Cinnamon is a traditional, popular spice that has been used for centuries for food and medicinal purposes, as well as for home remedies (repel ants with cinnamon!). I believe it's a must-have spice to have in your kitchen at all times. It provides amazing health benefits (short list of benefits listed below), however, not all cinnamon is healthy. Just because its 'cinnamon' doesn't mean it's healthy and the right cinnamon variety. What you may not know about your favorite spice is, it has an evil cousin and it could be one of the many causes to your health problems.
Is Your Cinnamon Genuine?
There are multiple different varieties of cinnamon, but the two commonly used varieties are cassia (a.k.a “saigon”) and ceylon. The difference between the two are: one is real and one is fake. Do you know which one is real and which one is fake? Which one are you using? If your cinnamon is just labeled, “cinnamon”, chances are, it's fake cinnamon.
Cassia Cinnamon vs. Ceylon Cinnamon
Don't think cassia cinnamon and ceylon cinnamon won't have much of a difference? Think again, because there IS a difference. Cassia cinnamon is fake (a.k.a “false cinnamon”), and ceylon cinnamon is real (a.k.a “true cinnamon”). Ceylon is native to Sri Lanka. Ceylon cinnamon is not normally sold at your local supermarket's spice section. It's usually sold at health food stores. If can't find ceylon cinnamon at your local health food store, simply order online. Ceylon costs more than cassia cinnamon because of it's high-quality (it's real cinnamon), sweet flavor and aroma.
The cinnamon that you normally see sold in every supermarket's spice section is, cassia cinnamon—the “false/fake cinnamon” (cassia cinnamon is cheaper than ceylon, as ceylon cinnamon). Cassia cinnamon is relative to ceylon (cassia is known as ceylon's cousin), and both varieties are taken from the inner bark of the Cinnamomum tree. Cassia cinnamon is darker in color and it has a very strong/bitter flavor, unlike ceylon, that has a sweet flavor and lighter in color. When you're shopping for cinnamon sticks, look for the light-colored and sweet aroma sticks; it's ceylon.
Does It Matter Which Cinnamon I Use?
Yes, it matters! If you don't think buying cassia cinnamon makes much of a difference, think again! If you think you're eating healthy when you sprinkle cinnamon on your cookies, breads, cereals, brownies, and other sweet treats— you've been duped, because the fake cinnamon is sure NOT healthy.
The different cinnamon varieties can have an major impact on your health. Cassia cinnamon is quite toxic, as it's one of the largest sources of coumadin. Coumadin is a toxic substance that's toxic to the liver and kidneys, and is a carcinogen that causes cancerous tumors in humans. So, the cinnamon that you normally buy at your regular supermarket may be giving you cancer. Ceylon cinnamon on the other hand, does not contain coumadin. When buying products that contain cinnamon, make sure the company wasn't using fake cinnamon, as that can be hazardous.
Health Benefits of Cinnamon (ceylon cinnamon that is):
Cinnamon provides an array of powerful benefits, however, to reap all its benefits, make sure you buy the real cinnamon. See for yourself below.
- Lowers high blood pressure
- Reduces your risk of cancer, diabetes and your chances of getting sick
- helps with type 2 diabetes
- helps lower your cholesterol
- Controls blood sugar levels
- High in nutrients, like manganese, magnesium, dietary fiber, iron, and calcium. The combinations of the calcium and fiber helps to remove bile, prevent damage to colon cells and helps to prevent colon cancer.
- The fiber present in cinnamon help to relieve constipation and irritable bowel syndrome
- Helps with yeast infections
- Boosts brain activity, helps to remove nervous tensions and improves memory
- Prevents cancer
- Relieves headaches, migraines and arthritis
- Just smelling cinnamon alone boosts your cognitive function and memory!
- A great e. coli fighter
- Serves as a natural preservative
- Reduces muscle and joint pain, along with muscle stiffness
- Effective for indigestion, diarrhea, nausea, gas, inflammation, and upset stomach
- Fights ulcers and head lice
- Aids in weight loss
- Fights colds/flues/sickness/disease
- and many more amazing health benefits! There are so many reasons why you should include cinnamon in your diet; no reason not too, really. Cinnamon is a superfood spice that everyone should be eating on a daily basis (the real cinnamon, of course).
Check out my banana cinnamon smoothie recipe here!
- Difference Between Cassia and Ceylon Cinnamon: http://www.theprairiehomestead.com/2013/11/will-the-real-cinnamon-please-stand-up.html#sthash.Zbf5lXGt.dpbs
- Fake and Real Cinnamon: http://www.peashealth.com/fake-and-real-cinnamons/
- Types of Cinnamon: http://cinnamonvogue.com/Types_of_Cinnamon_1.html
- How To Identify Real Cinnamon: http://www.indusorganics.com/camparison.html
- Surprising Health Benefits of Cinnamon: http://www.naturalnews.com/034260_cinnamon_health_benefits.html
- Cinnamon News, Articles and Information: http://www.naturalnews.com/cinnamon.html
- 11 Health Benefits of Cinnamon: http://www.organicauthority.com/health/11-health-benefits-of-cinnamon.html
- 20 Health Benefits of Cinnamon: http://cinnamonvogue.com/cinnamoncommonuses.html
- What's Cinnamon Good For: http://foodfacts.mercola.com/cinnamon.html
- 6 Reasons To Eat More Real Cinnamon, Not Its Cousin: http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/6-healthy-reasons-eat-more-real-cinnamon-not-its-cousin
- Grocery Store Cinnamon Proves To Be Toxic:
- Cinnamon is Now Blamed in Health Risks: http://guardianlv.com/2013/12/cinnamon-now-blamed-in-health-risks/
- Coumadin Found In Cassia Cinnamon: http://cinnamonvogue.com/blog/coumarin-in-cassia-cinnamon/
- Coumadin News, Article and Information: http://www.naturalnews.com/Coumadin.html
- Coumadin Found Dangerous in Cassia Cinnamon: http://www.naturalhealth365.com/food_news/cinnamon_alert.html
- Ceylon Cinnamon vs Cassia Cinnamon: http://healinglovingfood.blogspot.com/2014/03/celyon-cinnamon-vs-cassia-cinnamon.html
Hope this post has helped you! Please share with everyone you know, especially cinnamon lovers! :)
If you buy the fake cinnamon, do you plan to switch to the real cinnamon? Are you dashing sprinkles of cinnamon on your food? What are your thoughts about this topic? 'Natural' doesn't make it safe. Choose ceylon cinnamon the next time you're cinnamon shopping.