Which cinnamon do you prefer
Ceylon or Cassia? Cinnamon is not just cinnamon!
Table of Contents
- Is Cinnamon Healthy?
- Ceylon cinnamon
- Cassia cinnamon
- Coumarin in Ceylon and Cassia cinnamon
- Knowledge to take away
Cinnamon, also known scientifically as cinnamum, is one of the most popular spices, especially at Christmas time. Whether delicious desserts, pastries or drinks, the Asian spice gives everything an aromatic taste. Cinnamon is also a great addition to porridge, bowls and of course cinnamon rolls. If you like to consume all this and much more, then Ceylon cinnamon is worth a look for you. Steinberger cinnamon is certified organic (DE-ÖKO-039) and comes from Madagascar.
Cinnamon is extracted from the dried bark of cinnamon trees that originate in Sri Lanka, China or Bangladesh. In nature these trees can reach a height of over twelve meters, on the cinnamon plantations, however, only the height of bushes. The harvest takes place every year after the roughly four-month rainy season, because then the bark of the trees is particularly flexible.
The separated bark is dried in the sun, where it rolls up into the typical cinnamon stick shape. Even though cinnamon is now very well known, few know that it is two types Cinnamon gives:Ceylon and cassia cinnamon. The following five points explain how they differ.
1. Is cinnamon healthy?
Cinnamon is one of the favorite spices, especially in winter. The brownish powder is not only aromatic, but has also been proven to help against some diseases. A particularly high content of antioxidants was found in cinnamon.
Antioxidants can help protect the body cells from free radicals (oxygen compounds in the body) and are said to have a positive effect on the immune system. In addition, some studies confirm the effectiveness of cinnamon on cholesterol levels.
also read: 5 reasons: This is why cinnamon is healthy
Consuming 120 milligrams of cinnamon a day lowered the "bad cholesterol" LDL and even helped increase the "good cholesterol" HDL in type 2 diabetes patients. Our expert explains how good and bad cholesterol differs:
"Cholesterol is vital, an essential building material for many hormones, for example. Cholesterol has different manifestations, hence the name differences. All of them are good; however, if they are no longer in the correct ratio to one another, the LDL cholesterol rancid more quickly (like Butter in the sun) and we then call it bad because it ruins the inner walls of the blood vessels during the breakdown process, "explains Dr. Thomas Platzer, general practitioner and nutrition and prevention expert from Munich.
Cinnamon is also said to have a positive effect on blood sugar levels. There are now some studies that describe a reduction in blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetes patients by up to 29 percent after they consumed half to two teaspoons of cinnamon, i.e. about one to six grams.
Unfortunately, cinnamon does not only have positive properties: The most widespread variety, cassia cinnamon, contains a high amount of coumarin. This flavoring substance can in large quantities, especially in people who already have liver damage, increase it and also lead to inflammation (1).
|Minerals in cinnamon per teaspoon (2 grams)|
2. Ceylon cinnamon
Ceylon cinnamon is often referred to as the real or original cinnamon. In contrast to cassia cinnamon, it hardly contains any Coumarinwhat makes it safe. It is mainly grown in Sri Lanka and southern India.
Ceylon cinnamon is made from the inner bark of theCinnamomum verumTree. The thinner the rind, the finer and more aromatic the cinnamon taste.
Ceylon cinnamon sticks are put together from individual thin bark and look like a cut cigar when dry. The quality of the cinnamon stick is inEkelle measured and based on the texture and color of the bars. Preserves the highest quality cinnamon in the world Ekelle00000, then the quality drops overEkelle0 up toEkelle 1, 2, 3 and 4.
The taste of Ceylon cinnamon is more noble, more aromatic and less spicy than cassia cinnamon. This is mainly due to the fact that Ceylon cinnamon only contains around 50-60 percent cinnamaldehyde in its oils.
Ceylon cinnamon is considered the finest cinnamon variety in the world and is many times more expensive than cassia cinnamon. It is usually only available in delicatessen or Asian cheese. Cinnamon powder from the supermarket or organic market usually only contains a small amount of Ceylon cinnamon or only cassia cinnamon (2).
3. Cassia cinnamon
Cassia cinnamon, also known as China cinnamon, is the best-selling type of cinnamon and comes from southern China. It is made from the bark of theCinnamomum cassiaTree, which is removed in relatively thick pieces from the adult trees.
The cassia cinnamon sticks are much coarser and thicker than those of Ceylon cinnamon. They are also darker in color and have a more intense odor. Cassia cinnamon is of a lower quality than Ceylon cinnamon and is therefore also much cheaper. This is one of the main reasons why cassia cinnamon is primarily processed in the food industry.
In contrast to Ceylon cinnamon, the oil contained in cassia cinnamon is 95 percent cinnamaldehyde, which gives the cinnamon its spicy and pungent note. Cassia cinnamon also contains a much higher proportion of coumarin. Coumarin is a naturally occurring flavoring substance that in larger amounts can cause problems (2)
4. Coumarin in Ceylon and Cassia cinnamon
Coumarin is a natural flavoring substance that is found in many spices and plants. The proportion of coumarin in cassia cinnamon is very high, which can be a problem for sensitive people or small children. Overdosing on coumarin can cause headache, nausea and dizziness.
Tests with rats have even shown that a severe overdose can lead to liver damage, liver inflammation and cancer. The transferability to humans is still uncertain.
In order to minimize the risk of an overdose, the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) has reduced the TDI (tolarable daily intake), i.e. the daily amount that is considered harmless, to 0.1 milligrams per kilogram of body weight.
Also read:These 5 herbs and spices are extremely healthy!
Most cinnamon spices in Germany, however, are made with cassia cinnamon and therefore have a very high content of coumarin. In a test by Stiftung Warentest in 2007 it was found that the daily maximum amount of coumarin in many cinnamon spices was already 100 percent or more exhausted with just a teaspoon of cinnamon.
Cinnamon lovers in particular, who in addition to cinnamon as a spice, also consume foods that contain a lot of cinnamon (for example chai teas or speculoos), quickly exceed the recommended maximum amount.
You should also be careful with small children, as the TDI value is already exhausted after six cinnamon stars or 100 grams of gingerbread per day (4).
In this article you will find out what parents with young children should pay particular attention to.
Knowledge to take away
There are two main types of cinnamon: Ceylon cinnamon and cassia cinnamon. Both are high in antioxidants, high in potassium, and can have positive effects on both cholesterol and blood sugar levels. However, they differ mainly in their coumarin content.
Coumarin is a flavoring substance that can damage the health of sensitive or pre-stressed people as well as small children. Overdosing can lead to headaches, nausea and, later, liver damage.
Ceylon cinnamon is the higher quality and finer type of cinnamon. It hardly contains any coumarin, which makes it safe for consumption. However, Ceylon cinnamon is usually only available in delicatessen or Asian stores and is a lot more expensive than cassia cinnamon.
Cassia cinnamon is the cheaper and lower quality cinnamon. It is mainly used for baked goods, teas and spices and has a high content of coumarin. People who consume a lot of cinnamon products and season a lot with cinnamon should use Ceylon cinnamon. Because it contains much less coumarin and is therefore harmless to health.
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