Since ancient times, cinnamon has been valued not only in culinary traditions, but also in natural medicine practices around the world. There are two main types of cinnamon, each with its own unique properties and potential health effects: Ceylon cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum) and Cassia cinnamon (Cinnamomum cassia).
We will look at the advantages and side effects of both varieties, and discuss in more detail the advantages and health benefits of Ceylon cinnamon.
Ceilonas kanēļa, kas pazīstams arī kā “īstais kanēlis”, dzimtene ir Šrilanka un Indijas daļas. It is known for its delicate, mildly sweet taste and aroma.
Ceylon cinnamon contains lower levels of coumarin (an aromatic substance that accumulates in cinnamon bark), which can be toxic to the liver if consumed in large quantities. For this reason, Ceylon cinnamon is preferred to Cassia cinnamon, which has a higher coumarin content.
In Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Ceylon cinnamon is highly valued for its healing properties. It is thought to support the digestive system, promote respiratory health and help balance blood sugar levels.
Cassia cinnamon, commonly sold in supermarkets, comes from China, Indonesia and other Southeast Asian countries. It has a stronger, more pungent taste and smell compared to Ceylon cinnamon.
Cassia cinnamon contains higher levels of coumarin, which can cause health problems if taken in high doses over a long period of time. It should be used with caution in people with liver disease or blood thinners.
TCM Cassia cinnamon is often used to support circulation, heart health and improve digestion. However, due to its higher coumarin content, TCM practitioners recommend that it is used in moderation.
The main difference between Ceylon and Cassia cinnamon is the coumarin content. Ceylon cinnamon has a significantly lower coumarin content, making it a favourite for those with specific health problems or who want to use cinnamon more often.
Ceylon cinnamon has a milder and more refined flavour, while Cassia cinnamon has a bolder and spicier flavour that can influence culinary choices.
Let’s take a look at the health benefits of Ceylon cinnamon
– Ceylon cinnamon is rich in antioxidants, such as polyphenols, which help to neutralise harmful free radicals in the body. These antioxidants can promote overall health and support cellular defence.
– The active constituents of Ceylon cinnamon, such as cinnamaldehyde, have anti-inflammatory properties. Regular use can help reduce inflammation.
– Ceylon cinnamon can improve insulin sensitivity and maintain blood sugar levels. It can help manage blood glucose levels, making it useful for people with prediabetes or 2. Type 2 diabetes
– Traditionally, Ceylon cinnamon has been used in Ayurvedic medicine to aid digestion. It can help reduce indigestion, bloating and gas, and promote better absorption of nutrients.
– Some studies suggest that Ceylon cinnamon may have a positive effect on heart health by lowering LDL cholesterol (‘bad’ cholesterol) and triglyceride levels. This effect may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
– Ceylon cinnamon has natural antimicrobial properties that can help fight certain bacteria and fungi. It is traditionally used to preserve food and maintain oral health.
– Some studies suggest that Ceylon cinnamon may play an important role in weight control by improving metabolism and helping to control appetite.
Attention. Allergic reactions: although rare, some people may experience allergic reactions to cinnamon, regardless of the cinnamon variety. Pregnant and breastfeeding women or those taking medication should consult a healthcare professional before significantly increasing their cinnamon intake.
Use of Ceylon cinnamon
Baking: Ceylon cinnamon is a great addition to baked goods. Use it in cakes, biscuits, muffins and breads for a subtle and aromatic flavour.
Cereal: sprinkle a pinch of Ceylon cinnamon on your morning oatmeal or cereal to make your day cosy and delicious.
Smoothies: mix Ceylon cinnamon into your favourite cocktail recipes to add a warm and inviting flavour.
Hot drinks: add a pinch of Ceylon cinnamon to hot drinks such as coffee, tea, hot chocolate or chai masala.
Yoghurt: mix Ceylon cinnamon in plain yoghurt with a little honey or maple syrup.
Stews: Ceylon cinnamon adds a subtle flavour to savoury dishes such as curries, stews and sauces.
Rice dishes: sprinkle Ceylon cinnamon on rice dishes such as biryani or plov to enhance their flavour.
Enjoy the unusual aroma and unique flavour that Ceylon cinnamon will bring to your dishes!
In conclusion, Ceylon cinnamon is a great spice that not only adds flavour to dishes, but can also have health benefits. Incorporating Ceylon cinnamon into your culinary creations can be a great way to not only enjoy its unique flavour and aroma, but also to support your well-being. Enjoy the warm and aromatic atmosphere that Ceylon cinnamon brings to your kitchen.
Cinnamon tea recipe:
2 medium cinnamon sticks or 3 teaspoons of cinnamon powder; use Ceylon cinnamon if possible,
6 cups of water
1/2-1 tablespoon black tea leaves about 5 g
1 teaspoon maple syrup or sweetener of your choice (optional)
In a saucepan or kettle, add water and cinnamon sticks or cinnamon powder and bring to the boil over medium heat. When it comes to the boil, reduce the heat to minimum and simmer for 10 minutes.
Remove the pot from the heat and add the black tea leaves (you can discard later). Let the tea steep for 1-2 minutes, depending on how strong you want it to taste. If you leave the cinnamon sticks in the kettle, the flavour will become stronger. If you find it too intense, you can dilute it with a little hot water.
Iced tea with cinnamon
While the tea is still warm, add the sweetener of your choice and to taste. Place in the fridge to cool. You can serve chilled cinnamon tea with freshly squeezed lemon juice.
NOTE. The information provided here should not be interpreted as advice for treatment or other health problems. We encourage you to make decisions about your personal health by considering different sources of information.