Cinnamon is probably one of the most famous spices used throughout the world. People from all walks of life have used this as a seasoning for both sweet and savory dishes. However, one must not be fooled because this universal spice not only tastes good but also bring a lot of benefits to the table, especially this type of cinnamon called Ceylon Cinnamon.
Table of Contents
What is Ceylon Cinnamon?
From the inner bark of tiny evergreen Cinnamomum trees, It is native in Sri Lanka and other parts of Southeast Asia. It is also known as Cinnamomum verum, comes in a lighter color when compared to other types of cinnamon. It also tastes “brighter” and lighter with hints of citrus tones.
The inner bark of the cinnamon tree is dried until they curl into rolls, typically known as cinnamon sticks. The inner bark may also be ground, so it can quickly add sweetness to different dishes. Lastly, the bark can also be used as extracts. It is an essential spice incorporated in drinks, pastries, other baked goods, candies, and curry.
The unique and beneficial properties come from the presence of essential oils containing cinnamaldehyde. This substance is responsible for the aroma and flavor it gives off. Cinnamaldehyde is also the reason for the many health benefits this unique spice has.
Cassia Cinnamon vs. Ceylon Cinnamon
There are two types of cinnamon widely available in the market today. First, we have Ceylon Cinnamon, and the other one is Cassia cinnamon, also known as Cinnamomum cassia. These varieties of cinnamon are typically labeled as plain cinnamon in the market. Still, they both have their advantages and disadvantages, so it is essential to know which is which.
Even though both varieties have the same flavor and active ingredients, their potencies are pretty different from one another.
Cassia cinnamon originates from the Cinnamomum cassia tree. This tree is also known as Cinnamomum aromaticum. Since Cass
ia cinnamon is found in southern parts of China, it is called Chinese cinnamon. Today, several subspecies of Cassia cinnamon are being grown in both southern and eastern parts of Asia.
Physically, Cassia cinnamon appears dark brown-red in color. It is thicker with a rougher texture when compared to Ceylon cinnamon. And even though it contains the same active ingredients as Ceylon cinnamon, it is somehow considered a low-quality spice. It is cheaper than Ceylon cinnamon, and it is the variant usually present in most groceries around the world.
Cassia cinnamon has long been used as a spice when concocting traditional Chinese herbal medications. 95% of the Cassia cinnamon oil contains cinnamaldehyde that gives a strong and aromatic flavor.
The downside of Cassia cinnamon is that it contains high levels of coumarin that may be toxic to the body. Coumarin is a known substance that can usually be found in various plant species. When taken in large doses, it can lead to a lot of harmful effects.
When tested in rodents, it was shown to cause pulmonary, hepatic, and nephrotic damage. Prolonged intake in large doses also has the potential to cause malignancy. In humans, there have also been isolated incidents that have shown similar outcomes.
Cassia cinnamon is a coumarin-rich variant of cinnamon. It contains approximately 1% of the harmful substance. On the other hand, Ceylon cinnamon is known to contain only 0.004% of coumarin. Since Ceylon cinnamon contains 250 times less coumarin than Cassia cinnamon, it is safer and better for human consumption.
Ceylon cinnamon, otherwise known as “true cinnamon,” can be found in Sri Lanka and specific parts of Southern India. Obtained from Cinnamomum verum tree, Ceylon appears brownish with numerous tight sticks having soft layers. Because of these features, Ceylon cinnamon is highly demanded and is known as the high-quality type of cinnamon.
Because of its superior quality, it is less common in markets and grocery stores. It is also more expensive compared to the price of Cassia cinnamon. Many consider Ceylon cinnamon one of the most prized spices used in cooking because it has a delicate and light flavor with hints of citrus and sweet flavor that make it perfect for pastries and desserts.
Ceylon cinnamon contains approximately 50 to 63% of cinnamaldehyde in its oils, which is lower than the contents of Cassia cinnamon. This is the reason behind its lighter and milder flavor and aroma of Ceylon cinnamon sticks and powder.
The health properties of the two variants differ because they have different levels of cinnamaldehyde. However, there is still not published research that tackles the distinction and impact of their levels.
What are the Benefits of Ceylon Cinnamon?
Ceylon cinnamon benefits are not new to the users because it contains several compounds that can bring many positive effects on our health. These include cinnamaldehyde, cinnamate, cinnamic acid, together with antioxidants and polyphenols.
Improves Insulin Response
According to numerous studies focusing on Ceylon cinnamon’s benefits, it can also improve the insulin response among diabetic patients. Regular consumption of Ceylon cinnamon can help the body regulate its own blood sugar levels more efficiently. This helps prevent events of both hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia from occurring.
Studies have revealed that Ceylon cinnamon helps control blood glucose levels by increasing glucose uptake in the body. It also increases the sensitivity of muscle tissues and fat to insulin, so its uptake is increased. This particular spice also improves glycogen synthesis in the liver and slows gastric emptying to prevent a sudden spike in blood sugar.
Cinnamaldehyde is the substance responsible for all the effects of Ceylon cinnamon in improved insulin response among people with diabetes. While this spice has shown its benefit for glucose control, patients with diabetes should still follow their physicians’ prescribed regimen.
Thus, Ceylon cinnamon is slowly being recognized as a potential treatment for diabetes mellitus. We highly recommend checking out the Ceylon cinnamon and dihydro-berberine supplement sugarmds.com offers.
Reduces Cholesterol Levels
Several studies using Ceylon cinnamon have revealed its ability to lower cholesterol levels in the body. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL), commonly known as bad cholesterol, is linked to the development of heart problems. Ceylon cinnamon can help decrease LDL and cholesterol levels without affecting the levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) or good cholesterol.
Cinnamaldehyde, the active ingredient found in Ceylon cinnamon, is known to contain anti-inflammatory properties that can be advantageous to its users. This substance has been shown to limit the inflammatory response in the body, leading to fewer manifested symptoms. Inflammation has been linked to several conditions like arthritis and heart diseases. Through the use of Ceylon cinnamon, these conditions may be prevented.
Others Health Benefits
Since Ceylon cinnamon is an antioxidant-rich spice, it is commonly used as an ingredient in healthy diets to help neutralize the free radicals present in the body, thereby inhibiting damage. The cinnamaldehyde component of Ceylon cinnamon is also thought to offer antibacterial properties together with its anti-cancer properties.
It is also rich in beta-carotene that also explains the color it gives off. Since beta-carotene belongs to a family that functions as provitamins, they can easily be converted into more valuable and advantageous forms, such as vitamin A that keeps specific organ functions healthy.
What are the Side Effects of Ceylon Cinnamon?
Ceylon cinnamon is taken by mouth, and it is highly likely to be safe when used as flavoring or spice in various dishes. When taken by mouth as Ceylon cinnamon capsules or medication, it is also safe when used in a range from 0.5 to 3 grams per day.
Consumption of Ceylon cinnamon is possibly unsafe when ingested in more significant amounts than the safety net. Intake of Ceylon cinnamon extract can irritate the mucous membranes and the skin in susceptible individuals. It may also cause gastrointestinal and genitourinary upset. Occasionally individuals may experience diarrhea, drowsiness, dizziness, vomiting, and others.
It may also cause gastroparesis that can be manifested by symptoms of loss of appetite, bloating, nausea, vomiting, and heartburn because Ceylon cinnamon causes a delay in gastric emptying. This mechanism helps regulate blood sugar levels, but it also has its potential side effects just like Ozempic, Trulicity, Victoza which work similarly but are way more expensive than Ceylon cinnamon.
What are the Special Precautions and Warnings for Ceylon Cinnamon?
Some groups need to take extra precautions when incorporating this into their diet. To ensure safe consumption, the following should heed the warnings:
The intake of Ceylon cinnamon of breastfeeding women is likely safe, provided that they take it moderately in foods when they are breastfeeding. No studies have revealed its harmful effects when taken in large amounts during this specific time, but it is best to stay on the safe side and consume moderate quantities only.
Consumption of this spice during pregnancy is likely safe when taken moderately in foods such as Ceylon cinnamon powder. It is deemed unsafe when the Ceylon cinnamon is consumed in large amounts – more than what typical dishes contain during this sensitive time.
Intake of Ceylon cinnamon in large amounts may influence the patient’s blood pressure and blood glucose levels and may lead to difficulty controlling these parameters before surgery. It is best to avoid Ceylon cinnamon consumption at least two weeks before the scheduled surgical procedure.
What are the Drug Interactions I Should Watch Out for When Taking Ceylon Cinnamon?
According to various studies, the intake of Ceylon cinnamon causes lowering of the blood sugar levels. Hence, it must be taken with caution when diabetes medications are also being used as maintenance. Interaction of anti-diabetics and Ceylon cinnamon may cause the blood sugar to drop and lead to low blood sugar incidents. So if you are on insulin or sulfonylurea drugs consider monitoring blood sugar more often and discuss with your endocrinologist about lowering your other diabetes medications.
Monitoring of the blood glucose levels is vital in individuals who take both. The dose of either of the two may be adjusted as necessary. Some oral anti-diabetic agents include glimepiride, rosiglitazone, chlorpropamide, tolbutamide, glyburide, and others. Watch out for hypoglycemia( low blood sugar) if you are taking the mentioned drugs!
How Much Ceylon Cinnamon Should I Take?
The quantity and proper dosing dramatically depend on various factors. This includes the age, health condition of the consumer, and his metabolic functions. Until today, there has been no study quantifying the scientifically approved dosage of Ceylon cinnamon. SugarMD brand uses 750 mg of Ceylon cinnamon which is a conservative yet effective dose for Ceylon cinnamon.
Natural and organic products may be safe, but the dosing should be adjusted accordingly. When taken in large amounts, it may still cause an untoward reaction. When taking this, consumers should follow product labels.
Should I Worry About Taking Ceylon Cinnamon?
Since cinnamon is one of the most common spices enjoyed in most dishes, some people may wonder if it can cause trouble. It is not only known for its flavor but also because of its health benefits. So, intake is advantageous. However, Dr. Ergin does not recommend stopping other medications without discussing them with your doctor.
Additionally, despite having a minute amount of coumarin, it is best to avoid consuming substantial amounts of this spice to prevent liver damage. Some brands offer 2000 mg or more or Ceylon cinnamon so be aware of the risks of a high dose of this spice.
Where Can I Buy Ceylon Cinnamon?
This is relatively easy to find in case you are wondering where to buy it. Because it is one of the most sought-after spices in the culinary world, users can purchase it worldwide in supermarkets and grocery stores. If you do not want to eat or add Ceylon cinnamon to your diet daily, it is best to use it in a supplement form. SugarMD offers a high-quality Ceylon cinnamon berberine combination.
Ceylon cinnamon is an all-around spice that brings incredible flavors in dishes and health benefits to the body. It can help improve insulin sensitivity, lower blood sugars and bad cholesterol levels in a safe manner while there are a few precautions as we mentioned in this article.
Overall, Ceylon cinnamon offers a plethora of health benefits that its consumers can enjoy.