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Home/Blog/Ceylon Cinnamon Benefits for Healthy Weight and Healthy Inflammation Support

Ceylon Cinnamon Benefits for Healthy Weight and Healthy Inflammation Support

By Ethan Boldt

January 18, 2024

Ceylon cinnamon

Cinnamon is one of the world’s most widely used spices, with its distinctly sweet, warming taste and ease of use in recipes. Its use goes back thousands of years, including for health benefits. 

Today, cinnamon is now finding its way into supplements as well because of its many benefits, including containing more beneficial antioxidants than nearly every other spice. Learn about the different types of cinnamon, in particular ceylon cinnamon, the related benefits and how you can get it into your daily life (including a new supplement from Ancient Nutrition that has it as an ingredient). 

What Is Ceylon Cinnamon?

Cinnamon is made from the inner bark of the Cinnamomum verum (or Cinnamomum zeylanicum) tree. There are multiple compounds — including cinnamaldehyde, cinnamic acid and cinnamate — within the bark that are linked to cinnamon’s health benefits.

There are two widely used varieties of cinnamon: ceylon cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum) and cinnamon cassia. Cassia cinnamon includes three main types or species: Cinnamomum burmannii (names include Indonesian cinnamon, korintje cinnamon and Padang cassia), Cinnamomum cassia (Chinese cinnamon) and Cinnamomum loureiroi (names include Saigon cinnamon, royal cinnamon and Vietnamese cinnamon). 

While cinnamon cassia is the most used type of all, ceylon cinnamon is considered the true or real cinnamon. Lighter colored with a more delicate, citrusy taste, it’s more expensive because of its superior flavor, quality and benefits. Cassia is darker in color, lower quality, inexpensive, and both stronger and hotter in taste. For the most part, however, the two can be used interchangeably in recipes.

Compared to other types of cinnamon, including cassia, ceylon cinnamon contains a very small amount of coumarin, which is a compound that can have negative impacts on the liver and kidneys if consumed in large amounts. As a result, higher amounts of ceylon is considered a better option for supplements or recipes. 

Most of ceylon cinnamon comes from Sri Lanka, which provides nearly 80 percent of the world's supply and includes more rare trees than cassia cinnamon that comes mostly from abundant trees in China, Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia.

To date, cassia has been studied more extensively than ceylon, but researchers think that ceylon may actually have more health benefits than cassia. Both types of cinnamon owe their spicy taste and fragrance to the oil cinnamaldehyde. 

Benefits

1. Helps Promote a Healthy Body Weight*

In a 2020 Clinical Nutrition systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials, cinnamon intake was examined to determine its effect on body weight, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference and fat mass in adults.

Overall, 12 trials that involved 786 human subjects were examined. Pooled together, the results showed that cinnamon intake promoted a healthy body weight, BMI, waist circumference and fat mass. Greater effects on body weight were noticed in subjects under the age of 50 and those with a baseline BMI of over or equal to 30 kg/m2.

Cinnamon intake significantly lowered fat mass at dosages of over or equal to 2 grams per day over the span of 12 weeks. 

*In addition to an overall healthy diet and lifestyle, including regular exercise.

2. High in Antioxidants

Cinnamon is packed with a variety of beneficial antioxidants that can fight free radicals and can promote normal, healthy aging. In fact, researchers have identified at least 41 different beneficial compounds found within the spice to date.

According to the ORAC scale, which used to measure the concentration of antioxidants in different foods in the past, cinnamon ranks No. 7 of all foods, herbs and spices. Cinnamon health benefits are attributed to its content of a few specific types of antioxidants, including polyphenols, phenolic acid and flavonoids. 

3. Support Healthy Inflammation Levels

The antioxidants in cinnamon can support healthy inflammation levels, thereby helping to support overall heart and brain health. How does cinnamon help heart health? By helping to support healthy, normal cholesterol and blood pressure levels. 

Cinnamon also appears to assist circulation and tissue health.

4. Support Blood Sugar Already in the Normal Range

Research indicates that cinnamon can support healthy blood sugar levels which are already in the normal range — helping to transport sugar from the bloodstream to the tissues to keep blood sugar levels balanced.

5. Assist Oral Hygiene

Research shows that cinnamon benefits oral hygiene, including a person’s breath and teeth. The essential oils from cinnamon possess potent properties that help to promote healthy bacteria in the mouth, acting as a natural mouthwash when diluted properly and used.

How to Use

Researchers have concluded that cinnamon health benefits can be obtained in the form of its pure bark, essential oils, in ground spice form (which is bark powder) or in extract form when its special phenolic compounds, flavonoids and antioxidants have been isolated. These compounds make it one of the most beneficial spices.

Most cinnamon supplements on store shelves are the cassia variety, ceylon is available in many products. You may have to call manufacturers to see if the cinnamon you’re getting is ceylon. It’s hard to tell what kind of cinnamon you’re dealing with if it’s ground cinnamon. A fine spice supplier or upscale culinary store will typically carry powdered ceylon cinnamon. It’s also available online.

Check the label to determine which type you’re buying, and keep in mind that if it doesn’t list the type, it’s most likely the cassia variety, which is less expensive and more commonly used.

Besides powdered cinnamon, ceylon cinnamon is available in capsules to take by mouth. Some people boil cinnamon sticks in water, add honey or lemon, and drink as a tea. Ceylon cinnamon is good for making “cinnamon water.” It’s preferred over cassia cinnamon.

Ground cinnamon also works well for flavoring dishes like oatmeal, yogurt or baked goods. It can add a bit of depth and warmth to savory dishes as well, so give it a try in your next bowl of soup or stew.

Because it has a much more mild, subtle flavor, Ceylon works well in dishes that contain fewer ingredients. This helps allow its natural flavors to shine through. In particular, it makes a great addition to baked goods and traditional dishes like churros. Ceylon should also be used for dishes that require a large amount of cinnamon, as ceylon means less coumarin and maximizes the potential health benefits.

Of course, you should always consult your healthcare professional prior to beginning any new dietary or lifestyle regimen. 

A Supplement with Ceylon Cinnamon

Ancient Nutrition debuts a new collagen powder that features collagen from 10 food-based sources, ceylon cinnamon along several other key ingredients. Multi Collagen Advanced Lean Powder (ceylon cinnamon flavor) is a healthy weight management* supplement designed to help you burn calories and boost your metabolism.

It features a proprietary Fat Loss Blend that includes organic ceylon cinnamon and organic ashwagandha root extract — and the ashwagandha root extract is backed by multiple clinical studies. 

Benefits include:

*In addition to a healthy diet and lifestyle, including regular exercise and muscle-building exercise. 

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