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Ceylon and Cassia Cinnamon

Do you know the cinnamon you are using in the pantry is probably Cassia and not actual Cinnamon?


Cinnamon is one of the most commonly used spices in Indian cuisine. It is the inner bark of the Cinnamomum tree. There are 2 main types of spices available:

  1. Ceylon cinnamon (original)

  2. Cassia cinnamon

Both are not derived from the same plant. Also, both Ceylon and Cassia have different nutritional properties.


Nutritional difference


Coumarin is a chemical compound found in both cinnamon and cassia. Cassia has a high amount of Coumarin present which causes various health issues and toxic for the liver, kidneys, and lungs when consumed daily. The finest quality of Ceylon Cinnamon is the bark of the plant “Cinnamomum Zeylanicum” and it grows in South India, Sri Lanka, and Burma whereas Cassia is from Southern China.


How to identify the difference?


Cassia is considered lower quality and widely available in supermarkets. Ceylon cinnamon has a layered structure whereas Cassia is a double-sided roll with a hollow structure, you may see only 1-2 rolls in cassia. The texture of Ceylon is smooth and even and the color is tan brown whereas the texture of Cassia is rough and uneven, the color of cassia is dark brown to reddish-brown. Cassia is thicker than Ceylon. Ceylon has a mild flavor, sweet and delicate, Cassia has a strong peppery flavor. Cassia is usually cheaper than cinnamon and is used for the adulteration of cinnamon. Cassia is often sold as cinnamon.

It's better to buy cinnamon sticks and then grind them to make powder instead of buying it directly because it's hard to identify what kind of cinnamon you are using if it's ground cinnamon.


Cinnamon Nutrition values


1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon has:

Dietary Fiber: 1.4 g

Sugar: 0.06 g

Vitamin A: 7.67 IU

Vitamin K: 0.8 mcg

Calcium: 26.05 mg

Iron: 0.22 mg

Magnesium: 2 mg

Phosphorus: 2 mg

Potassium: 11 mg

Folate: 0.16mg


Health Benefits


Both Cassia and Ceylon are anti-diabetic and lowers blood sugar. Cinnamon helps to reduce cholesterol, it reduces HDL by around 30%. Cinnamon oil helps to treat fungal infections. Cinnamon helps in depression, soak few sticks of it in water overnight, and on the next morning, have a bath with this water. The use of cinnamon in breakfast also helps with depression.


Who should avoid cinnamon?


People with asthma or other medical issues related to breathing should be careful of accidentally inhaling cinnamon. The high amount of cinnamon daily may cause liver damage in some people.

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