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Cinnamon

 

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Cinnamon is the wood, or bark of the plant family cinnamomum.  The bark is ground up in order to consume, and its nutrients are found in its intrinsic oils. Cinnamon contains calcium, iron and the mineral manganese, which is an essential mineral needed for proper fat and carbohydrate metabolism.

Cinnamon contains a compound that kills a variety of illness causing bacteria, including E. Coli, Salmonella, and Staphylococcus aureus. Research shows that cinnamon can also stop the growth of the Asian flu virus.

Cinnamon is also an antioxidant that can inhibit free radicals making it helpful in mediating many chronic illnesses. It helps lower blood pressure, regulates sugar levels and helps regulate menstrual cycles. In addition, cinnamon has a tranquilizing effect that helps reduce anxiety and stress. Additional benefits include: inhibition of Alzheimer’s disease and tumor growth and acts as an anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties.

According to Food Renegade (http://www.foodrenegade.com/your-cinnamon-real/ ) there is a lot of hubbub about whether or not your cinnamon is real. The claim is that Ceylon cinnamon is the only true cinnamon, and that Cassia (or Saigon) cinnamon is fake.

Caitlin Iles, a Holistic Culinary Nutritionist and Yoga teacher claims that true cinnamon is typically produced in Sri Lanka, India, Madagascar, Brazil, or the Caribbean, while it’s false cousin is usually grown in China, Indonesia, or Vietnam. (http://theheartysoul.com/healthiest-kind-of-cinnamon/?t=hhl )

Food Renegade responds that “They are missing the point. The truth is, both belong to the same family of plants (and even the same genus — cinnamomum). And both are similar although the taste is somewhat different. “   Also, “There are no dramatic nutritional differences between the two cinnamons. It’s all about whether it’s fresh and how it’s processed!”

All this being said, I do believe there’s such a thing as “fake” or “processed” cinnamon.  Unfortunately this means you may at best be doing nothing for your health with the cinnamon you consume; or, you could actually be harming or stressing your health if your cinnamon is overly processed and tainted with fillers.

Most powdered, non-organic cinnamon found in your grocery store is manufactured with an industrial grinding process and many times flour is added to stop the spice from caking.  This of course dilutes the value of nutrients contained in the plant. Likewise, cinnamon that is stored for long periods of time prior to distribution can also be degraded and lose nutritional value. It just goes stale, like any other spice, and loses its bite.

To truly avoid oxidized oils and bitter after taste, you’ve got to grind your cinnamon fresh.  Processed cinnamon usually has more of a bitter sweet taste, and lacks the fullness of flavors fresh cinnamon offers.  Fresh cinnamon — ground by your own hand in your own kitchen — retains all its essential oils and nutrients as well as its depth of flavor.  You can actually taste the sweetness in fresh ground. Fresh cinnamon is just better.

How Do You Find the Best Quality?

  1. Look for cinnamon that is labeled as either:
  • True Cinnamon
  • Ceylon Cinnamon
  • Cinnamomum Verum
  1. Buy organic cinnamon to prevent contamination with pesticides and other fillers or preservatives.
  2. If you’re buying the bark, true cinnamon “sticks” will often curl in a circle, instead of in the characteristic two-curled stick.
  3. It is often lighter brown in colour and more powdery and fluffy than conventionally sold cinnamon.
  4. It will usually be more expensive. This isn’t always the best indicator, but when combined with a couple of the other points above it can be helpful.

A great source for a “TRUE CINNAMON EXPERIENCE” is https://cinnamonhill.com/ 

Try cinnamon in these recipes:

Raw Cookies

Golden Pecan Ice Cream

Chocolate Zucchini Bread Bites

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This information is for educational purposes only and is not meant in any way to diagnose, treat or interfere with prescribed medical care.
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