It is the spice of Christmas, because its peppery and penetrating aroma brings to mind i sweets of the winter holidays, especially those from the Nordic countries. But actually the cinnamon it has been known since ancient times, when it was already used as ingredient in oriental cuisine and how remedy for minor ailments. Adding a pinch to foods, sweet and savory, or to an herbal tea as we suggest later, gives a lot taste and helps feel better.
It is good for the respiratory tract and the line
"The cinnamon it is rich in vitamin A, vitamin C and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, manganese, iron, potassium and phosphorus ", explains the doctor Laura Garnerone, nutritionist biologist. "These substances play aanti-inflammatory and remineralizing action. For this it can relieve respiratory tract disorders such as colds, coughs and sore throats ».
La cinnamon it also helps to check your weight, Because stimulates the consumption of adipose tissue and blood sugars. The definitive confirmation comes from a study conducted by the University of Michigan Life Sciences Institute, published in the journal Metabolism. Experts have verified that cinnamic aldehyde, an essential oil found only in cinnamon, acts directly on fat cells, helping the body to burn them faster. Furthermore, its aroma reduces nervous hunger: the sweet and pungent scent emanating from food (but also from a hot water diffuser with 3 drops of essential oil), stimulates certain nerve centers linked with the perception of appetite, giving a feeling of contentment.
«As for blood sugar, according to a study published in Diabetes Care, the daily intake of cinnamon reduces blood sugar thanks to the presence of tannins, eugenol and cinnamic acid », continues the expert. «Added to foods, especially sweets, ne reduces glycemic intake. Therefore it is suitable for those with diabetes and high blood sugar problems ».
How to use cinnamon in cooking
The use of cinnamon in a normal diet improves digestion, promoting the metabolism of fats and sugars. It is easily found on the market, already in powder, or in the classic rolled sticks that can be grated or used whole for the preparation of herbal teas. It can be used to package sweets, but also for savory dishes, where ait helps to reduce your overall calorie intake because, enhancing the flavor, it allows save on toppings, on fats and on salt. It marries especially with fish and white meat, but it is also excellent with basmati rice, in association with other spices such as saffron and turmeric.
Cinnamon Baked Apples (Serves 4, less than 120 calories per serving)
Ingredients: 4 red apples, 2 tablespoons of honey, a knob of butter, half a teaspoon of cinnamon powder, half a teaspoon of vanilla extract.
Preheat the oven to 200 ° C. Wash the apples thoroughly, cut them in half horizontally and hollow them out to remove the core and the hardest fibers, leaving the stalk. Melt the honey, butter, cinnamon and vanilla over a very low heat, mixing well. Fill the inside of the apples with half of this cream, recompose the shape and bake in the oven for 45 minutes, until the skin is wrinkled. Remove from the oven, leave to rest for ten minutes and serve after sprinkling with the remaining cinnamon cream.
Herbal teas for cough and digestion
Try the hot and delicious herbal tea: mix with some skimmed milk (or even rice or soy, if you prefer) a teaspoon of cinnamon powder, a few grains of pink pepper and a tablespoon of honey. Bring to a boil, then drink hot. The warmth enhances the beneficial properties of cinnamon, freeing the nose, relieving the burning of the throat and calming cough.
An herbal tea with cinnamon, ginger and bay leaf it can also be taken at the end of a meal instead of coffee for promote digestion. In fact, cinnamon contains substances that stimulate gastric activity, carrying out aprotective action on the mucous membrane of the stomach. Even those with slightly lazy intestines should consume this spice more often, because it is rich in dietary fiber than fights constipation.