Once incredibly valuable and gifted to Egyptian kings, cinnamon is now a pantry staple with an important role to play in our overall health. If you’re eating more cinnamon around the holidays, that’s a good thing; this homey spice contains potent antioxidants that reduce inflammation. This in turn benefits the body in impressive ways, from boosting metabolism to warding off colds. Here’s what scientific research has to say:
On Revving Metabolism
Spicy-sweet cinnamon gets its flavor from cinnamaldehyde, a compound that may stimulate calorie-burning brown fat. Indeed, a study published in Nutrients found that mice fed cinnamaldehyde lost more weight and more fat than other mice. In addition, it encouraged white fat cells to “brown,” turning them into healthier fat cells.
On Warding Off Colds
A daily dose of cinnamon can help you sail through sick season unscathed. So say scientists from Touro College in New York, who discovered that an extract of the spice deactivates 99.9 percent of viruses that cause colds and flu by preventing them from replicating. This doesn’t mean that eating cinnamon will prevent you from getting sick, but it does indicate potent antioxidant properties in the spice.
Ready to reap the benefits of cinnamon? Check out these three delicious cinnamon drink recipes to celebrate the holidays below.
Hot Cinnamon Citrus Cider
This warm, zesty cinnamon drink recipe is a delicious twist on the holiday classic.
Ingredients (makes 4 servings):
- 1 orange, sliced
- 5 cinnamon sticks
- 4 star anise pods
- 8 cups apple cider
- In 6-quart slow cooker, add all ingredients.
- Cover; simmer 2 hrs. on low heat.
Per serving: Cal. 240 Pro. 0g Carb. 59g Fiber 0g Sug. 53g Chol. 0mg Sod. 50mg Total fat: 0g Sat. 0g
Pumpkin Cinnamon Latte
Make your own delicious latte at home, with all the benefits of cinnamon.
Ingredients (makes 2 servings):
- 2 cups milk
- 4 shots espresso
- ½ cup pumpkin puree
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- In pot over low heat, bring milk to a simmer.
- Add next 4 ingredients; stir.
- Divide mixture among 2 mugs.
Per serving: Cal. 400 Pro. 14g Carb. 72g Fiber 3g Sug. 52g Chol. 25mg Sod. 190mg Total fat: 8g Sat. 5g
Slow-Cooker Mulled Wine
The perfect way to end an evening full of happy memories and delicious foods.
Ingredients (makes 6 servings):
- 1 (750 ml.) bottle dry red wine
- 2 cups apple cider
- 1 orange, zested and juiced
- ¼ cup honey
- 4 cinnamon sticks
- In 4-quart slow cooker, add all ingredients; stir to combine.
- Cover; cook on low heat until warm, 1 hr.
Per serving: Cal. 190 Pro. 0g Carb. 27g Fiber 0g Sug. 22g Chol. 0mg Sod. 10mg Total fat: 0g Sat. 0g
Looking for more drink ideas? Try this delicious cinnamon apple-tini and these three coffee-shop inspired drinks that will help burn extra calories.
This content is not a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis. Always consult your physician before pursuing any treatment plan.
A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, First For Women.