It is Saturday morning, you walk into the kitchen to the smell of fresh coffee and cinnamon rolls in the oven. The lovely smell of cinnamon wafts gently through the air. It makes you feel warm and snuggly on a leisurely morning, ah, isn’t it invigorating?
While I can’t push the idea of eating cinnamon rolls, I do often enjoy a similar sensation by eating cinnamon toast. My diet version is a dry piece of toast; a spritz of butter flavored Pam, sprinkled heavily with cinnamon and then sprinkled lightly with Stevia. My version is only 35-40 calories! One delicious slice of Pepperidge Farm cinnamon raisin toast is 80 calories. We keep that also in our house and it smells absolutely divine. I will eat one of those and pretend I am eating a cinnamon roll. Even so, it is still a caloric bargain.
But did you know the benefits of cinnamon?
- Natural preserver of food: It is written that it prevents bacterial growth and food spoilage. Now I haven’t tested this, but admit to sprinkling cinnamon on apple slices for a snack. The apples never turned color, but then again, food doesn’t last long around me anyway. At the office, I always kept cinnamon in my food drawer to add to fruit and decaf coffee.
- It can rescue a bad pot of coffee: Granted, you can go into the specialty coffee stores and they have cinnamon that you can add to the coffee; but I don’t really think this is necessary because these stores sell good coffee. When I was with the airlines, I always carried cinnamon with me to add to the coffee and sprinkle it on top before it brewed. The airlines bought coffee in bulk and sometimes you’d get a crummy bag that had been sitting in the back of the hanger since the DC-3 days, so it was always helpful to have a jar of cinnamon close by.
- It helps thin the blood and improves blood circulation. Cinnamon is a blood-thinning agent* that helps increase circulation. Good blood circulation provides oxygen supply to the cells leading to higher metabolic activity. *If you are on blood thinner medication, consult with your doctor because too much cinnamon could affect your medication. Don’t reduce the amount taken of blood thinners if you are consuming cinnamon. Talk to your doctor if you are taking blood-thinning meds!
- Helps fight cancer: Studies made by the US Department of Agriculture showed the cinnamon reduced the growth of leukemia and lymphoma cancer cells. The calcium and fiber found in cinnamon can help remove bile, which prevents colon cancer due to damage to the colon cells.
- Lowers cholesterol: According to studies, ½ teaspoon on cinnamon can significantly lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglycerides and total cholesterol. It also strengthens the cardiovascular system and helps protect the body from heart related problems.
- Reduces blood sugar levels: Good news is that as little as ½ teaspoon of cinnamon per day improves insulin resistance and can help in weight control because of improved insulin sensitivity and blood glucose control.
While the purpose of this post is not to encourage mega doses of cinnamon, it is nice to know that this ancient spice does have good benefits, the most notable, the good effect it can have on our blood sugar levels. Sprinkle some cinnamon in your coffee or on your fruit. It also adds a little pizzazz to cottage cheese or yogurt. Not only does it taste and smell good, your body gets some benefit too!