Cinnamon comes from the dried inner bark of a tropical Asian tree and has been used as a spice and medicine for centuries. Typically used as a sweet spice, cinnamon is now increasingly being added to savory dishes.
Cinnamon packs a flavorful and healthful punch with minimal calories. Just 1 tsp. of ground cinnamon provides 6 calories, 2 g of carbohydrates, negligible amounts of protein and fat, and 1g of fiber. For a daily diet of 2,000 calories, cinnamon provides 3 percent of the daily value for calcium, 1 percent of the daily value for iron, and 22 percent of the daily value of manganese.
Potential Health Benefits
There is some evidence that shows that cinnamon may help to lower cholesterol and reduce inflammation as it contains a myriad of compounds that have antioxidant properties. Though still heavily debated, the strongest evidence is related to its possible role in controlling insulin levels and aiding in the treatment of type 2 diabetes.
Though the sweet scent of cinnamon may remind you of your favorite holiday desserts, it can easily be added to everyday foods. Stir it into vanilla yogurt with a drizzle of honey or spice up your morning bowl of oatmeal with a dash of cinnamon. Sprinkle it onto fruits such as apples, oranges and bananas for a healthy dessert. Go savory by adding it to your favorite pork rub or a pot of chili. It will have your guests begging for your secret.