Cinnamon has variety of applications due to its usefulness and hence is profoundly used in varity of cuisines, dishes preparation, traditional foods, snacks etc.
The principal component of Cinnamon is Cinnamaldehyde, which is brown in colour.
Cinnamon is mostly used as a spice, which is harvested from the bark and leaves of the plants.
Cinnamon Nutritional Value
Cinnamon is very healthy and nutritious for human body due to variety of minerals found in it. It is mainly composed of water (11%), carbohydrates (81%), protein (4%), fats and vitamins.
Types of Cinnamon
Broadly, two types of cinnamon are found in the market : Ceylon Cinnamon and Cassia Cinnamon.
While both are grown on the same family of trees and plants, they differ from each other by the way they are harvested , their smell, taste and chemical composition itself.
It is also knows as Cinnamon zeylanicum, or “True Cinnamon” or “Real Cinnamon” which is mostly grown in Sri Lanka. That’s why it is harder to find in the nearby stores as it is not grown anywhere else in the world. It is tan brown is colour and is thin and papery and forms multiple layers when rolled up. It is fragile in nature and its taste as well as flavour is delicate and mild.
Ceylon Cinnamon Health Benefits
There are many health benefits of ceylon cinnamon that’s why it is commonly found in kitchens and aggressively searched and purchased for purest form.
- Useful for Diabetes patients
It is considered very useful to balance insulin levels in blood and treatment of diabetes mellitus. It contains a compound Cinnamtannin B1, that helps in controlling glucose consumption level in body. For diabetic patients, approx. 120 mg of cinnamon is recommended as insulin stabilizer.
- Helps in managing blood pressure
Cinnamon contains anti-inflammatory properties that helps in regulating the blood pressure throughout the body.
- Cancer resistant properties
Cinnamon antimicrobial and anti-oxidant properties helps in boosting the immunity of the body, and can help in preventing or treatment of cancer.
- Alzheimer Treatment
Regular ingestion of cinnamon improves brain’s neuro response to insulin which helps in combating against Alzheimer like diseases.
- IBS Treatment
It helps in fighting against IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) and reduces problem of Diarrhea and constipation.
- Other uses
Ceylon cinnamon is also used as flavour in cakes, pastries and desserts preparation.
It is most commonly found cinnamon around the world and somewhat inferior to Ceylon cinnamon. It is harvested from the plant called Cinnamomum Cassia, which is mostly grown in Indonesia and China. This is the reason it is also known as Chinese Cinnamon. China produces and exports 75% of the Cassia cinnamon across the world. It is dark brown in colour and tastes stronger comparatively, which makes it hard to grind also. It is mostly used in china in its meat industry
However, a study by German FDA revealed that Cassia cinnamon contains “Coumarin” in higher amount as compared to Ceylon cinnamon, which makes cassia cinnamon dangerous for health if consumed in larger quantities.
Cassia cinnamon is also considered “Fake” when compared with “Real” Ceylon cinnamon, but that is not true. Both types of cinnamon are unique in their own way, the way they are harvested and used globally in different industries. But if you are looking for something really awesome stuff, Ceylon cinnamon is worth seeking out for.
Ceylon Cinnamon Availability
Ceylon cinnamon is available in many forms across the markets of the world. Across culinary stores, it is available as grounded cinnamon in powder form. Apart from that, it is also available in capsule or tablet form that can be orally consumed. Ceylon cinnamon sticks are also available that can boiled with water or tea to add its nutritional properties in the respective liquid for consumption.
Where to buy Ceylon Cinnamon
Ceylon cinnamon is sold at a premium price compared to Cassia cinnamon due to the health benefits it offers as well as less production comparatively. While searching supermarkets, there are more chances of finding Cassia cinnamon labelled as Ceylon cinnamon.
There are many online stores in many countries selling Ceylon cinnamon in various forms such as grounded powder, sticks, tablets etc. the buyer should read the product details carefully and return policies before buying the product, as it is difficult to differentiate between the two visually.
How to Store Cinnamon
Like every other spice in the kitchen of every household, cinnamon also starts losing its characteristic properties, colour and fragrance over a period of time. So it is advisable to store them in airtight containers in a cool and dry place. Direct contact with sunlight or heat should be avoided. The shelf life of cinnamon is normally between 4-5 years. So such preventive measures are necessary to use and keep the cinnamon for such a long period of time.