Cinnamon is a very popular spice and is one of the world’s oldest know spice.
It is not only delicious, but also has great health benefits from the active components in the essential oil found in its bark. These oil contains active components like cinnamaldehyde, cinnamyl acetate and cinnamyl alcohal.
Cinnamon is cheap, widely sold in markets and supermarkets. At least you can find a kind of cinnamon there.
1, What is Cinnamon?
Cinnamon is a tropical evergreen tree whose parts, either the bark or the leaf is used for a variety of purposes. The parts of the tree is broken down into many parts as follows
– Cinnamon chips (like wood chips) made from the bark of the tree
– Bark from the tree trunk rolled into sticks that are between 2-6 inches long
– The Cinnamon bark from the tree trunk ground into Cinnamon powder.
– The Cinnamon leaves from the tree steam distilled into an oil
– The Cinnamon bark steam from the tree trunk distilled into an oil
2, What creates the characteristic flavor of cinnamon?
Have you ever wondered why different types of cinnamon have different aromas and taste?
The uniqueness of this spice comes from the essential oils and aromas of cinnamon, especially cinnamaldehyde.
This substance helps cinnamon with its own flavor and aroma, and also contributes to creating many health values.
Which type of cinnamon contains a lot of cinnamaldehyde will be fragrant and characteristic spicy taste more.
3, How many types of cinnamon?
There are hundreds of types of Cinnamon. But only 4 varieties are used for commercial purposes. The chart on the above shows these 4 main varieties and their other names.
The main variety is Cassia Cinnamon which is mainly used in the USA and Canada. The second most popular variety is Ceylon Cinnamon which is primarily used in Europe, Mexico and many parts of Asia.. The other varieties like Saigon Cinnamon and Korintje Cinnamon are a distant 3rd and 4th and account for less than 10% of world wide consumption.
4, Properties of cinnamon
Germicidal, antiseptic, and anti fungal. anthelmintic, antidiarrheal, antidote, antimicrobial, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antiputrescent, aphrodisiac, astingent, carminative, digestive, emmenagogue, hemostatic, orexigenic, parasticide, refrigerant, spasmolytic, stimulant, stomachic, vermifuge.
5, Where is cinnamon grown
Indonesia, Vietnam and China are the chief suppliers of Cassia Cinnamon while Sri Lanka a tiny Island off the coast India supplies nearly 90% of Ceylon Cinnamon.
6, Which cinnamon is best? How Much Cinnamon is Safe to take a day?
I will mention two of the most popular cinnamon in the world: Cassia Cinnamon and Ceylon Cinnamon. Cassia cinnamon is the most popular cinnamon. It has a stronger flavor than cinnamon Ceylon and contains 95% of essential oils of cinnamaldehyde. Cinnamon Ceylon is a high price and high quality spice. About 50-63% of its essential oils contain cinnamaldehyde, which explains the mild sweet of Ceylon cinnamon.
So which cinnamon is best?
It all depends on how you use it. Cassia Cinnamon is popular because it has an overt Cinnamon taste, its cheap and quite spicy. It works great for recipes that need a definite Cinnamon taste. It also has high levels of Coumarin (5%) which thins your blood. This is great if you want to loose weight and boost your metabolism but Coumarin causes liver damage if taken in excess.
Ceylon Cinnamon is fast gaining popularity for health reasons. It has low Coumarin levels (0.04%) and tends to be sweeter (with zero sugar).
As many diabetic patients and others have started to take Cinnamon on a daily basis they have switched to Ceylon Cinnamon. Because Ceylon Cinnamon is very mild yet sweeter and more fragrant it is used to create very multi layered complex flavors, often savory or sweet flavors.
How Much Cinnamon is Safe to take a day?
You can safely eat up to one teaspoon (0.5 to 2 grams) of Cassia cinnamon or up to two and a half teaspoons (5 grams) of the Ceylon type per day. While eating too much cinnamon may have some drawbacks, it’s a healthy spice that’s safe to eat in small to moderate amounts.
The message for you
Both Ceylon and Cassia cinnamon are good healthy and delicious taste. However, if you intend to use this spice in large quantities or use it as a functional food, you should use cinnamon Ceylon because it contains less coumarin content.