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Classic spice in the Christmas kitchen: better Ceylon or Cassia cinnamon?
Cinnamon is one of several classic Christmas spices. But its sweet to fiery aroma not only gives Christmas cookies a very special touch, but also exotic curries and chutneys. The delicious spice brings various health benefits and even helps you lose weight.
Healthy Christmas spice
Cinnamon is a classic spice in the delicious Christmas kitchen. Its sweet to fiery aroma refines Christmas cookies, speculoos and gingerbread, winter fruit compote, baked apples, mulled wine and punch. And spicy dishes such as Indian curries and chutneys also give cinnamon an unmistakable touch. It is part of spice blends such as the Indian "Garam masala" and the Chinese "five-spice powder". The popular spice is not only very tasty, but also extremely healthy.
For the prevention and treatment of diabetes
Cinnamon has been known for its health benefits since ancient times. The spice is still used, among other things, for indigestion such as flatulence.
It is said to have a disinfectant effect and to lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels. In addition, cinnamon stimulates the metabolism, which is helpful if you want to accelerate weight loss.
According to health experts, the spice is also one of the foods that help prevent diabetes.
Furthermore, cinnamon is good for the intestine.
Too much coumarin can harm your health
However, it is now also known that cinnamon - in large quantities - can harm health. Because of the coumarin it contains.
In high doses, this substance can lead to liver and kidney damage, among other things. Some people are already sensitive to small amounts.
As the Federal Center for Nutrition (BZfE) reports on its website, the tolerable daily dose (TDI) is 0.1 milligrams per kilogram of body weight.
According to this, a person weighing 60 kilograms could take in six milligrams of coumarin a day without any health impairments. This corresponds to two grams of cassia cinnamon a day.
In young children, the TDI value will be reached after just six cinnamon stars or 100 g gingerbread a day.
Ceylon cinnamon contains significantly less coumarin than cassia cinnamon.
Anyone who uses a lot of cinnamon - for example for milk rice - should therefore prefer Ceylon cinnamon.
However, the search is made more difficult because the variety does not have to be indicated on the cinnamon packaging. Only some providers voluntarily state the type of cinnamon.
Cassia cinnamon is usually cheaper in the supermarket, while Ceylon cinnamon is mainly sold in delicatessen and Asian shops.
Ceylon cinnamon is of higher quality than cassia cinnamon
As the BZfE explains, cinnamon is made from the inner bark of the cinnamon tree, which belongs to the evergreen laurel family.
There are several hundred different types, but only Ceylon cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum) and Cassia cinnamon (Cinnamomum aromaticum) are important on the European market.
As the name suggests, Ceylon cinnamon comes from Ceylon, today's Sri Lanka. The particularly high-quality "real cinnamon" has a fine, pleasantly spicy aroma and is usually processed into cinnamon sticks.
According to the BZfE, cassia cinnamon comes from China. It has a tart to slightly sweet taste and is mainly sold in Germany in the form of powdered powder.
With cinnamon sticks, the difference is clearly visible. Ceylon poles consist of several fine layers of bark that look like a cut cigar in cross-section.
Cassia cinnamon, on the other hand, has a relatively thick layer of bark rolled up into a roll.
Cinnamon sticks can be kept for up to three years if they are tightly closed. Ground cinnamon should always be kept airtight and dark so that it does not lose its aroma. (ad)