But there is cinnamon in the famous Cincinnati chili. But why, you may ask, would I want to put cinnamon in my chili? Well, for one thing, because it tastes great. The other reason is that cinnamon provides some significant health benefits:
For centuries, Chinese herbalists have recommended it for diarrhea, fever, and menstrual cramps, and modern science has concurred in many cases. A Japanese study showed it may help to control ulcers. Many natural toothpastes and mouthwashes are flavored with cinnamon because it helps to kill the bacteria that contribute to tooth decay and gum disease. Cinnamon can also kill many disease-causing fungi and viruses.
I love it when it turns out that something that tastes delicious is actually healthy, too! I mean, maybe eating vast quantities of fish oil every day can make you live to be 150, but why would you want to under those circumstances? That’s a case of the cure being worse than the disease, in my opinion.
Anyway, back to cinnamon. More recently, research has linked cinnamon with reduced blood sugar, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels in people with type 2 diabetes. And a study reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that adding a little more than a teaspoonful to rice pudding helped control blood sugar in people without diabetes. Cinnamon also contains antioxidants that help to keep arteries healthy, thereby reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Now, if the goal in increasing your cinnamon consumption is to help control your blood sugar, you probably don’t want to do it by eating a great big cinnamon roll (although I do have a recipe that’s been described as “sinful.”) Okay, maybe another time…
What you can do: add ½ teaspoon to cereal, oatmeal or yogurt. Throw in a little when making pancakes or baked goods. Make cinnamon tea (good for soothing an upset stomach). Just add ½ teaspoon or so to a cup of boiling water and let it steep for 10 to 15 minutes. Making spiced nuts is another option. Here’s one of my all-time favorite recipes for Sweet and Spicy Pecans.
Spice up your diet with a little more cinnamon and the only thing you’ll have to confess is how delicious it is…
If It Looks like Cinnamon, and Tastes Like Cinnamon
Make Cinnamon Ornaments (or Gift Tags…)
Sweet and Spicy Pecans
Cincinnati Chili Recipe
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