Cinnamon: Ceylon or Cassia?
Ah cinnamon. This tasty, warming spice is a favourite in our kitchen! It tastes great with cereal, cakes, cinnamon swirls... and anything else we can get our hands on. But did you know there are actually two types of cinnamon commonly eaten in the UK? And that one of them could actually be harmful to our health?
This is the type of cinnamon we will all be familiar with. Unless otherwise stated, this is the type of cinnamon we end up buying at the supermarket, or eating in ready-made foods. It’s the cheapest variety and much easier to get our hands on. It tastes just as nice too, so why should we care?
Well beware, as eating too much Cassia Cinnamon has been linked with liver damage. Research by the University of Mississippi has shown that levels of the natural chemical, Coumarin, are much higher in Cassia Cinammon than in Ceylon Cinnamon. When eaten in large amounts over a long period of time, Coumarin is toxic to humans. In some countries there are even regulations stating how much Cassia Cinnamon can be sprinkled on to pastries and bakes!
Grown and found in Sri Lanka, Ceylon or ‘true cinnamon’ is thought to be much better for us, because it contains significantly lower levels of Coumarin. The reason we don’t see as much Ceylon Cinnamon in our supermarket cinnamon buns and ground powders is because it’s signficantly more expensive to buy.
Worried about how much cinnamon you're eating? Unless you're piling it on at breakfast every morning, drinking copious amounts of chai tea and over-indulging in carrot cake several times a day.... we wouldn't lose too much sleep. But if you have the choice between Cassia and Ceylon cinnamon - Ceylon appears to be the healthiest option by far.
mouth-watering to share?