The Mystery of Cinnamon.
When I was younger, I didn’t know anything about cinnamon. The few times I tried it I did not like it. The only time I did like, it was when my mother would use it when she was making her apple pie, you can find the recipe in my small booklet entitled Sweets I Grew Up With. It’s true as you get older, providing you keep an open mind and willing to learn from your mistakes, you become wiser, so after reading a lot about the amazing capabilities and characteristics of cinnamon I started using it on a daily basis in at least in two of my daily snacks thus far, I Intend to incorporate it in other food too.
What is cinnamon anyway?
Cinnamon is the brownish-reddish inner bark of the cinnamon tree, which when dried, rolls into a tubular form known as a quill. It’s available in two forms, sticks and in powder.
I use the powder form to add to my morning oats and also on my afternoon fruit snacks and the reason I don’t use the sticks is because I want to have my snacks quickly, without losing time grinding the sticks into powder.
I use the sticks mostly for cooking and also because they have a longer shelf time.
You must keep Cinnamon in a tightly sealed glass container in a cool, dark and dry place. The powder form will keep for about six months while the sticks will stay fresh for about one year stored this way.
You can always extend their shelf life by storing them in the refrigerator, that’s what I do personally. To check to see if it is still fresh, smell the cinnamon. If it does not smell sweet, it is no longer fresh, and should be discarded.
There are four common types of cinnamon: Vietnamese, Chinese (cassia), Indonesian, and Ceylon (former name of Sri Lanka the so-called true cinnamon.)
The reason that Ceylon Cinnamon is called true is because of it’s scientific name for which is Cinnamomum verum. The word “verum” comes from the Latin word verus for “true,” and that’s why Ceylon Cinnamon is being referred to like that.”
Which is the safest?
Which one of the 4 different types of Cinnamon is the best well after searching around and reading a few articles some scientific papers a lot of videos especially from nutrition facts.org it turned out the safest to consume is Ceylon Cinnamon and I explain why later in this article.
Cinnamon is not something new we have historical data that records the use of the spice since 2700 BC in China. Once was a luxury for kings and Queens and was very difficult to acquire, but now it’s very cheap and you can find it all year around.
Cassia versus Ceylon
Cassia Cinnamon is cheaper than Ceylon and its the one that is mostly used in scientific experiments and research. Also, it’s the one that most people consume. Most of the times both Ceylon Cinnamon and Chinese cinnamon (cassia) are labeled as cinnamon.
If you want to find the sweeter, more refined tasting Ceylon variety, you may need to shop in either a local spice store or ethnic market since this variety is generally less available.
I had some trouble finding Ceylon Cinnamon but I manage to find some in an organic shop that has Ceylon Cinnamon in powder form and I am very happy and pleased with the product because it’s indeed very sweet.
Cinnamon is a spice with powerful medicinal properties, full with antioxidants and that’s one of the reasons I started using it. After running and obviously after any kind of strenuous exercise free radicals are created. Consuming antioxidant packed food like Cinnamon after training will aid and accelerate your recovery time and minimize your DNA damage.
Another reason I am consuming cinnamon it’s because of its anti-inflammatory properties, anyone out there that is training for long distance races knows that inflammation is the worst thing it could happen to you just before a big race, after training for months.
These two reasons alone convince me to consume this spice every day, otherwise, you won’t see any benefits if you take it sporadically.
Other benefits may include, Cutting the Risk of Heart Disease, Can Improve Sensitivity to The Hormone Insulin, Lowers Blood Sugar Levels and Has a Powerful Anti-Diabetic Effect, May Have Beneficial Effects on Neurodegenerative Diseases, May Be Protective Against Cancer, Helps Fight Bacterial and Fungal Infections, May Help Fight The HIV Virus.
I concluded that the safest version of Cinnamon to consume is Ceylon. That’s because the levels of a substance called Coumarin are low while in the Cassia type is very high.
It has been shown in studies that high doses of Coumarin might have toxic effects on the liver. Personally, I want my liver to work 110% so it will detoxify the toxins that enter to my body and not poison it.
The research that proves that diabetics can benefit from Cinnamon consumption was made with Cassia, researchers have shown that Ceylon Cinnamon did not have the same effect as Cassia did as lowering blood sugar levels, maybe it was the Coumarin that was doing that.
Anyway, if someone has diabetes II or he or she is in pre-diabetes stage, a whole plant based diet will reverse the illness and cure them as beautifully described by Neal Barnard MD in his book “Dr. Neal Barnard’s Book for Reversing Diabetes: The Scientifically Proven System for Reversing Diabetes Without Drugs”
Ceylon and organic are better, for your liver. You also have the benefits of the Antioxidants and the anti-inflammation properties.
How much Cinnamon is safe?
A few teaspoons a day seems to be on the safe side, I limit my intake to just one teaspoon.
Original Research Antioxidant Effects of a Cinnamon Extract in People with Impaired Fasting Glucose That Are Overweight or Obese
Anne-Marie Roussel, Ph.D., FACN, Isabelle Hininger, Ph.D., Rachida Benaraba, MS, Tim N. Ziegenfuss, Ph.D., and Richard A. Anderson, Ph.D., FACN
Cinnamomum Verum J. Presl
Text by Armando González Stuart, Ph.D., 2005
Cassia Cinnamon as a Source of Coumarin in Cinnamon-Flavored Food and Food Supplements in the United States Yan-Hong Wang,† Bharathi Avula,† N. P. Dhammika Nanayakkara,† Jianping Zhao,† and Ikhlas A. Khan*,†,‡,§
Cinnamon Extract Inhibits Tau Aggregation AssociatedwithAlzheimer’sDiseaseIn Vitro
Dylan W. Peterson, Roshni C. George, Francesca Scaramozzinoa, Nichole E. LaPointea, Richard A. Anderson, Donald J. Graves,1 and John Lewa,1,∗ aDepartment of Molecular, Cellular, and DevelopmentalBiology, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA, USA bBeltsville Human Nutrition Center, Beltsville, MD, USA