TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Between baked goods and warm drinks, the smell of cinnamon is often in the air this winter season. But the benefits of cinnamon go beyond the great smell and taste.
Topeka Registered Dietitian Amber Groeling said this spice also has many health benefits for you as well.
“Cinnamon has been used in its medicinal use traditionally in Chinese medicine. It has a long history of uses and is a wonderful spice to use. More recently more and more research is coming out showing that it can have beneficial aspects to blood sugar control, metabolism control, and even obesity,” said Groeling.
There are three main types of cinnamon available on shelves today.
“There’s Saigon cinnamon, Ceylon cinnamon, and Chinese cinnamon. Most often the Saigon or Ceylon cinnamon is what’s going to be in a cinnamon drawer.”
Groeling said Saigon cinnamon is considered kind of a premiere rich flavor cinnamon.
“So typically that will be labeled because it’s more specific or more pronounced flavors. Really the research is on Chinese Cinnamon. So to get the health benefits ideally look for it on the label. Unfortunately it doesn’t have to be labeled so you can look on the label and just see cinnamon and you don’t know what you’re getting.”
But, Amber said all cinnamon is going to have some health benefits. However, understanding how much to use each day, is key.
“1 to 6 grams per day is where the research is showing some health benefits. Keep in mind 1 teaspoon of cinnamon is about 4 grams. So it’s pretty easy to get a teaspoon of cinnamon into your diet, especially if you like it, just sprinkling it onto your cereal or oatmeal in the morning is an easy way to get that in.”
Taking cinnamon in a supplement form is another option to get the health benefits.
Amber said most capsules are around 500 milligrams – which is the suggested dosage based on research.