Numerous studies have demonstrated that cinnamon can lower the blood sugar in diabetes patients. A recent meta-analysis concludes that
“The consumption of cinnamon is associated with a statistically significant decrease in levels of fasting plasma glucose, total cholesterol, LDL-C, and triglyceride levels, and an increase in HDL-C levels.”
But before you go running off to buy a bottle to add a dash to your daily coffee or tea, you need to be aware that there are two types of cinnamon available in the market; Cassia Cinnamon and Ceylon Cinnamon.
Cassia Cinnamon typically originates from China, Vietnam or Indonesia. It has a stronger and spicy tinge flavour, and you can easily purchase it from supermarkets or grocery stores.
Ceylon Cinnamon, also known as True Cinnamon, originates exclusively from Sri Lanka and is lighter both in colour and flavour than Cassia Cinnamon. Ceylon Cinnamon has a mild citrus tone and a sweet fragrance. Due to its higher price, it is usually only found in specialised spice shops or health stores.
Should you choose Cassia Cinnamon or Ceylon Cinnamon?
Besides the colour and taste, there is another crucial difference between Cassia Cinnamon and Ceylon Cinnamon. That is their coumarin content.
Coumarin can cause liver damage if consumed in excessive amount. One teaspoon of Cassia Cinnamon powder contains 5.8 to 12.1 mg of coumarin, while Ceylon Cinnamon contains a negligible amount.
In cooking or baking recipes, cinnamon refers typically to Cassia Cinnamon. If you replace with Ceylon Cinnamon, the dish’s flavour will turn out slightly different. Cassia Cinnamon is still safe to consume in moderation.
However, if you plan to take cinnamon on a regular basis or as a supplement, Ceylon Cinnamon should be your choice.