A highly fragrant spice, cinnamon has been around since biblical times and was used even by Moses. The inner bark of a small evergreen tree, cinnamon originated in Sri Lanka, where 90% of the world’s supply comes from.
What you need to know:
Studies conducted by the USDA have shown that cinnamon may help better regulate blood-sugar levels.This could be a boon to diabetics. In tests, half a teaspoon a day lowered blood-sugar levels in patients with Type II diabetes and reduced LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. Cinnamon may also inhibit cancer cells, is anti-inflammatory, and anti-bacterial. It also tastes darn good sprinkled in a cup of hot coffee or tea.
What to do at the supermarket:
Cinnamon can be purchased in 3 inch sticks, or powdered. The sticks can be thrown into stews, punches, and even soups, whereas the powder can be sprinkled into hot drinks, blended into pastries, or added as a condiment to various dishes. For freshness, best to take a stick and grate it yourself (warning – it’s a tedious task).