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November 8, 2010

The Next Miracle Health Food: Cinnamon?

Filed under: Food/Groceries,Health — Edgar (aka MrConsumer) @ 5:52 am

To listen to the spice company, McCormick, you would think that cinnamon was the next great health food:

“Did you know that this ancient spice taken from the inner bark of tropical trees is an antioxidant powerhouse? Cinnamon has one of the highest antioxidant levels of any spice – and even more than many foods. You’ll find as many antioxidants in 1 teaspoon of cinnamon as a full cup of pomegranate juice or ½ cup of blueberries.” — McCormick website

Wow, sounds impressive… until you begin to think about it.

*MOUSE PRINT: From the cinnamon nutrition label on McCormick’s website…

This is a good example of a company hyping a nutritional benefit that has no practical significance because of the small amount of cinnamon that is actually in a typical portion of most foods flavored with the spice.

• • •

8 Comments

  1. I don’t believe antioxidants are part of a nutrition label. Just because it has no value in the serving amount on the nutrition label does not mean it has no value or effectiveness as an antioxidant.

    Comment by Mrgrt — November 8, 2010 @ 9:07 am
  2. My mom called me last week to tell me about the latest “supplement” to come out with a crazy claim-milk thistle that regenerates a damaged liver.
    Of course, she called it “milkweed thistle” and I had to correct her, as the milkweed plant is toxic and quite different than milk thistle.

    Comment by Sko Hayes — November 8, 2010 @ 10:16 am
  3. Does McCormick even sell real cinnamon (Ceylon)?

    Comment by ERock — November 8, 2010 @ 11:09 am
  4. The May/June issue of AARP magazine actually states that cinnamon regulates blood sugar levels which helps you to stay focused which speeds up the tate at which your brain processes visual cues. So there may be no nutrional value, but it could still be beneficial.

    Comment by Teri McDevitt — November 8, 2010 @ 2:21 pm
  5. I wrote a little “blurb”: on my blog http://thefrugaldietitian.com/?p=7526
    The diabetes and cinnamon connection is very preliminary. It is only cassia cinnamon (not all cinnamon is cassia)that is presently being studied. Results have been mixed. Larger amounts of cassia cinnamon can be toxic. The antioxidant marketing going on now is very deceiving.

    Comment by NancyOrtiz, MS, RD — November 8, 2010 @ 5:34 pm
  6. I use at least a teaspoon or two of cinnamon in everything I use it in (a LOT of stuff) how could you even taste it if you only used a quarter teaspoon?

    Edgar replies: Of course, Anna, a recipe for say apple pie might call for a teaspoon of cinnamon. But the slice of apple pie that you eat will only have maybe an 1/8 of a teaspoon. You’re not going eat the whole pie at one sitting just to get the equivalent benefit of eating half a cup of blueberries.

    Comment by Anna — November 8, 2010 @ 9:02 pm
  7. Antioxidants are not listed on the nutrition label. A good example is green tea, which has lots of antioxidants. You will not see anything listed on the Nutrition Facts, but they are listed in the ingredients.

    Comment by Melissa — November 10, 2010 @ 9:58 pm
  8. It says no “signifigant” nutrition value in a 1/4 teaspoon not that there’s none at all. Relativly speaking there is probably no “signifigant” nutrition in a 1/4 cup of pomegranate or an 1/8 cup of blueberries either. If your average cinnamon intake is in the form of recipes like cinnamon buns or apple pie then you’re probably not worried about health benefits anyway. Try adding 1 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon with a cup of tea and a bit of milk and sweetner.

    Comment by Jon — November 15, 2010 @ 1:30 pm

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