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Health Benefit of Cinnamon Species


Another night of grilled chicken breasts is good for your diet, but it’s also kind of boring. Spicing up a plain-but-healthy meal is good for your taste buds and your health.


Reach for your spice rack and you’ll not only up the flavor of your food, but you’ll also get a boost of antioxidants (substances that protect cells from damage).

There are more than 100 common spices used in cooking around the world. Spices are concentrated sources of antioxidants,” says Diane Vizthum, M.S., R.D., research nutritionist for the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. But some have been more studied for their therapeutic properties than others.

There’s no need to go on a massive hunt for exotic ingredients — some of the best spices can be found at your local market. Here, Vizthum suggests which spices to consider incorporating into your meals.
One note: Most studies that show benefits use supplements to control the dose of spice (or the spice’s active compound) that participants consume. Often these provide bigger doses than you’d normally eat in a day.

Cinnamon to Lower Blood Sugar
This popular spice comes from the bark of the cinnamon tree and is used in everything from pumpkin spice lattes to Cincinnati chili. Cinnamon is especially great for people who have high blood sugar.

It lends a sweet taste to food without adding sugar, and studies indicate it can lower blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes.

Cinnamon may also provide heart-healthy benefits, such as reducing high blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels. That’s especially important for people with diabetes who are at greater risk for developing heart disease.

Cinnamon is not a replacement for diabetes medication or a carbohydrate-controlled diet, but it can be a helpful addition to a healthy lifestyle.

Meal tip: Try sprinkling it on yogurt, fruit or hot cereal, or use it in stews and chilis or as a meat rub.

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