Diet and Nutrition

How Beneficial Cinnamon Sticks Are For Health – A Nutrition Guide

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You would probably not like to eat cinnamon raw, but infusing it in various cuisines seems like a good option. After all, cinnamon has unlimited health benefits. Well, not only health, cinnamon sticks are known to be highly beneficial for skin, teeth, hair, and weight loss. Undoubtedly it is a delightful spice prized for its therapeutic characteristics. For the past thousands of years, the use of cinnamon sticks has been on high recommendation.

You must be thinking, “how to use Cinnamon sticks?”. It brings a characteristic sharp taste with a hint of delicate sweetness. And, yes, it has an intense woody fragrance that perfectly complements its woody appearance. You can use the cinnamon sticks to add flavor as well as to bring the aroma. Depending on your choice and recipe requirements, you can use either stick or powder.

How is cinnamon made?

The trees scientifically named Cinnamomum are a significant source. Cinnamon sticks are taken from the inner bark by cutting the stems. Once inner bark is extracted, all the woody parts are carefully removed. The extract is left to dry. When no moisture is left, the strips are formed naturally, and they curl into rolls themselves.

The rolls are cut in specific lengths and marketed. Besides, if you need powder, the sticks are grounded to fine cinnamon powder.

Types of cinnamon sticks

Used in multiple sweet and savory recipes, it has two main types:

Ceylon cinnamon (scientific name: Cinnamomum Zeylanicum) 

Ceylon Cinnamon sticks are also known as Mexican cinnamon sticks, but the most commonly used word is “true cinnamon”. Ceylon cinnamon originated from the tree’s inner bark present in a tan-brown hue mated with a mildly sweet taste giving the best quality and texture, which is why it is comparatively expensive. It is best suited for desserts.

Cassia cinnamon 

It is different from true cinnamon in aspects of physical features as well as taste. Most commonly used in cooking by professionals, it is of dark brown-red color, thick layer, and rougher texture. Also known as Chinese cinnamon, it is of lower quality and pretty cheap to buy. It has the best use in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). It holds a stronger and sharper flavor with a spicy essence.

What is Cinnamon Called in Other Languages

  • Urdu and Hindi – Dal chini
  • French – Cannelle
  • German – Zimt
  • Spanish – Canela

Health benefits of cinnamon 

Cinnamon stick or powder is enriched with antioxidants, notably polyphenols. Its antioxidant activity is potent in decreasing oxidative stress and maintaining your healthy body functions.

Cinnamon has the characteristic to be used as a natural food preservative

As per the scientists, it has been closely associated with decreasing the rate of heart diseases. Even if you take as minimum as 1 gram or ½ Tsp. you can see beneficial effects

In case of having fungal or bacterial infections, cinnamon can be your home remedy to help you fight infections

Apart from the heart, it seems to be effective for pancreas function, too. Cinnamon is known for improving insulin sensitivity that helps in managing DM. It significantly reduces your blood sugar level, especially after a meal. It usually works by mimicking the insulin action and structure. To control Diabetes, all you need is to consume 1–6 grams or approx. 0.5–2 Tsp of cinnamon daily.

Cinnamon is loaded with anti-inflammatory properties enough to decrease the risk, preventing or reducing the inflammation at a significant rate

Eating cinnamon, whether in the form of stick, powder, or oil, can impart high antimicrobial effects that can play an essential role in preventing tooth decay. Apart from decay, another benefit is its ability to cut down your bad breath.

If the individual has been diagnosed with neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, cinnamon can help you prevent the TAU protein buildup inside the brain. The condition can be improved with the daily use of cinnamon within safety guidelines.

The best use of cinnamon oil is in treating respiratory tract infections predominantly caused due to fungi

Cinnamon is also known to have the potential of reducing the cancer risk and supporting its treatment

What Goes Best With Cinnamon

Best food pairing 

  • Beans and lentils
  • Vegetables (red and yellow)
  • Potatoes
  • Ginger
  • White and red meat
  • Dairy desserts
  • Rice
  • Soups

Best spice pairing

  • Asafetida
  • Bay leaves
  • Cardamom
  • Cumin
  • Coriander
  • Ground ginger
  • Nutmeg
  • Cloves
  • Dry chilies
  • Mustard seeds

Side effects of cinnamon toxicity

Due to the presence of coumarin in greater quantity, excessive cinnamon consumption can lead to liver damage

Eating cinnamon in any form beyond the safe upper limit (UL) can increase the risk of cancer

Another typical symptom of cinnamon toxicity is Mouth Sores. It usually appears in individuals who consume cinnamon oil or chewing gum. Besides, people who are allergic to cinnamon or cinnamaldehyde can also experience mouth sores.

Where it controls blood sugar, an unnecessarily larger amount can lead to hypoglycemia (Low Blood Sugar). So, if you are on insulin, then keep the amount of cinnamon under check. For those who don’t know, you will experience extreme sleepiness, faintness, and blackout.

Cinnamon can initiate Breathing issues. Due to its extra fine texture, cinnamon is easy to inhale, causing irritation in the throat causing coughing and gagging.

Uses of Cinnamon Sticks in cooking

  • People usually prefer using cinnamon powder because one stick will give an excessive taste. We understand you are bothered, but infusing a fresh cinnamon stick into everyday cuisines can do wonders not only in terms of taste but health, too.
  • Do you know it is only a myth that cinnamon sticks are made to be added to desserts? They are usually linked with the sweet course, but it has a distinctive spicy essence that can bring the new dimension of taste and flavor to the hot drinks and numerous savory dishes. Cinnamon works just fine in baking, too.
  • Here are some best uses of cinnamon sticks!
  • Use a cinnamon stick for stirring your drink, whether it is cappuccino, lattes, tea, cider, wine, or any cocktails. It will go well with all flavors. It is time to let the spice delicately infuse in the drink giving a tempting aroma and loveable flavor.
  • No stirring? Then you better break a stick and put it in the water you must be boiling for your coffee, tea, or any other hot drink such as cocoa. It will work if you put the stick inside the tea infuser to brew with a spicy yet sweet warmth.
  • It must be new to hear, but you can add a cinnamon stick to the bowl of oatmeal. While cooking your oats, throw a stick!
  • Are you making chicken or beef broth? Don’t forget to add a cinnamon stick to give your broth or soup an entirely new and complex taste. It will double the benefits of healthy proteins.
  • Curry fried rice never goes wrong with cinnamon! In fact, it adds up a splash of more spice and gentle sweetness. Cinnamon is a must-have in Asian-inspired curry fried rice.

Other Uses Of Cinnamon Sticks In Daily Life

  • Make an air freshener out of cinnamon, as you must love its soothing smell roaming inside the home. If you need your house to smell fantastic for ages, you must either buy it or make it home.
  • No doubt, the scent of cinnamon is aesthetically comforting for us but for moths? It is NOT! And that is why it makes the best Natural Mothballs. All you need to do is take a bag and put together soaked cinnamon sticks, cloves, and mint.
  • Due to anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, cinnamon soak or ointment is well-suited to treat several skin ailments.
  • The therapeutic influences of cinnamon never seem to stop. Being a great stimulant, it supports the worn-out hair follicles enhancing hair growth by improving blood circulation.
  • For weight loss, all you need is 2 ingredients: honey and cinnamon water. Drinking one cup daily just before you hit the bed can stop your late-night hunger attacks and cravings.

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