Recipe Highlight: Cinnamon
Cinnamon is an amazing spice. There are multiple forms of cinnamon but the two most common forms of this spice are: Cassia and Ceylon. Cassia cinnamon, from Indonesia, is the cheaper and spicier variety of the two, and can be found in most of our kitchens. Ceylon, from Sri Lanka, is a bit more expensive and sweet. Because Cassia cinnamon is the most commonly researched of the cinnamon variety, Ceylon cinnamon is not commonly associated with the same benefits as Cassia; if it is said to be a better alternative there is no research supporting this.
The following benefits have been found when studying Cassia cinnamon:
- It has a high antioxidant profile – more antioxidants than oregano and garlic! The spice is being used in multiple research studies to further investigate it’s utilization against cancer causing agents.
- Anti inflammatory effects – The spice is being used in multiple research studies to further investigate whether it can be used for inflammatory conditions.
- Improved blood sugars (not enough to stop medications)
- Improved cholesterol (not enough to stop medications)
- Nerve health (most recent studies show promising results with MS, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s)
- Antibacterial and antifungal properties
So what’s the catch?
Although Cassia cinnamon has shown promising results in a few unbiased meta analyses and randomized trials, you should avoid consuming more than 1 tsp a day, as higher levels have been associated with some side effects due to it’s high level of coumarin; side effects most commonly seen are changes in liver enzymes on some participants’ lab results.
Ceylon cinnamon may be less risk for those on multiple medications, especially those on blood thinners as it does not contain high levels of the Coumarin, the active compound found in Cassia Cinnamon. But because Ceylon has not been studied as much as Cassia, it is unknown whether there are health benefits when it is consumed; there was a meta analysis done showing Ceylon did not have the same benefit as Cassia, concluding that coumarin may be needed to reap the benefits.
So, if you use Cassia cinnamon consider simply sprinkling it on foods, or drinks weekly to get some of the benefits and avoid overusing the spice. Eat Cassia cinnamon once in a while, and incorporate other herbs and spices into your diet so you are receiving a variety of benefits. If you are using Ceylon, at this time, there are no limitations to it’s consumption.
This recipe contains a healthy balance of antioxidant containing foods and a healthy dose of cinnamon, just 1/2 tsp, enough to benefit but not enough to cause adverse effects! As always keep up with your annual physical and monitor lab work to maintain overall health when consuming nature’s medicine.
Fruit, Quinoa + Cinnamon
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- 1/2 cup oat milk (or any plant based milk) (consider 1/3 cup if you rather a thicker mixture)
- 1-2 tsp Agave (start with 1 tsp , max 2)
- 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
- 1/2 tbsp Earth Balance Butter (Optional)
- 1/4 cup blue berries (Any fruit may be used)
- If you did not bulk prep your quinoa, cook 1/3 cup quinoa in 1 and 1/2 cup of water for 10 minutes – Boil. Then turn off and allow to cool with top on 5 minutes.
- Scoop 1 cup of your cooked quinoa into 1 bowl
- Add plant based milk, and butter. Microwave for 1 minute if cold from the refrigerator. Stir.
- Add agave, cinnamon, then mix.
- Top with fruit and Enjoy!
*As always discussed cinnamon consumption with your primary care provider or nutritionist if you take multiple medications. All of the information here is from the author’s ongoing nutrition education, and continued education via nutrition textbooks, eatright.org, and pubmed research articles that are not biased and have good accuracy. This information is not meant to diagnose or treat any condition. This information is to be read and utilized at your own will, and the author is not responsible for any outcomes that come from utilizing this information. This information may be discussed with and adjusted by your dietitian, nutritionist, or medical provider for a more personalized plan. If you have any questions feel free to contact us via the Contact Page. For sources Click Here.