Even experienced nutritionists sometimes lack information about certain herbs and spices. This is quite natural because there are thousands of spices and herbs and foods that come from different parts of the world so it is almost impossible to know their properties. In the recent period, there is a growing interest in so-called true Ceylon cinnamon.
There are many people who don’t know the difference between this type of cinnamon and the one that is usually found in grocery stores simply labeled as cinnamon or Saigon cinnamon or cassia cinnamon. The truth is that there are many health benefits of Ceylon cinnamon and cassia cinnamon can lead to certain health issues like liver damage.
Cinnamon is one of the favorite spices of many people because of its special taste. It is used in many different dishes especially in desserts. For many people, cinnamon is a spice that they associated with their childhood, a spice that provides comfort and makes things delicious. So, if you are planning to use it in the future, it is the best idea to stick to the healthiest version.
What Makes these Varieties Different?
Real cinnamon and it’s cheaper and weaker cinnamon don’t have the same origin. They come from different types of trees. Real cinnamon is usually produced in India, Sri Lanka, Brazil, Madagascar, and the Caribbean. On the other hand, imitation comes from Indonesia, China, or Vietnam.
The next difference is more obvious – the flavor and appearance. Most of the cinnamon found in our local grocery stores has distinctive dark red-brown color and has a strong taste. On the other hand, true cinnamon comes with a lighter color and has a mild, sweet, and very tasty flavor.
In the end, the most important difference between these two versions is their structure and content. Ceylon cinnamon comes with 0.017 grams of coumarin per kilo while the rest of the cinnamon varieties have from 2.15 to up to 7 grams of coumarin per kilo.
Coumarin is a compound that has the ability to make blood thinner and it also acts as an anti-coagulant, so certain categories of people are advised to stay away from it (like the ones that use Warfarin). Besides the unusual effects it has on human blood, researchers have determined that coumarin is slightly toxic to our liver when we eat more cinnamon than recommended (0.1 milligrams per one kg of body weight).
In other words, if someone weighs 70 kilos they can consume 7 mg a day. As we have already mentioned some versions of cinnamon contain 7 mg of coumarin you could get more coumarin by taking only 1/5 of a teaspoon a day. In case you want to use cinnamon to improve your health, you will definitely need more than this amount so it is the best idea to use Ceylon cinnamon.
The liver is one of the most important organs in our body, so we must do everything we can to protect it.
How to be sure that You are Using High-Quality Cinnamon?
First of all, you should check the label. Try to use cinnamon with some of these labels:
- Ceylon cinnamon
- True/real cinnamon
- Cinnamomum Verum.
Purchase only organic cinnamon in order to avoid consumption of products polluted with pesticides, preservatives, and other harmful ingredients. In case you are interested in true cinnamon, the sticks will usually curl in a true circle not the typical stick with two curls.
The best cinnamon usually has lighter brown color and it is more fluffy and powdery. Prepare to pay a little bit more. Keep in mind that more expensive cinnamon is not always true cinnamon so be careful.
Ceylon Cinnamon Health Benefits
So, we’ve given you enough information to determine which cinnamon is real and how to find cinnamon with the highest quality, but what will you get from this cinnamon? We will now share some of the health benefits of using true cinnamon.
To start with, true cinnamon is loaded with manganese. This trace mineral is crucial for maintaining the health of our bones and for processing carbohydrates and fats in the right way. In addition, this spice comes with a high amount of fiber to aid digestion, iron for better energy levels, and calcium for bone health. It definitely has many nutrients even in small amounts.
Cinnamon is a very powerful antiviral, antifungal and anti-bacterial spice. This means that it can support the immune system in its fight against flu and colds.
Scientific studies have confirmed the anti-inflammatory effects of cinnamon which may protect people to fight off Alzheimer’s disease. This vicious disease is attacking more and more people in America every year. So, including every food that can help with it in your diet is always a smart move.
In case you are dealing with prediabetes, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, or polycystic ovary syndrome, cinnamon can do wonders for you. Studies have confirmed that even a small quantity of this spice (half a teaspoon a day) can help people reduce fasting glucose levels or the levels of blood sugar between each main meal. In addition, it also lowers blood pressure and HbA1C levels.
The fact is that the aging process cannot be stopped. However, by adding cinnamon to your daily menu, you can slow down this process and avoid some health issues because this spice can block the activity of oxidative and inflammatory substances and compounds in our body.
How to Use Cinnamon in The Right Way?
The best part is that we can use cinnamon in many different ways and it seems that people are creating new recipes that include cinnamon on a daily basis. We have created a shortlist with few recipes that can help you enjoy the taste of cinnamon and experience all the health benefits that this spice brings.
Before we share the details about these recipes we will mention the names of some other popular recipes that include cinnamon – Cocoa and Cinnamon Cookies, Cinnamon and Turmeric Latte, Cinnamon Walnut and Oatmeal, Cinnamon Banana Chips, Cinnamon Spice Quinoa Porridge, and Apple and Sweet Potato Crumble.
Tasty Cinnamon and Sweet Potato Brownies
One serving ingredients:
- Half a sweet potato (cut into cubes)
- One tablespoon of coconut oil (you can use ghee or butter too)
- One teaspoon of cinnamon. You can use a different amount (more or less).
- One tablespoon of diced yellow or red onion
- Some sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon of cayenne powder.
- Heat the coconut oil on medium heat in a regular frying pan. Cover the bottom of the frying pan completely.
- Put the onions, sweet potatoes, cayenne powder, cinnamon, and salt in the pan.
- Take a spatula and stir all the ingredients together.
- Cover the pan for about 7 minutes and stir the mixture from time to time.
- When the hash browns become soft, put the cover aside and sauté them for one more minute.
- Remove the content and serve.
Seeds and nuts – Hemp hearts and walnuts are ideal for those who want more protein.
Eggs – another good source of protein.
Ground meat – you can use chicken, turkey, beef, or even bison if you want. Use some of your favorite spices and herbs and enjoy!