Most of us can easily recognize cinnamon by its unique aroma. For some, it gives them a pleasant feeling, and for others not so much. Here is the question – do you know cinnamon well? Do you know if the cinnamon you consume is the real deal, or a fake one that give you less useful properties and substances? Stay comfortable and I will introduce you to interesting information that I was able to find and assemble.
Cinnamon is a spice that is extracted from the inside of the bark of a tropical laurel tree. It is a wild and evergreen tree. Cinnamon is propagated by seeds and vegetatively through cuttings, branches. The seeds are sown in containers with soil mixture leaflets, garden soil, sand and they are kept in equal quantities and kept at not less than 20C. Seeding occurs when a second leaf appears in the same soil mixture. It is nice to keep the young plant in a bright and cool place. During the summer, it is good to be watered abundantly, and as for the winter – more moderate. Feeding is done every two weeks. Cinnamon requires clean air and needs to be kept clean. It is important to be careful because the young leaves are very tender.
The cinnamon temptation arrived on European soil in 1505. Thanks to the Portuguese who arrive in Ceylon (Sri Lanka, a tropical island country near the southern coast of the Indian sub-continent) and learn the intricacies of its production. An interesting fact is that traders have kept the secret to extracting cinnamon for quite a long time.
Cinnamon spice is easily recognizable due to its extremely pleasant taste and aroma due to the organic compound cinnamaldehyde. Generally, cinnamon find application in the confectionery. Chefs are using cinnamon in all types of tasty desserts, sweet drinks, as well as various jams and sweets. It all depends on the culinary choices.
|for 100 grams of ground cinnamon contains:|
These values are approximate. Look at your cinnamon bag you’ve purchased and check the nutritional notes by the manufacturer.
There are several varieties of cinnamon. They are Ceylon cinnamon, Chinese variety Cassia, Vietnamese and Indonesian. Did you know that the most basic types of cinnamon are Ceylon and Cassia?
The most common and most known of us is Cassia, which is actually considered to be of a lower rank. The two main types of cinnamon differ in appearance, color, aroma and taste.
Before I introduce you to the main differences between Ceylon Cinnamon and Cassia, I will summarize some interesting and important things in general for this spice. Both species have antibacterial, antimicrobial and antifungal properties. Differences are found in true cinnamon. Its healing properties are stronger, which means that if you consume cinnamon for the benefits it carries, you need to look at the packaging and find out its manufacturer. One reason the substitute (Cassia) is much cheaper and more widespread is that the plant has the ability to grow in a wider range. Let us get acquainted with the basic but extremely important differences between the two main types:
|Ceylon Cinnamon (Genuine)|
|Origin: Sri Lanka||Origin: Vietnam, China, Indonesia|
|Taste: It’s sweeter||Taste: It’s more spicy|
|Aroma: It has a lighter and pleasant aroma||Aroma: It has a sharper aroma|
|Appearance: The sticks also look rougher, but they are actually soft and chewy. The Ceylon crust is smoother. Their color is lighter (light brown) and curves in only one direction (it is rolled up).||Appearance: The bark is thicker because the outer layer is not peeled. For this reason, when dried, the rods bend inwards on both sides towards the center and become extremely rigid. The surface is rough and uneven. The color is deep red-brown.|
|Coumarin content: Not significant.|
Only traces are found in this species.
|Coumarin content: Relatively high. CAUTION|
It is important to note that coumarin is an organic compound that has different effects on the human body and when is consumed in larger quantities has a negative effect. It is toxic to the kidneys and the liver, can cause permanent damage. It is also good to avoid cinnamon water as well as cinnamon tea. The content of coumarin in them is not water-soluble and does not release into the tea in the presence of a filter, while the useful active substances do so. Therefore, take Ceylon cinnamon because it has about 1000 times less coumarin. Cinnamaldehyde and styrene are also found in the contents of cinnamon.
True Cinnamon-Ceylon, is rich in important minerals-manganese, magnesium, copper, sodium, selenium, phosphorus, zinc, iron, calcium, potassium, and has a high content of fiber (53g. Per 100g.). Vitamins – Vit A, Vit B1-B12, Vit C, Vit D, Vit E, Vit K1. It also contains many amino acids.
Where can we buy real cinnamon?
Ceylon cinnamon can be purchased from any organic, health, online, or neighborhood store that has a bio / vegan / healthy booth. You can always ask staff for more information, but keep in mind that they may not have heard of Ceylon Cinnamon, for example.
So far so good. We were introduced to cinnamon as well as its composition and main types. Let’s take a look at the beneficial properties it has with regular intake-benefits.
Recommended daily intake – half a teaspoon (1-6g), preferably with carbohydrate meals (personally I like to add it to my oatmeal bowl), and 600-1200mg is recommended as an extract. Cinnamon contains bioactive ingredients, each of which is associated with the performance of a specific function.
In the Middle Ages, doctors used it to treat arthritis, cough and sore throat. In recent years, this spice has been accepted as a medicine.
No matter in what form it is taken, it is thought to be good for combating overweight in diabetics. It contains molecules whose structure is similar to that of insulin. Regular consumption of Ceylon cinnamon helps to lower the blood sugar, lowers some markers of lipid metabolism such as total cholesterol, bad cholesterol and triglycerides. There is an increase in the good cholesterol. It improves insulin sensitivity and can serve to prevent the development of type II diabetes. It has a strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect. Therefore, it helps fight bacterial and fungal infections. There is also a potential effect in treating bad breath and protecting teeth from bacteria. Cinnamon is useful for bronchitis, gastrointestinal problems, loss of appetite, gas, muscle and stomach cramps, prevention of nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, infections, colds and colds. Some people use it for erectile dysfunction, hernia, joint pain, menstrual problems, etc. Cinnamon magic against arthritis and osteoporosis. Many patients have found relief from joint pain with regular consumption as well as cinnamon oil massage.
Cinnamon contains a significant amount of manganese-mineral, which is required for the formation of bones and blood cells. The body needs manganese for optimal bone health. Regular consumption leads to acceleration of metabolism. This means that the fat taken with food is broken down and disposed of more efficiently by the body, rather than accumulated in the cells. This results in a slow, but sure weight loss.
Cassia cinnamon is used in chest pain to lower blood sugar in people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, kidney disease, cramps, as well as “blood purification”.
If you consume too much, there are side effects. Some people have an increase in appetite. Pregnant women also need to take caution with cinnamon, because in high doses, it appears as a uterine stimulant, but in moderate amounts, it is safe.
In recent years, unfortunately, the so-called “Cinnamon Challenge” has gained popularity, but thankfully it has gone away. In it, people try to swallow a teaspoon of cinnamon powder (yes, I admit it, and I did it, but not for the challenge). It is dangerous to consume directly, without the spice being dissolved first in any food. This attempt to swallow brings with it a burning sensation in the mouth, nose and throat, as well as coughing and suffocation. Another thing that may happen is nausea, nosebleeds, and chest tightness. So be smart and think before you do anything !!!!
Inhalation of cinnamon powder can lead to a suffocation attack. There is also a danger that part of the dust will get directly into the lungs, which has serious consequences, such as inflammation of the lungs, etc. Patients with asthma or other respiratory problems are at high risk of developing severe breathing difficulties.
With this article, we were able to get acquainted with this magical spice with a unique and memorable scent. If we obtain the true Ceylon cinnamon and skillfully manage to incorporate it into our healthy diet, then we will enjoy the beneficial properties of the spice.
Always remember – the amount is important! Consume with Love!