Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Benefits of Cinnamon

Especially with the warmer weather lately, we usually keep two pitchers of something cold to drink in the refrigerator. There is a wider variety of refreshments here than I ever considered in the States. Fresh limeade, Rosa de Jamaica, sweet tea, horchata, rooibos tea and cinnamon tea are among the top candidates. I'm often surprised how these drinks have side benefits for your health beyond hydration, especially if you cut the sugar. (We use half a cup of Turbinado sugar to a gallon and it is sufficient.)

A family favorite is cinnamon tea. Many of our Latin American friends in Texas also drank cinnamon tea, and introduced it to us there. We thought it was delicious, but never learned how to make it ourselves. It's very simple!

Step 1: Put a 4-5 inch cinnamon stick in a pot of boiling water.
Step 2: Cover and steep about 10 min.
Step 3: Strain cinnamon out and pour drink into gallon pitcher.
Step 4: Add desired amount of sugar, fill with water.
Step 5: Chill or enjoy hot.

In the market here you can find huge, foot long sticks of cinnamon wrapped in newspaper for sale. We cut these into 4-5 inch pieces and they last a loooong time.

Some of the health benefits of just 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, whether in a drink or otherwise, are supposedly these according to this website:
-Lower LDL cholesterol
-Help regulate blood sugar for Type 2 Diabetes (omit sugar)
-stop medication-resistant yeast infections (omit sugar)
-reduce Leukemia and Lymphoma cancer cells
-anti-clotting effects on blood
-combined with a tablespoon of honey for arthritis relief over time
-a natural food preservative
-boosts cognitive function and memory
-fights E. coli
-is a great source of manganese, fiber, iron and calcium.

What's not to love? Drink up!

Have you ever tried cinnamon tea? Do you have your own cinnamon recipe to share?

1 comment:

  1. Yep, it is delicious and very refreshing. Since there is no air conditioning here everywhere like in the US, the prevalence and variety of these drinks gain a greater relevance than back home. Thanks for the recipe.