Cinnamon for Healthy Holidays

Cinnamon

Cinnamon sticks and meal close up on wooden table

Nothing says  holidays more than  the warm, sweet smell of cinnamon.  Sadly its often used with  sugary  high fats foods like rice pudding, sweet rolls and egg nog. That too bad  because this popular spice offers a buffet of health benefits:

Cinnamon and Diabetes

Studies published in the peer reviewed  Journal of the American College of Nutrition reported that cinnamon added to a routine diet  can lower  elevated blood sugar levels.

Cinnamon and Cancer

Laboratory reseaarch  has demonstrated  that cinnamon extract  can slow the growth ( or even kill) cancer cells.

Cinnamon and Pain

Athletes who took cinnamon supplements after a tough workout reported less  pain after exercising.

Cinnamon and Cholesterol

Doctors have found that people who took cinnamon supplements  lowered their triglycerides levels up to 30%.  Even better, the cholesterol  levels also  dropped from 10-30%.

Adding Cinnamon  to Your Diet

In addition to being essential   in apple pie, this spice  is a powerful antioxidant.  This means  it cleans up  the free radicals that are linked to  aging, heart disease, cancer and pain. When you add  cinnamon to  your diet  its important not to add additional fat and sugar. Rather  than a cinnamon bun for breakfast, sprinkle it  over  oatmeal or on buttered  toast.  For lunch mix cinnamon into fat free cream cheese, spread on a bagel and top with a few bits of chopped waluts. At dinnertime, end your meal with a freshly baked cinnamon topped  apple or dust it over sugar free rice pudding.  For  potluck  parties extra cinnamon will  elevate sugar free apple pie from blah to beautiful.

My favorite way of adding spicy health to  my meals is with a cup of chai. tea.  Not that artificial tasting tea bag, but home brewed  spice infused tea that will make your kitchen smell like Christmas.

Cinnamon Chai Tea Time

Ingredients:  4 cardamom seeds, 3 cloves, 2 peppercorns 2 cinnamon sticks, 4 teabags, 1 cup of 2% milk, I cup of water

Directions:  Pop  the spices into a small plastic  bag and crush lightly with a hammer. Empty the smashed spices into in a saucepan and add the cinnamon sticks, water and  milk.  Warm  until boiling,  then  turn off the heat. Toss in the tea bags, top  with a lid and forget about it for 5 minutes.  Strain the fragrant  tea into mugs and add sugarless sweetner to taste. Its a whole healthy holiday in a mug

 

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