Cinnamon is an incredible spice that not only brings zesty flavor to your favorite foods, it’s also believed to be a powerful antidote against multiple ailments, including arthritis, diabetes, headaches/migraines, and LDL (bad cholesterol).
Western medicine has yet to commission detailed studies on how this ancient Chinese herb can improve your health, but there are fabulous resources, such as GreenMedInfo, that focus on alternative medicinal therapies like spices and herbs. GreenMedInfo does a fantastic job of differentiating between the two main variants of cinnamon, Cassia and Ceylon.
Most cinnamon available in the United States is Cassia (milled mainly in China, Indonesia, Japan, Korea and Vietnam); this is the weaker of the two but is still an awesome source of manganese. Manganese helps to build healthy bones and increase your carbohydrate and fat metabolisms. Cassia cinnamon should be avoided if you are taking blood thinners like Coumadin because it contains higher traces of coumarin, a natural blood thinner.
Ceylon comes from India, Sri Lanka, Madagascar, Brazil and the Caribbean. This variant is considered the “true cinnamon” because it is sweeter, lighter and more refined than cassia.
Long story short, both kinds of cinnamon will adequately flavor the dishes you use it on, but it’s important to heed the warning about cassia consumption.