Nutrition And Diet: The Healthy Effects Of Cinnamon

Cinnamon is a tasty addition to a meal, and it is also surprisingly very good for you, too!

When you think of cappuccino, what comes to mind? A rich, frothy, delectable drink, almost decadent in its appearance, made with espresso, scalded milk and just a hint of spices like nutmeg and cinnamon.

Cinnamon is a unique and wonderful seasoning, full of exotic flavor and foreign sensations for your taste buds, but did you know that in addition to being one of the most perfect enhancers to some truly great foods, cinnamon is actually good for you?

Yes, it really is! Cinnamon has lots of healthy attributes besides being able to give your palate something to smile about.

But first, let's get some background info on this multifaceted, strikingly delicious spice.

Native to Sri Lanka and India, cinnamon can also be found in Vietnam, China, Indonesia and parts of Central America. It comes from the bark of a couple of laurel or evergreen species in the cinnamomun family, called cinnamomun cassia or zeylanicum. Its use medicinally actually dates back to the ancient peoples of Egypt, who even used it in preparations for embalming and preservatives. It is said that Roman Emperor Nero burned a huge quantity of the stuff at his wife's funeral, symbolizing his immense grief for her passing.

Explorers traded in cinnamon in the 1400's and 1500's and it was a major part of the spice trades in that era. In medieval times it was used in many recipes for pies and other foods, along with several other spices, as well.

Cinnamon's flavor and scent have been described at sweet, fragrant, aromatic, warm, woody and spicy.

Cinnamon is used frequently today in desserts such as cakes, pies, puddings and the like, and it compliments spectacularly with chocolate, apples, sweet potatoes and pears. Kids like it in cereals. Epicureans savor its fine flavor when used in appetizers and main courses, such as curries and lamb or chicken dishes. As mentioned above, it is also used in coffees, teas, aperitifs and other potent potables. You can even find it flavoring chewing gum and breath mints. And many people love the smell of it in candles and room fresheners, too!

But, from a healthy and medicinal standpoint, there are still more marvelous features to this superior seasoning.

Cinnamon is believed to aid in digestion and it can lessen the severity of food poisoning. It stimulates and heals at the same time. It has carminative properties (meaning that it can help to release gas from the stomach and the intestines), and it can be used to sooth cramps in that physiological region, too. It has been shown to be effective in alleviating some toothaches, providing well-needed relief to sufferers of these disorders.

Cinnamon can help combat flatulence, diarrhea and nausea and in the oil form of the spice, it chemically is a type of phenol, which is anti-fungal and anti-bacterial.

Knowing what you now know about cinnamon, don't you think it's time to go to the grocery store and stock up on this important, healthy, essential ingredient for your personal tongue's tang, not to mention your vital well-being? It's time to think cinnamon when preparing your next favorite meal.

Best wishes for good eating and good health.

Bon appétit and a votre santé!

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