Autumn is officially here, and you know what that means! We're all reaching for our favorite cinnamon-spiced recipes. But this ingredient does a lot more than just make our mouths water - it also has several health benefits that make it perfect for the season of cozy sweaters and pumpkin-flavored drinks and desserts.
Today, we may think of cinnamon as just another spice lining the shelves of our local supermarkets, but it has actually been cherished for its medicinal properties for thousands of years. Even among people living in ancient civilizations, such as the Ancient Egyptians, cinnamon was much more than just an aromatic spice - it was also greatly valued for its healing potential. In fact, it was even considered a gift fit for royalty. But why exactly was that so? Let's break it all down. There are two types of cinnamon: the first is called ceylon cinnamon - also known as "true" cinnamon - and the second is cassia cinnamon, which is more commonly used.
The spice has several compounds that make it one of the healthiest foods out there. It's packed with antioxidants, including polyphenols, which help protect our bodies from free radicals. In fact, one study even found that cinnamon supplements can give the antioxidant levels in our bloodstream a major boost while also reducing signs of inflammation, such as C-reactive protein. Inflammation plays a crucial role in our body's fight against infections and helps repair tissue damage. But when its presence becomes chronic, it can lead to complications. That's where cinnamon comes to the rescue!
The cherry on top is that this spice can enhance just about any dish you add it to! It's perfect for many kinds of soup, cereal, coffee, cake, pie, and dinner recipes. And whether you're stirring it into your morning oatmeal or sprinkling it on your apple pie, keep in mind that you're doing a huge favor not only to your taste buds, but to your overall health as well. So, as the leaves fall and the air turns crisp, be sure to make the most of cinnamon this season!