expensive spice.
One measure of this spice was worth the same amount of gold. Just imagine if you had to give away a couple of kilograms of gold for a couple of kilograms of cinnamon.
Today, cinnamon is available to everyone on the spice shelf of any supermarket. Housewives add it not only to baked goods, but also to hot dishes such as soups and cereals, as well as to meat or fish, and use it in sauces and marinades.
Useful properties of cinnamon
- It has antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial effects. It contains eugenol, which kills germs.
- Stimulates the body’s protective functions, and strengthens the immune system.
- It is a natural antioxidant.
- Reduces blood glucose content.
- Favorably affects the digestion process and prevents fat accumulation by converting glucose into energy.
- Dilates blood vessels, and activates brain function.
Cinnamon – health benefits
The benefits of cinnamon in diabetes
Cinnamon is useful for diabetics. It helps to lower blood sugar levels. In the fight against diabetes, you can use the following recipe: eat half a teaspoon of cinnamon powder every morning.
Cinnamon for diseases of the stomach and intestines
Cinnamon is recommended for various diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. It would seem a paradox – a spice, a spice, but it accelerates the healing process of ulcers, reduces acidity, and even reduces stomach pain. In addition, cinnamon can cleanse the intestines of germs and bacteria that slow down normal digestion. It will relieve bloating and eliminate colic.
Cinnamon is a natural antiseptic
Cinnamon is an excellent natural antiseptic. The secret is in the eugenol contained in the oil. It acts not only as a disinfectant but also reduces pain. You can sprinkle cinnamon on a wound or cut, and it will heal faster.
By the way, such troubles as fungus, eczema, and other skin diseases can also be treated with cinnamon.
The benefits of cinnamon for the cardiovascular system
The aromatic spice is also good for hearts. Cinnamon helps to lower blood cholesterol levels. It prevents the risk of heart attack, stroke, and atherosclerosis. It has a good effect on the cardiovascular system, activates the brain, improves concentration, dilates blood vessels, and tones up. Folk recipes include tea with cinnamon and honey as a means of prolonging the brightness of the mind and the vigor of the body.
How to choose cinnamon
You can find cinnamon in supermarkets, convenience stores, and markets. Usually, these are departments or counters with spices and herbs.
It is found both in the form of sticks and ground. But powdered cinnamon is easier to counterfeit, while sticks are impossible to fake. Moreover, the sticks retain not only the flavor but also the beneficial properties of cinnamon for longer.
Cinnamon is divided by type according to the content of a special substance, coumarin. In large doses, it has a negative effect on health, so the lower the coumarin content in cinnamon, the “cleaner” it is, and the better and more harmless it is. So, there are different kinds of cinnamon:
- Ceylon is the most expensive variety. It tastes sweet and a little hot, and is grown in Sri Lanka. Also known as “real” or “noble” cinnamon, cinnamon.
- Chinese is not as aromatic, with a more pronounced burning, pungent odor. It contains more coumarin. It is also called “Indian cinnamon”, “fragrant”, “simple”, and cassia.
- There is also Malabar cinnamon with a sharp bitter flavor and cinnamon – spicy and pungent.
How to store cinnamon
You should not buy cinnamon several months in advance. The flavor will disappear over time, and the spice will lose its properties. Nevertheless, the shelf life of cinnamon powder is 6 months, and cinnamon sticks are good for a whole year. It is better to store the spice in hermetically sealed glass or ceramic jars in a dark and dry place, away from sunlight.
Be careful when consuming cinnamon with a high content of coumarins. In large doses, they have a detrimental effect on the liver and kidneys. So, you should not consume more than half a teaspoon of cinnamon in its pure form per day.
Cinnamon is contraindicated for children under the age of two and pregnant women. In expectant mothers, cinnamon can cause uterine contractions, so let those cinnamon rolls wait for now.
Do not use cinnamon at high temperatures. Keep this in mind when fighting a cold with recipes that include cinnamon. Otherwise, the spice will cause a severe headache.
Be careful with the use of cinnamon externally – in masks. It is better to test any product for possible irritation first. Because there may be individual intolerance to cinnamon.
Do not use cinnamon for bleeding of any kind, as it activates blood circulation.
So traditionally, let’s be wise! Use cinnamon wisely, and let it do you good.