You’ve probably heard about the multiple health benefits of cinnamon, and are already trying to add it in your diet. But the latest research shows that not all cinnamon you can find in the market is the same. There are actually two types of cinnamon, and your choice has a great impact on your health.
Cinnamon is one of the most important herbs used in traditional medicine and has been widely used in Asia for more than 4000 years. As a folk medicine, cinnamon has been traditionally used for the treatment of inflammatory disorders and gastric diseases. In our days recent research has identified all of cinnamon’s therapeutic benefits.
Cinnamon’s therapeutic benefits:
- balances blood sugar levels and protects against diabetes
- reduces cholesterol and triglyceride levels
- increases HDL (the good cholesterol)
- improves digestion
- is a powerful antioxidant
- protects brain function
- fights depression
- protects the memory and learning ability of people with Alzheimer’s
- has antimicrobial and antiviral activity
- has immune balancing properties.
Ceylon vs Cassia
There are two different types of cinnamon in the market. Ceylon cinnamon comes from Ceylon in Sri Lanka, whereas Cassia cinnamon comes from China, Vietnam and Indonesia.
The main difference between the two is their coumarin levels. Ceylon cinnamon is very low in coumarin, whereas Cassia cinnamon is very high in coumarin. Up to 5% of cassia cinnamon is coumarin vs 0.0004% in Ceylon cinnamon.
Coumarin is a naturally occurring toxin which has the potential to damage the liver and kidneys if consumed often or daily.
Cassia cinnamon has a redish dark brown color and is much cheaper. Ceylon cinnamon has a tanned brown colour and its price can be up to 10 times higher than the cassia cinnamon. Ceylon is also fragile and has a thin and paper like texture, whereas cassia (Chinese) cinnamon forms only a few layers when rolled up and has a harder texture.
Take Home Message
- Ceylon cinnamon can boost brain function and improve your health, both short term and long term.
- If you are consuming cinnamon often we definitely advise you to make sure you buy Ceylon cinnamon.
- Allen, Robert W., Emmanuelle Schwartzman, William L. Baker, Craig I. Coleman, and Olivia J. Phung. “Cinnamon use in type 2 diabetes: an updated systematic review and meta-analysis.” The Annals of Family Medicine 11, no. 5 (2013): 452-459.
- Modi, Khushbu K., Avik Roy, Saurabh Brahmachari, Suresh B. Rangasamy, and Kalipada Pahan. “Cinnamon and its metabolite sodium benzoate attenuate the activation of p21rac and protect memory and learning in an animal model of Alzheimer’s disease.” PloS one 10, no. 6 (2015): e0130398.
- Shen, Yan, Liu-Nan Jia, Natsumi Honma, Takashi Hosono, Toyohiko Ariga, and Taiichiro Seki. “Beneficial effects of cinnamon on the metabolic syndrome, inflammation, and pain, and mechanisms underlying these effects–a review.” Journal of traditional and complementary medicine 2, no. 1 (2012): 27-32.