Which cinnamon is the most healthy?
Cinnamon is a spice from the inner bark of the Cinnamomum tree. It comes in various shapes and sizes; it comes in the form of sticks, powder, extract or capsules. The essential oils and cinnamon aldehyde provide the unique properties of cinnamon. Cinnamon aldehyde not only gives the taste and aroma to the cinnamon but also provides the health benefits. There are two main types of cinnamon; Cassia cinnamon and Ceylon cinnamon. What is the difference between the two? And does that also affect health?
First of all Cassia cinnamon. This species originates from South China but is now also widely found in East and South Asia. It owes its name to its origins; it is also known as Chinese cinnamon. The cinnamon comes from the Cinnamomum Cassia and is characterized by the pipe being rolled in from two sides.
Ceylon cinnamon comes from Sri Lanka, formerly Ceylon, and from southern India. It is also called the "real" cinnamon. The cinnamon comes from the Cinnamomum Verum and is characterized by the pipe being rolled in from only one side.
The differences between Cassia and Ceylon cinnamon
In addition to the aforementioned differences in origin, there are also a number of other differences between the two types of cinnamon. These can be divided into the following categories:
The taste of Cassia cinnamon and Ceylon cinnamon differs. Cassia cinnamon is characterized in particular by the somewhat sharper and more bitter taste that is caused by the larger amount of cinnamon aldehyde. The Ceylon cinnamon, on the other hand, is somewhat milder and sweeter in taste due to a smaller amount of this component.
A distinction can be made between the two types of cinnamon because there is a noticeable difference. In Cassia cinnamon, for example, the pipe was rolled in twice, compared to once in Ceylon's cinnamon. In addition, the Cassia cinnamon is a bit thicker and the Ceylon cinnamon a bit more hollow.
In addition, there is also a difference in color. Cassia cinnamon has a deep red color compared to the light brown color of Ceylon cinnamon. However, this is difficult to observe with cinnamon in powder form.
This is perhaps the most important difference between the two types; the amount of coumarin. Coumarin is a component of cinnamon that can be harmful when consuming large quantities. Cassia cinnamon has a considerably larger proportion of coumarin, namely 5.8-12.1 mg per teaspoon compared to almost no coumarin in Ceylon cinnamon. The amount of coumarin is too much in Cassia cinnamon; this is higher than the maximum recommended 0.1 mg per kilo of body weight per day from the European Good Safety Authority (EFSA). With Ceylon cinnamon, the amount of coumarin is so low that it is almost invisible.
Another difference is the price and quality of the types of cinnamon. Cassia cinnamon is of lower quality but on the other hand the most sold cinnamon. This cinnamon can mainly be found in the supermarket. The low price is due to the fact that the supply is larger and the production is less labor-intensive. The Ceylon cinnamon is more expensive compared to the Cassia cinnamon. In addition, the quality is better, partly due to the low amount of coumarin.
In short, there are therefore several differences between Cassia cinnamon and Ceylon cinnamon. Differences in origin but also in shape, taste, composition, price and quality. The main difference is the amount of coumarin. This substance is harmful when ingesting large quantities, so it is recommended to use Ceylon cinnamon. Furthermore, both bring the same health benefits.