CINNAMON IS GOOD FOR YOU.
It’s that time of year. From now on you can pretty much guarantee to get more cinnamon than you get at any other time of the year.
Along with cloves, nutmeg and ginger, it’s found in mince pies, Christmas pudding, mulled wine spice, and Stollen.
These are all spices that would have made their way to England using the Silk Road, one of the earliest trade routes from China, across the Middle East and the Mediterranean, and into the islands of the UK.
The Spice Routes were a huge network of trading routes
The maritime trade supplied the spices from the Spice Islands, such as The Moluccas Islands in Indonesia, The Spice Islands, in the Pacific Ocean, southern China, India, and Sri Lanka from where pepper, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, cardamom, turmeric and saffron were traded.
Cinnamon being processed in Sri Lanka. From UK Business insider.
These precious and exotic flavours have been with us for a large part of our history and Autumn and Christmas are summed up by the smells and flavours of these exotic spices.
An interesting history is here. https://silkroadspices.ca/pages/history-of-the-spice-trade
Cinnamon comes from the bark of a several trees from the genus cinnamomum. All types sold in the UK are cinnamon although which type you find or use is down to the variety stocked and personal preference, they all have health benefits.
Honey and cinnamon can be combined as a gargle with some warm water for a sore throat. It has been used to combat Listeria and E.coli in food products.
A 2015 study showed that an extract of cinnamon showed activity in reducing the build up of beta amyloid tau filaments. Beta amyloid filaments cause plaque in the brain, an element in causing Alzheimer’s Disease and memory loss.
Can help reduce blood sugar levels in diabetes.
A Chinese Study in 2012 showed that 120-360mg of cinnamon a day for three months lowered blood glucose levels. It may also stimulate insulin release.
Cinnamon can relax blood vessels by the production of nitric oxide, leading to lower blood pressure.
Cinnamon affects level so inflammatory cytokines, acting as an anti-inflammatory.
Free radicals are produced in our bodies as part of the process of metabolism and also from the chemicals we come into contact with in every day life. Free radicals are an integral part of our immune system and the body uses them to destroy invaders in our bodies. Our bodies have an antioxidant capability if their own but oxidative stress occurs when free radicles overwhelm the oxidative system. Dietary antioxidants may help the body to fight free radicals.
Cinnamon spice is beneficial, but it won’t outweigh the effects of eating too many mince pies. And be careful not to have too much. The amount in food products should have only good effects.