Cinnamon is a delicious and versatile spice that’s used in small amounts in a variety of dishes. While spices generally don’t make large contributions to your daily vitamin and mineral intake, cinnamon does have small amounts of beneficial nutrients including the minerals calcium and manganese, in addition to vitamins A and K. Add cinnamon to oatmeal, cream of wheat, granola or even your coffee in the morning. Cinnamon is also used to make mole sauces, picadillo, certain curry dishes, as well as scones and muffins among other baked goods.
Basic Nutrition Information
One tablespoon of cinnamon has 19 calories, 0.3 g of protein, 0.1 g of fat, 6.3 g of carbohydrate and 4.1 g of fiber, according to the USDA Food and Nutrient Database. The fiber content for cinnamon is quite significant as the daily requirement for fiber for adults is 38 g for men and 25 g for women up to age 50.
One tablespoon of cinnamon provides 78 mg of calcium or almost 8 percent of the daily requirement of 1,000 mg for adults up to age 50. This is a significant amount of calcium when you consider that cinnamon is simply added for flavor without being a significant component of any dish. Calcium is not only important for keeping your bones strong and healthy, but calcium is also needed for your muscles to contract and your blood to clot properly.
Manganese has several vital functions in the body including a role in collagen production, making it especially important for wound healing and bone health, as collagen is an important component of bone. Furthermore, manganese functions as part of the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase, which helps to prevent free radical damage to your body. One tablespoon of cinnamon provides 1.4 mg of manganese. The daily requirement for manganese for adults is 2.3 mg for men and 1.8 mg for women. One tablespoon of cinnamon provides more than 60 percent of the daily requirement for men and more than 75 percent of the daily requirement for women.
Cinnamon is a richer source of minerals than vitamins, but cinnamon does contain small amounts of vitamin A. One tablespoon of ground cinnamon provides 23 international units of vitamin A, while the daily requirement for vitamin A for adults is 3,000 IU for men and 2,300 IU for women. Vitamin A plays a role in a variety of bodily processes include growth, development, immunity and vision.
Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin that is important for blood clotting and bone health, according to the Linus Pauling Institute. The daily requirement for vitamin K for adults is 120 micrograms for males and 90 micrograms for females. One tablespoon of cinnamon provides 2.4 micrograms of vitamin K.
- USDA Food and Nutrient Database: Cinnamon, ground
- Linus Pauling Institute; Calcium; Jane Higdon, Ph.D. et al.; June 2007
- Linus Pauling Institute; Manganese; Jane Higdon, Ph.D. et al.; March 2010
- Linus Pauling Institute; Vitamin A; Jane Higdon, Ph.D.; November 2007
- Linus Pauling Institute; Vitamin K; Jane Higdon, Ph.D. et al.; May 2008