Beta-glucan is abundant in oats and barley and has been shown “quite unequivocally” to help maintain healthy cholesterol levels, @American_Heart










American Heart Association

@American_Heart
·





Oats and oatmeal have powers you probably didn’t know about — like nutrients to help lower cholesterol and enough fiber to help you feel fuller longer. They just might be quiet heroes of #BetterBreakfastMonth.

(Arx0nt/Moment via Getty Images)

By Michael Merschel, American Heart Association News

Let’s admit it: Oatmeal is a total nerd. It lacks fashion sense – the color they named after it is somewhere on the drab side of beige. It’s often seen with Sesame Street’s Bert, who also loves bottle caps, paper clips and pigeons.

But when it comes to healthy eating, oatmeal and the oats it comes from can definitely hang with the cool kids at the breakfast table.

“It has many, many good qualities,” said Candida Rebello, director of the nutrition and chronic disease research program at Louisiana State University’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge.

Extensive studies have associated oats and oatmeal with plenty of heart-healthy benefits, such as lowering cholesterol (both total and “bad” LDL cholesterol) and helping with weight control.

Oatmeal has a host of vitamins and minerals. Two examples: According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a one-cup serving of cooked oatmeal has about 1.8 milligrams of vitamin B1, or thiamin. That’s close to 15% of what an adult needs each day. It also has 1.36 mg of manganese, which is 59% of the daily recommendation for men and 76% for women. Manganese has roles in immunity, blood clotting and the way cholesterol and blood sugar are metabolized.

But that’s not what makes oats stand out, Rebello said. That same cup of cooked oatmeal has just 166 calories and nearly 4 grams of dietary fiber.

And the type of fiber is where oats start to distinguish themselves. It’s called beta-glucan. Put that in the conversation, and it’s like the scene in a movie where oatmeal takes off its glasses and everyone realizes just how beautiful it is.

Not literally. It’s a soluble fiber, which means it dissolves in hot water, where it thickens. “When you eat oatmeal, the kind of sliminess that you see – that comes from this viscosity that beta-glucan generates,” Rebello said.

That helps you feel full longer, she said. And it helps undigested food travel farther down your digestive tract, where it feeds the friendly bacteria living there.

Beta-glucan is abundant in oats and barley and has been shown “quite unequivocally” to help maintain healthy cholesterol levels, Rebello said.

Oats also are rich phytonutrients – plant-derived substances that may boost health. One class of such phytonutrients is avenanthramides, which are found only in oats. Avenanthramides may have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, although Rebello said their possible benefits are not as well-researched as those for beta-glucans.

Oats have been linked to heart-health benefits since the 1960s and come in many forms. The differences involve levels of processing.

Oats grow in an inedible casing called a hull. Inside the hull is a seedlike groat. That groat is encased in bran. “In other whole grains, like in wheat, you can remove that bran layer,” Rebello said. “But in oats, this groat is very soft, so that bran layer cannot really be removed.”

That means oats are almost always a whole-grain food, and those are a key part of a healthy eating pattern.

If oats are labeled “steel cut,” it simply means they were processed with a steel cutter, Rebello said. Rolled oats are steamed first, then pressed with a roller. “If the roller crushes it into thinner flake, then you get quick-cooking oats,” she said. “If it is then rolled into an even thinner flake, you get your instant oats.”

Rebello said that nutritionally, there is little difference between steel cut and rolled oats. Instant oats, however, have a higher glycemic index, meaning they raise your blood sugar faster.

When oats are ground to flour, the coarser portion is extracted and called oat bran. The beta-glucans will be concentrated in the flour rather than the bran, she said.

Oat milk is derived from oats and water, but processing may add ingredients such as sugar, salt, oil and more. Oat milk has some dietary fiber, Rebello said – commonly 2 grams per cup – but the amount of beta-glucan is rather small.

Unfortunately, Rebello ruled out sugar-filled oatmeal cookies as a healthy food (although she’s not averse to having one as a treat now and then).

How, then, to embrace oats? “Just eat regular oatmeal,” she said. Half a cup of rolled oats cooks up quickly and will keep you full a long time.

Oatmeal with your favorite fruit can be a sweet way to start the day. Cook it in low-fat milk for creaminess and add unsalted nuts to bolster its heart-health value. If you’re time-pressed in the morning, try a healthy version of overnight oats, which can be prepared the night before.

It’s important to remember that no single food, even oats, can do it all, Rebello said, noting that if you eat a nutritious breakfast but then load up on sugar and fat the rest of the day, “that’s really not going to help you much.”

But you should go ahead and invite oatmeal into your breakfast club, Rebello said. “I definitely recommend eating oats.”

If you have questions or comments about this American Heart Association News story, please email editor@heart.org.

Alcohol has risks. We must all aim to minimise those risks. @Dr.Paddy_Barrett preventative cardiologist @HealthBlackrock

Let’s start with some simple facts.
Alcohol is a toxin.
Alcohol is a factor in1:
30% of suicides
40% of fatal burn injuries
50% of fatal drownings
50% of homicides
65% of fatal falls
29% of fatal road traffic accidents
Globally, alcohol is responsible for 3 million deaths per year; in the United States, it is the third leading cause of preventable death2 3.
It is hard to see the upside when you see these figures.
So let’s go a little deeper.
First off, I drink alcohol. Not a lot. But I do drink.
So any comments made here are not some puritanical position on alcohol but reflections on the data that exist in the literature.
Multiple studies have demonstrated that excess alcohol consumption, usually defined as consuming greater than 2 to 4 drinks per day, is associated with worse outcomes and a greater likelihood of dying when compared to someone who drinks less than 2 to 4 drinks per day4.

Alcohol Dosing and Total Mortality in Men and Women: An Updated Meta-analysis of 34 Prospective Studies. Arch Intern Med.2006

In the study shown above, females start to accrue an increased risk at greater than two drinks per day on average and males at greater than four drinks per day.

These findings shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone.

Surprisingly, on average, individuals who consume less than two drinks per day appear to have better outcomes than those who do not drink at all. This is where things start to get a little counterintuitive, and the story of alcohol being beneficial for you starts to appear.

This relationship is known as a ‘U’ shaped curve where those in the middle have the best outcomes, and those on the edges have worse outcomes. A kind of ‘Goldilocks’ relationship; “Not too hot. Not too cold. Just right.”

How might we explain this?

Enter the darling of the 1990s, Resveratrol. This compound in red wine spawned the mantra that red wine was ‘good for your heart’. This was based on research that suggested that it might reduce cholesterol levels, among other things.

But to consume the levels of Resveratrol tested in some of the animal studies that demonstrated benefit, you would have to drink 40 litres of wine…… Per day.

Not exactly a feasible strategy. Even with the best will in the world.

Let’s look at a more plausible explanation.

Data on alcohol consumption and outcomes are almost always based on observational data, not randomised controlled trials. This means that other factors or ‘confounders’ may explain the difference between the groups, not the alcohol consumption alone.

When you look at the trials that suggest a benefit of modest alcohol consumption, you will often find that this group tend to exercise more, smoke less, be in a higher socioeconomic bracket etc. This is referred to as a ‘healthy user bias’ and is likely to explain the difference between the groups.

Most trials try to correct or adjust for these confounders, but in truth, it is very hard to do. A recent publication looked at this problem and attempted to (as much as possible) correct for these ‘healthy user’ bias factors and then compare outcomes between alcohol consumption groups. The results were a little more in line with what we might expect.

Those in the lowest alcohol consumption category had the best lifestyle factors overall. When these healthy factors were corrected for, any benefit seen with modest alcohol consumption disappeared. What remained was a linear relationship between alcohol consumption and coronary artery disease5. Much more what you might expect.

Association of Habitual Alcohol Intake With Risk of Cardiovascular Disease. JAMA Netw Open. 2022

Research like this and other studies is where the more recent media reports of ‘any’ alcohol being bad for you have come.

So, alcohol is a toxin. But, as Paracelsus notes:

“The dose makes the poison.”

Even water consumed to excess can be lethal.

We know that excess alcohol consumption is harmful. But I don’t think there was any great uncertainty around that point.

The key takeaway is that modest alcohol consumption is unlikely to be ‘beneficial’ to you. As much as you loved the idea that red wine was good for your heart, we can say with reasonable confidence that this is not the case.

The real question we need to answer is whether consuming modest amounts of alcohol is considerably worse for you when it comes to heart disease and death from any cause.

Based on the literature to date, it seems that the incremental risk for modest amounts of weekly alcohol consumption is likely to be small. But that doesn’t mean there are no downsides.

Sleep

One of the main reasons I significantly reduced my alcohol consumption was its effect on my sleep. If I drink more than one drink, I find that the quality of my sleep gets worse. I am much more likely to wake in the middle of the night and feel the effects the following day. But that’s just my personal experience.

Although alcohol is likely to make you fall asleep faster, it impacts your sleep quality6. Additionally, alcohol also reduces the percentage of REM sleep a person gets overnight7.

A workaround for me is to consume any alcohol during the daytime, so my sleep is unlikely to be affected, and if I am going to have a drink, I make sure it is worthwhile. I.e. I am with friends, or it is a high-quality drink. No more drinks on airplanes for me. Mainly because you lose about 30% of your sense of smell and taste in a pressurised cabin and therefore you are less likely to enjoy your drink8. Why do you think they serve you tomato juice and the fact that you think it’s tolerable?!

Humans have been consuming alcohol as far back as the ancient Egyptians, and some evidence suggests the Chinese were consuming alcohol as far back as 7000 B.C. So I don’t see alcohol disappearing any time soon.

The question we all need to ask is:

How much are we realistically drinking on a daily or weekly basis &

Is it likely to be doing us harm?

Only you can answer that question.

The only way to be certain you are doing no harm is to eliminate alcohol entirely. But life is full of risks, some of which we can control, some we cannot.

And some risks are worth taking.

Want to eliminate all road traffic accidents worldwide?

Simple.

Ban cars.

But at what cost?

The risks of driving are a risk most of us are willing to take.

Alcohol has risks.

We must all aim to minimise those risks.

Whatever that means for you, only you can decide.

1

https://www.rethinkingdrinking.niaaa.nih.gov/How-much-is-too-much/Whats-the-harm/What-Are-The-Consequences.aspx

2

Mokdad, A.H.; Marks, J.S.; Stroup, D.F.; and Gerberding, J.L. Actual causes of death in the United States, 2000. JAMA 291(10):1238–1245, 2004. Erratum in JAMA 293(3):298, 2005.

3

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Alcohol and Public Health: Alcohol-Related Disease Impact (ARDI). Annual Average for United States 2011–2015 Alcohol-Attributable Deaths Due to Excessive Alcohol Use, All Ages.

4

Alcohol Dosing and Total Mortality in Men and Women: An Updated Meta-analysis of 34 Prospective Studies. Arch Intern Med.2006;166(22):2437–2445. doi:10.1001/archinte.166.22.2437

5

Biddinger KJ, Emdin CA, Haas ME, et al. Association of Habitual Alcohol Intake With Risk of Cardiovascular Disease. JAMA Netw Open. 2022;5(3):e223849. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.3849

6

Britton, A., Fat, L.N. & Neligan, A. The association between alcohol consumption and sleep disorders among older people in the general population. Sci Rep 10, 5275 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-62227-0

7

Ebrahim IO, Shapiro CM, Williams AJ, Fenwick PB. Alcohol and sleep I: effects on normal sleep. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2013 Apr;37(4):539-49. doi: 10.1111/acer.12006.

8

Burdack-Freitag, Andrea & Bullinger, Dino & Mayer, Florian & Breuer, Klaus. (2010). Odor and taste perception at normal and low atmospheric pressure in a simulated aircraft cabin. Journal für Verbraucherschutz und Lebensmittelsicherheit. 6. 95-109. 10.1007/s00003-010-0630-y.

This week is EU Action on Alcohol Week. To learn more about the substantial health risks of alcohol, read @Dr.Paddy_Barrett – preventative cardiologist @HealthBlackrock

Let’s start with some simple facts.
Alcohol is a toxin.
Alcohol is a factor in1:
30% of suicides
40% of fatal burn injuries
50% of fatal drownings
50% of homicides
65% of fatal falls
29% of fatal road traffic accidents
Globally, alcohol is responsible for 3 million deaths per year; in the United States, it is the third leading cause of preventable death2 3.
It is hard to see the upside when you see these figures.
So let’s go a little deeper.
First off, I drink alcohol. Not a lot. But I do drink.
So any comments made here are not some puritanical position on alcohol but reflections on the data that exist in the literature.
Multiple studies have demonstrated that excess alcohol consumption, usually defined as consuming greater than 2 to 4 drinks per day, is associated with worse outcomes and a greater likelihood of dying when compared to someone who drinks less than 2 to 4 drinks per day4.

Alcohol Dosing and Total Mortality in Men and Women: An Updated Meta-analysis of 34 Prospective Studies. Arch Intern Med.2006

In the study shown above, females start to accrue an increased risk at greater than two drinks per day on average and males at greater than four drinks per day.

These findings shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone.

Surprisingly, on average, individuals who consume less than two drinks per day appear to have better outcomes than those who do not drink at all. This is where things start to get a little counterintuitive, and the story of alcohol being beneficial for you starts to appear.

This relationship is known as a ‘U’ shaped curve where those in the middle have the best outcomes, and those on the edges have worse outcomes. A kind of ‘Goldilocks’ relationship; “Not too hot. Not too cold. Just right.”

How might we explain this?

Enter the darling of the 1990s, Resveratrol. This compound in red wine spawned the mantra that red wine was ‘good for your heart’. This was based on research that suggested that it might reduce cholesterol levels, among other things.

But to consume the levels of Resveratrol tested in some of the animal studies that demonstrated benefit, you would have to drink 40 litres of wine…… Per day.

Not exactly a feasible strategy. Even with the best will in the world.

Let’s look at a more plausible explanation.

Data on alcohol consumption and outcomes are almost always based on observational data, not randomised controlled trials. This means that other factors or ‘confounders’ may explain the difference between the groups, not the alcohol consumption alone.

When you look at the trials that suggest a benefit of modest alcohol consumption, you will often find that this group tend to exercise more, smoke less, be in a higher socioeconomic bracket etc. This is referred to as a ‘healthy user bias’ and is likely to explain the difference between the groups.

Most trials try to correct or adjust for these confounders, but in truth, it is very hard to do. A recent publication looked at this problem and attempted to (as much as possible) correct for these ‘healthy user’ bias factors and then compare outcomes between alcohol consumption groups. The results were a little more in line with what we might expect.

Those in the lowest alcohol consumption category had the best lifestyle factors overall. When these healthy factors were corrected for, any benefit seen with modest alcohol consumption disappeared. What remained was a linear relationship between alcohol consumption and coronary artery disease5. Much more what you might expect.

Association of Habitual Alcohol Intake With Risk of Cardiovascular Disease. JAMA Netw Open. 2022

Research like this and other studies is where the more recent media reports of ‘any’ alcohol being bad for you have come.

So, alcohol is a toxin. But, as Paracelsus notes:

“The dose makes the poison.”

Even water consumed to excess can be lethal.

We know that excess alcohol consumption is harmful. But I don’t think there was any great uncertainty around that point.

The key takeaway is that modest alcohol consumption is unlikely to be ‘beneficial’ to you. As much as you loved the idea that red wine was good for your heart, we can say with reasonable confidence that this is not the case.

The real question we need to answer is whether consuming modest amounts of alcohol is considerably worse for you when it comes to heart disease and death from any cause.

Based on the literature to date, it seems that the incremental risk for modest amounts of weekly alcohol consumption is likely to be small. But that doesn’t mean there are no downsides.

Sleep

One of the main reasons I significantly reduced my alcohol consumption was its effect on my sleep. If I drink more than one drink, I find that the quality of my sleep gets worse. I am much more likely to wake in the middle of the night and feel the effects the following day. But that’s just my personal experience.

Although alcohol is likely to make you fall asleep faster, it impacts your sleep quality6. Additionally, alcohol also reduces the percentage of REM sleep a person gets overnight7.

A workaround for me is to consume any alcohol during the daytime, so my sleep is unlikely to be affected, and if I am going to have a drink, I make sure it is worthwhile. I.e. I am with friends, or it is a high-quality drink. No more drinks on airplanes for me. Mainly because you lose about 30% of your sense of smell and taste in a pressurised cabin and therefore you are less likely to enjoy your drink8. Why do you think they serve you tomato juice and the fact that you think it’s tolerable?!

Humans have been consuming alcohol as far back as the ancient Egyptians, and some evidence suggests the Chinese were consuming alcohol as far back as 7000 B.C. So I don’t see alcohol disappearing any time soon.

The question we all need to ask is:

How much are we realistically drinking on a daily or weekly basis &

Is it likely to be doing us harm?

Only you can answer that question.

The only way to be certain you are doing no harm is to eliminate alcohol entirely. But life is full of risks, some of which we can control, some we cannot.

And some risks are worth taking.

Want to eliminate all road traffic accidents worldwide?

Simple.

Ban cars.

But at what cost?

The risks of driving are a risk most of us are willing to take.

Alcohol has risks.

We must all aim to minimise those risks.

Whatever that means for you, only you can decide.

1

https://www.rethinkingdrinking.niaaa.nih.gov/How-much-is-too-much/Whats-the-harm/What-Are-The-Consequences.aspx

2

Mokdad, A.H.; Marks, J.S.; Stroup, D.F.; and Gerberding, J.L. Actual causes of death in the United States, 2000. JAMA 291(10):1238–1245, 2004. Erratum in JAMA 293(3):298, 2005.

3

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Alcohol and Public Health: Alcohol-Related Disease Impact (ARDI). Annual Average for United States 2011–2015 Alcohol-Attributable Deaths Due to Excessive Alcohol Use, All Ages.

4

Alcohol Dosing and Total Mortality in Men and Women: An Updated Meta-analysis of 34 Prospective Studies. Arch Intern Med.2006;166(22):2437–2445. doi:10.1001/archinte.166.22.2437

5

Biddinger KJ, Emdin CA, Haas ME, et al. Association of Habitual Alcohol Intake With Risk of Cardiovascular Disease. JAMA Netw Open. 2022;5(3):e223849. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.3849

6

Britton, A., Fat, L.N. & Neligan, A. The association between alcohol consumption and sleep disorders among older people in the general population. Sci Rep 10, 5275 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-62227-0

7

Ebrahim IO, Shapiro CM, Williams AJ, Fenwick PB. Alcohol and sleep I: effects on normal sleep. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2013 Apr;37(4):539-49. doi: 10.1111/acer.12006.

8

Burdack-Freitag, Andrea & Bullinger, Dino & Mayer, Florian & Breuer, Klaus. (2010). Odor and taste perception at normal and low atmospheric pressure in a simulated aircraft cabin. Journal für Verbraucherschutz und Lebensmittelsicherheit. 6. 95-109. 10.1007/s00003-010-0630-y.

How Alcohol Affects Your Heart @ClevelandClinic

You likely know that drinking alcohol too often or to excess isn’t a good idea, health-wise. But when it comes to alcohol and heart health, you may have heard different sides. Is drinking all that bad for your heart? Can a glass of wine help reduce your risk of heart disease — or make it worse? 

First things first: If you drink alcohol, you should do so in moderation to avoid alcohol-related heart issues. And you should never intentionally use alcohol to try to reduce your risk of heart disease. 

To further explore the relationship between your ticker and your favorite glass of merlot or IPA, we chatted with cardiologist Leslie Cho, MD.

Ways alcohol can impact heart health

Here are some of the effects of alcohol on your heart:

Increased heart rate

One of the most important things your heart does is keep a rhythm. On average, a regular heart rate is about 60 to 100 beats per minute when your body is at rest. But alcohol can lead to your heart rate temporarily jumping up in speed, and if it goes over 100 beats per minute, it can cause a condition called tachycardia. Too many episodes of tachycardia could lead to more serious issues like heart failure or going into irregular rhythms, which can cause heart attack and stroke.

Raises blood pressure

That fourth drink at the bar may feel like it’s relaxing you, but it’s actually affecting your body differently than you might think. Alcohol can affect your blood pressure, causing it to go up temporarily. This is especially true when you engage in binge drinking (that’s defined as four or more drinks within two hours for women and people assigned female at birth, and five or more drinks within two hours for men and people assigned male at birth).

And sure, we’ve all had a night here or there where we’ve had one too many and we know it. But it’s important to make sure those nights of overindulgence are the exception and not the rule. If you’re not sure, make a note to tune into how much you’re having over the course of the next month or so. If it’s more than recommended, try to consciously pace your drinking to help reduce the spike in your blood pressure that excessive alcohol causes. 

And if you have a history of high blood pressure, it’s best to avoid alcohol completely or drink only occasionally, and in moderation. 

Irregular heartbeat

Whether it’s a glass of red wine with your turkey or toasting champagne for the new year, alcohol definitely becomes more present during the holiday season. And while enjoying celebratory spirits in moderation is alright for most people, it’s important to be aware you can fall victim to holiday heart syndrome if you overdo it. This is when overeating and overindulging in alcohol lead to an irregular heartbeat.

Holiday heart syndrome can happen if you don’t typically drink alcohol, but then have a few at a holiday party or if you binge drink. This can cause you to develop an irregular heartbeat, called atrial fibrillation, which can increase your risk of strokeheart attack and heart failure.

Prolonged drinking can cause alcoholic cardiomyopathy

The short-term effects of alcohol (headache, nausea, you know the rest) are easy to pinpoint. But there are ways that alcohol affects your body over time that are important to understand. One of the long-term effects of alcohol on your heart is alcoholic cardiomyopathy. This is when your heart-pumping function gets weaker and your heart gets larger due to changes from heavy alcohol use over a long period of time.

OK, don’t panic. If you’re an occasional drinker, there’s no cause for worry. But it may be worthwhile learning about what counts as binge drinking and whether or not you may be drinking too much and don’t even know it.

Is some level of alcohol safe or beneficial?

It’s true, red wine is a better choice than hard liquor. But can a trip to the wine bar boost your heart health?

You should never consider wine or any other alcohol as a way to lower your heart disease risk. And, in fact, the study also showed that drinking one or fewer drinks per day was related to the lowest likelihood of dying from a stroke. However, Dr. Cho points out that more recent data shows that there may be no amount of alcohol that is truly safe. “The myth that wine is beneficial for heart health is no longer true,” she states.

“It’s not a good idea to start drinking alcohol in an effort to lower your risk of heart disease,” Dr. Cho continues. “It’s better not to drink any alcohol at all.” 

The American Heart Association recommends the same. 

Other factors to keep in mind

It’s also important to know that the ways in which alcohol affects your heart will vary from person to person, depending on your age and other conditions you may have.

Age

Let’s face it, a hangover in your mid-40s doesn’t feel the same as one in your early 20s. This is because your age plays a factor in how well you tolerate alcohol. While some people develop a tolerance to alcohol over time, this isn’t true for everyone — and this ability doesn’t last forever, Dr. Cho notes.

“As we get older, our ability to clear alcohol definitely decreases and our sensitivity to alcohol probably increases,” she explains. “Also as we get older, we end up having more diseases, so we could be on medicines that can interfere with the way our bodies metabolize alcohol.”

Other medical conditions

In many ways, your medical history (and present) can tell you a lot about your future with alcohol. That means, if you’re living with other medical conditions and/or taking certain medications, this will all have an impact on how alcohol affects you.

“Certain health conditions can make drinking alcohol more dangerous,” Dr. Cho says.

For example, some people who are on cholesterol-lowering medicines may experience muscle aches when they drink alcohol. Because alcohol and cholesterol medicine both are processed through your liver, they are, in a sense, competing for clearance. So, it’s important to think about your overall health and talk to a healthcare provider about your personal risk factors.

“Alcohol is made out of sugar,” Dr. Cho points out. “So, if you’re predisposed to diabetes or if high triglycerides are one of your issues, it’s not a good idea to drink alcohol.”

Dr. Cho also warns that if you have liver dysfunction or take other medicines that are processed through the liver, your risks might be different. Talk to your healthcare provider about how alcohol might interact with your prescription medicines.

The last thing you want is for that casual drink after work or glass of wine at dinner to negatively impact your heart health. There’s a way to have a healthy, balanced relationship with alcohol that lets you enjoy a drink occasionally and celebrate with friends and family. But your heart is an important organ that should also be cared for, so be sure to drink in moderation, learn about binge drinking and know what your body can (and can’t) tolerate before opening that tab.FACEBOOKTWITTERLINKEDINPINTERESTEmailalcoholalcohol and healthalcoholic beveragesbinge drinkingheart health

Recipe Adventure: 10 Ways To Cook and Bake With Cinnamon @ClevelandClinic

Cleveland Clinic

@ClevelandClinic

·

There’s no spice quite as cozy as cinnamon. Turns out, this kitchen staple can provide a boost not only to your meals, but also to your body.

There’s no spice quite as cozy as cinnamon. As the weather gets colder, it becomes an ever more appealing addition to baked goods and savory dishes alike — and it turns out that this kitchen staple can provide a boost not only to your meals, but also to your body.

The health benefits of cinnamon may surprise you. Studies show that it has anti-inflammatory properties and may help reduce blood sugar and cholesterol. So, why not work this versatile spice into your meal rotation? Here are a few tasty ways to do so.

Dinner thyme

Spices and herbs are the stars of this Baked Cinnamon-Thyme Chicken, with cinnamon providing a sweet nuttiness and thyme bringing an added earthiness. The end result is a healthy, flavorful dish that packs plenty of flavor and health benefits.

Feeling saucy

Looking for an alternative to applesauce? Kiddos and adults alike will gobble up Cinnamon Cranberry Sauce, with its similar texture and bold, red berries. Loaded with vitamins C and E, it’s delightful as a standalone side or atop your turkey.

Autumn-nom-nom

Subtly sweet and buttery, Baked Cinnamon Acorn Squash is a fall treat packed with beta carotene. Eat it as a side dish or snack — either way, it melts in your mouth. It’s also got powerful antioxidants that help your body kick free radicals to the curb.

Loaf around

Gluten-free and surprisingly simple to make, Spiced Sweet Potato Quick Bread combines the cozy flavors of cinnamon, nutmeg and mace. But there’s one ingredient you won’t find in this recipe — sugar.

Soothing sipper

On cold nights, there’s nothing like a hot beverage. Green Tea Infused With Apples & Cinnamon is a brain-healthy choice that’s steeped in flavor. Tea is a great source of potent antioxidants, and cinnamon adds both flavor and antioxidants.

An apple a day

Cinnamon pairs perfectly with all varieties of apples for an autumnal combo that can’t be beaten. Whether you’re seeking a healthy dessert (or breakfast) like Warm Apple Cinnamon Cranberry Crisp, whipping up a quick batch of No-Bake Apple Cinnamon Bites to munch on or looking for a guilt-free snack like Chewy Cinnamon Apple Rings, the opportunities are endlessly delicious.

Go for the gold

Tame inflammation and ease your soul by sipping on Almond Gold Milk with Apricots and Cinnamon, a unique blend of flavors made for soothing inflammation. Try this creamy concoction once, and you’ll want to enjoy it again and again.

Just peachy

Cinnamon for dessert! Get kids involved in making Grilled Peaches with Cinnamon Honey Yogurt Dip, a simple dish made with fresh fruit and a cool dipping sauce. It’s a refreshing, healthy and delicious way to end any meal.

Brownie points

OK, OK, cinnamon isn’t necessarily the standout star of these Fudgy Black Bean Brownies, but the spice is a key component that gives a subtle kick of taste and sweetness to these flourless treats. The black beans add texture but don’t interfere with the chocolate, we promise!

Popper topper

Loaded with fiber and heart-healthy polyphenols, Savory Seasoned Popcorn is one of the healthiest snacks around — and it’s not drowned in butter. Cinnamon makes for a tasty topping that brings antioxidant power and adds hardly any calories.