Ceylon Cinnamon: Why It's Considered the "True Cinnamon"
Cinnamon, the comforting and aromatic spice we all love, has been used for thousands of years for its medicinal properties. However, did you know that not all cinnamon is created equal?
Ceylon cinnamon, often called "true cinnamon," has been gaining a reputation as a superfood due to its impressive array of health benefits.
Cinnamon Varieties - the Differences
The most common type of cinnamon found in grocery stores is Cassia cinnamon. While it's still beneficial, it contains a compound called coumarin, which is harmful in large doses. On the other hand, Ceylon cinnamon comes from a different tree and contains almost negligible amounts of this toxin.
Here's a comparison chart that highlights the critical differences between five types of cinnamon:
|Type of Cinnamon||Origin||Coumarin Content||Flavor|
|Ceylon Cinnamon||Sri Lanka, India, Madagascar||Low||Mild, sweet|
|Cassia Cinnamon||China, Vietnam||High||Strong, spicy|
|Saigon Cinnamon||Vietnam||High||Strong, sweet|
|Korintje Cinnamon||Indonesia||Moderate||Mild, slightly sweet|
|Malabar Cinnamon||India||Moderate||Mild, warm|
Ceylon Cinnamon is known as the "true" cinnamon. It has a low coumarin content and a delicate, sweet flavor, making it ideal for both culinary and medicinal uses.
Cassia Cinnamon is the most common type available in grocery stores. It's stronger and spicier compared to Ceylon, but it contains high amounts of coumarin, a compound that can be harmful in large doses.
Saigon Cinnamon is also known as Vietnamese cinnamon. It has a robust, sweet flavor, and like Cassia, it contains high levels of coumarin.
Korintje Cinnamon, or Indonesian cinnamon, is the type most commonly found in commercial baked goods. It has a moderate coumarin content and offers a mild, slightly sweet flavor.
Malabar Cinnamon, also known as Indian cinnamon, is native to the Malabar coast of India. It has a moderate coumarin content and a warm, mild flavor.
The Superfood Status of Ceylon Cinnamon
So, why is Ceylon cinnamon considered a superfood? Research has found that it has a myriad of health benefits.
- Blood Sugar Control: Ceylon cinnamon can help regulate blood sugar levels. A study published in the journal Diabetes Care showed that cinnamon intake can reduce triglycerides, serum glucose, LDL cholesterol, and total cholesterol in people with type 2 diabetes (1).
- Blood Pressure Regulation: Ceylon cinnamon may also play a role in reducing blood pressure. A review of several studies suggested that cinnamon has a potential blood-pressure-lowering effect (2).
- Anti-inflammatory Properties: Inflammation is vital to the body's immune response. However, chronic inflammation leads to various health problems. Ceylon cinnamon has potent anti-inflammatory properties that can help mitigate this risk (3).
- Antioxidant Power: Ceylon cinnamon is loaded with powerful antioxidants, including polyphenols, that protect your body from oxidative damage caused by free radicals (4).
- Antimicrobial Effects: Studies have shown that cinnamon oil has potent antimicrobial activity and can help fight bacterial and fungal infections (5).
How to incorporate Ceylon cinnamon into your diet?
You can sprinkle Ceylon cinnamon on your oatmeal, add it to your smoothies, or use it in cooking and baking. It's a versatile spice that can add a sweet and warming flavor to various dishes.
And of course - the easiest way is to take it as a supplement (see next section)!
Ceylon cinnamon is available in most health food stores, some larger supermarkets, and online. Check the label to ensure you're getting true Ceylon cinnamon.
What about cinnamon supplements?
Ceylon cinnamon is also available in supplement form and one of the best ways to stay consistent with taking it. You can find it in the Why Not Natural 5-in-1 formula here.
Ceylon cinnamon is a flavorful spice and a potent superfood with numerous health benefits. So, next time you reach for cinnamon, consider choosing Ceylon for a healthy twist!
- Khan A., Safdar M., Ali Khan M. M., Khattak K. N., & Anderson R. A. (2003). Cinnamon improves glucose and lipids of people with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care, 26(12), 3215-3218.
- Akilen R., Tsiami A., Devendra D., & Robinson N. (2012). Cinnamon in glycaemic control: Systematic review and meta analysis. Clinical Nutrition, 31(5), 609-615.
- Sheng X., Zhang Y., Gong Z., Huang C., & Zang Y. Q. (2008). Improved Insulin Resistance and Lipid Metabolism by Cinnamon Extract through Activation of Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptors. PPAR Research.
- Shan B., Cai Y. Z., Sun M., & Corke H. (2005). Antioxidant Capacity of 26 Spice Extracts and Characterization of Their Phenolic Constituents. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 53(20), 7749–7759.
- Ooi L. S., Li Y., Kam S. L., Wang H., Wong E. Y., & Ooi V. E. (2006). Antimicrobial activities of cinnamon oil and cinnamaldehyde from the Chinese medicinal herb Cinnamomum cassia Blume. The American journal of Chinese medicine, 34(3), 511-522.