Cinnamon is obtained from the inner part of the bark of several tree species from the genus Cinnamomum and is considered a spice.
It is very aromatic and is often used as an additional flavoring to both savory and sweet dishes, such as breakfast cereals, curries, cakes, and teas. It is used in a large variety of cuisines and is often part of a larger bouquet of spices used together, such as mace, peppercorn, and cardamom.
The distinctive flavor and aroma of cinnamon come mainly from its essential oil, as well as other constituents of it.
In 2018, China and Indonesia produced 70% of the world’s supply of cinnamon; its tree is an evergreen, characterized by leaves that have an oval shape. The bark of cinnamon’s tree is thick and the plant produces berry fruits.
Benefits of Cinnamon
This bark is a source of calcium and 100g of its ground version can offer up to 100% of the required daily value; it is also an excellent font of iron and vitamin K.
Multiple studies have been carried out to verify cinnamon’s correlation to plasma glucose (sugar level in the blood), but, as the trials had very limited duration, there was insufficient evidence to support that using this could assist with diabetes.
Other studies didn’t support using cinnamon could assist with any health condition.
Nutrient composition and phytochemistry
Cinnamon is composed of approximately:
81% carbohydrates (of which 53%dietary fiber)
11% of water
Cooking with Cinnamon
The bark has a strong flavor and can be used in multiple ways.
Use some ground cinnamon to flavor morning oats, or add a little sprinkle on top of hot chocolate. If using in savory food, add it to your bouquet garni for a deeper, richer flavor if you are boiling rice to eat with curry.
Use cinnamon sticks to stir hot drinks in style or decorate a glass serving flavored alcohol, such as whiskey.
In larger quantities, coumarin, one of the components of cinnamon, can be toxic and the recommended tolerable daily intake is of only 0.1mg of coumarin per kilogram of body weight; excess use of it can cause liver and kidney damage.
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