The smell of fresh cinnamon evokes Christmas feelings in many people. But cinnamon is not only suitable during Advent. The spice is especially good in warm desserts such as porridge – no matter what time of year it is. In this article we will tell you what types of cinnamon there are, what you should look for when buying it and how you can best integrate it into your healthy breakfast.

The origin of the popular spice

Cinnamon is obtained from the bark of the evergreen cinnamon tree. This tree belongs to the laurel family and is characterised by its juicy dark green leaves and light yellow flowers.

In the production of cinnamon spice, the outer layers of the bark of the tree are removed. The barks are then dried and curl up in the process. This is how the well-known cinnamon sticks are produced, which are particularly popular in mulled wine. You can recognise high-quality cinnamon by its fine layers, which together resemble the shape of a cigar. Cheaper cinnamon, on the other hand, usually consists of only one layer of bark.

However, cinnamon is not only available as a roll or stick, but also in ground form. This makes it easier to integrate into a wide variety of dishes and is therefore extremely popular. It is particularly good in this form in desserts, pastries and tea – especially as a topping.

Gemahlener Zimt eignet sich hervorragend als Topping im Porridge
Ground cinnamon is great as a topping in porridge

Even if ground cinnamon varieties are difficult to distinguish from each other, it is still worth paying closer attention. Because not all types bring the same desired health benefits.

Cassia or Ceylon – how do I recognise the varieties?

Cassia cinnamon usually comes from southern China. You can recognise this variety by its thicker layers, dark appearance and intense smell. Ceylon cinnamon, on the other hand, is mostly produced in Sri Lanka or southern India. It is characterised by its aromatic and less pungent taste.

However, Ceylon cinnamon is much more expensive, which is why the food industry often uses the cheaper Cassia cinnamon. But what is the difference between the two varieties? Why is Cassia cinnamon cheaper?

The price is primarily due to the quality of the cinnamon. Cassia cinnamon consists of thick layers, while Ceylon cinnamon is characterised by its fine layers and is thus considered to be of higher quality. That settles this question.

Cassia or Ceylon – which variety is healthier?

However, another question also arises – does the quality only affect the taste? Or is one variety healthier than the other?

If you look at the ingredients of the cinnamon varieties, one thing immediately strikes every expert. The coumarin content differs considerably. Coumarin is an aromatic secondary plant substance. In small quantities, it gives the dish a pleasant spiciness. In too large quantities, however, it is potentially harmful to health.

Therefore, the answer to the question of which variety is healthier is Ceylon cinnamon. This variety contains much less coumarin and can therefore be consumed in larger quantities with a clear conscience.

Apart from the coumarin content, however, both types of cinnamon are extremely healthy. We will now take a closer look at why.

Zimt wertet viele Speisen auf - geschmacklich und gesundheitlich
Cinnamon enhances many dishes – taste-wise and health-wise

Cinnamon as a remedy – the spice offers these health benefits.

The ancient Egyptians already knew that cinnamon was healthy. At that time, cinnamon was considered one of the most important natural remedies and was even more expensive than gold. Even if the expected effects were somewhat exaggerated at that time, there was still a spark of truth in it.

For cinnamon can actually do much more than one would give it credit for. Cinnamon can actually regulate blood sugar levels and even help with type 2 diabetes. But cinnamon also plays a role in losing weight, as it indirectly promotes fat loss.

The special thing about it is that cinnamon can already unfold its health-promoting properties in extremely small quantities. Just one gram per day can have a significant positive effect on blood sugar levels. In addition, the bad LDL cholesterol is lowered, which also has a positive effect on the cardiovascular system.

Why cinnamon is considered a natural remedy

Cinnamon has long been considered a natural remedy, as we have already heard. This is due to its positive properties. Besides the blood sugar regulating effect, however, cinnamon offers many other benefits.

For one thing, cinnamon stimulates the appetite and intestinal activity. For example, it can be specifically integrated into warm breakfasts such as porridge to stimulate the appetite. On the other hand, cinnamon can also prevent bloating and flatulence, making it an excellent addition to porridge that is easy on the stomach.

Furthermore, cinnamon contains the essential oil eugenol. This has a disinfecting effect, which makes cinnamon a natural remedy for colds.

In addition, cinnamon also has an effect on the cholesterol level and ensures that LDL cholesterol, which is considered bad, is lowered. Thus, the cardiovascular system also benefits from a daily portion of cinnamon.

But cinnamon is also said to help with weight loss. We will now take a closer look at how this can be.

Does cinnamon really help you lose weight?

Cinnamon can actually support fat loss by unfolding its blood sugar regulating properties. This is because when blood sugar levels are elevated, insulin is secreted by the body to lower them. Although this sounds good at first, the following problem arises. If the body releases insulin too frequently, as is the case with pre-diabetic or obese people, for example, fat burning is disturbed.

This is because the enzymes that are responsible for the utilisation of fats are hormone-sensitive. This means that if insulin levels are too high, they stop burning fat and thus inhibit fat loss.

However, if you want to lose weight, sooner or later fat has to be metabolised. And that’s where cinnamon comes into play again. Because cinnamon can actually delay the emptying of the stomach. This in turn leads to a more even rise in blood sugar levels. This means that less insulin needs to be secreted and fat metabolism also works better again.

How to optimally integrate cinnamon into your diet

Regularly consuming cinnamon is therefore highly advisable. No matter what the actual motive is. Because the health-promoting properties are beneficial for everyone. However, cinnamon is not suitable for all dishes. Therefore, we would like to present you with a few recipes with which you can easily integrate your daily dose of cinnamon into your everyday life.

If you want to take your portion of cinnamon already in the morning, you should definitely use it in combination with porridge. It is not for nothing that this combination is so popular in the Ayurvedic diet. Warm porridge in the morning ensures healthy digestion. Cinnamon also provides a pleasant warmth and a special taste experience.

But cinnamon does not only work excellently in combination with porridge. When added to our delicious Apple Cinnamon Granola, it perfectly complements the fruity taste of apples. We use healthy Ceylon cinnamon for the gluten-free apple-cinnamon granola. You can therefore eat it in larger quantities if your body demands it.

The gluten-free wholemeal oat flakes provide a generous portion of complex carbohydrates and digestive fibre. The high-oleic sunflower oil, on the other hand, provides healthy fatty acids. The gluten-free apple-cinnamon granola is rounded off with a portion of diced apple and high-quality Ceylon cinnamon.

Das Verival Apfel-Zimt Granola versorgt dich mit hochwertigem Ceylon-Zimt
The gluten-free Verival Apple Cinnamon Granola provides you with high-quality Ceylon cinnamon.

All in all, granola is extremely versatile and therefore the perfect companion for your breakfast or snack. Whether as a topping in yoghurt, in combination with milk or as a crunchy snack between meals – granola is always suitable.

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Recipe: Bircher Puffers

The Bircher Puffers with our Verival Bircher Porridge are easy to prepare and taste super delicious. They can be eaten as breakfast, lunch or dinner, but also offer a good alternative as a dessert or snack between meals. 
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time10 mins
20 mins
Total Time40 mins
Servings: 4 portions
Calories: 380kcal

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs
  • 250 g potting
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 200 g Verival Bircher Porridge
  • 50 g grated hazelnuts
  • 600 g apples
  • oil
  • Cinnamon, fruit, yoghurt, applesauce of choice

Instructions

  • Beat the eggs, curd and honey until creamy.
  • Stir in Bircher Porridge and hazelnuts.
  • Leave the dough to stand for 20 minutes.
  • Grate the apples and mix in.
  • Form patties and fry in oil.
  • You can serve the puffers with cinnamon, fruit, yoghurt or apple sauce.

Nutrition

Calories: 380kcal

Bircher pancakes are one of our absolute favourite recipes for a good start to the day. They consist of our organic Bircher porridge as well as vitamin-rich apples and protein-rich eggs and curd. The pancakes are rounded off with a pinch of cinnamon and grated nuts.

Try one of the recipes or check out our blog for more healthy breakfast inspiration.

Cinnamon goes well with these spices

Cinnamon can also work well in main dishes for lunch. Just make sure you use spices that go well together. We will now take a brief look at which spices go well with cinnamon.

For example, cinnamon combines well with star anise, cardamom, coriander, ginger and vanilla. It gets a little spicier with a combination of cinnamon, curry powder, chilli, ginger and salt – this mixture spices up delicacies from Asian cuisine, for example. In addition to cinnamon, cloves are also a must in winter mulled wine.

Which mixture you actually use depends entirely on the dish you want to make. The best thing to do is to try out the spices and find your favourite blend.

Nico

Sportwissenschafter

Ich bin studierter Sportwissenschafter und angehender Journalist. Neben meiner Faszination für Sport und das Schreiben blättere ich gerne durch die Fachbücher der Ernährungswissenschaft. Sport und Ernährung gehen für mich Hand in Hand, wenn es um einen gesunden Lebensstil geht.