What is Saigon Cinnamon? Advantages and comparison with other types
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Saigon cinnamon, also known as Vietnamese cinnamon or Vietnamese cassia, comes from the tree Cinnamomum loureiroi (
Used in many dishes around the world, it has a strong, sweet and spicy flavor and aroma.
Additionally, Saigon cinnamon is associated with a number of health benefits.
This article tells you everything you need to know about Saigon cinnamon, including its potential benefits and how it differs from other varieties.
There are two main classes of cinnamon – Ceylon and cassia.
They include four main species, most of which – including Saigon cinnamon – are considered varieties of cassia (
Saigon cinnamon contains more cinnamaldehyde than other types. This compound is responsible for its strong flavor and aroma and has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties (
In addition, like other cassia species, Saigon cinnamon is said to be harmful in high doses due to its high coumarin content (
Coumarin is a chemical naturally present in cinnamon that can have toxic effects. Based on animal research, the European Food Safety Authority has determined a tolerable daily intake of 0.05 mg per pound (0.1 mg per kilogram) of body weight (
This equates to about 1 teaspoon (2.5 grams) of Saigon cinnamon per day.
However, since this type is more expensive, most grocery stores carry the cheaper variety of cassia.
Saigon cinnamon is a species of cassia cinnamon with a stronger flavor and aroma than other varieties. Although it is considered to be of lower quality than Ceylon cinnamon, it is cheaper and easier to find in grocery stores.
Saigon cinnamon has been linked to several health benefits.
May help lower blood sugar levels
Research suggests that cinnamon may help lower blood sugar, which is especially important for people with diabetes.
Saigon cinnamon is a type of cassia cinnamon, which may play a role in reducing insulin resistance.
It helps your cells become more sensitive to the hypoglycemic effects of insulin, a hormone that helps regulate your blood sugar (
However, these studies refer to cassia cinnamon in general and not to the Saigon variety in particular.
Although cinnamon may affect your blood sugar moderately, most studies are either too small or have not found sufficient evidence to support its effectiveness for this use. Further research is therefore needed (
Rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds
Like other varieties, Saigon cinnamon is rich in antioxidants, which are compounds that protect your cells from damage caused by free radicals (
The spice also contains several anti-inflammatory compounds that may benefit your health.
Chronic inflammation is linked to several conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, certain cancers, and heart disease (
Diets high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds are associated with a reduced risk of many of these and other diseases (
Saigon cinnamon is rich in cinnamaldehyde – the compound that gives the spice its unique flavor and aroma. This compound is also responsible for many of its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties (
Indeed, cinnamaldehyde is the main substance of cassia varieties, accounting for nearly 73% of its composition (11).
Additionally, human studies indicate that supplementation with high doses of cinnamon extract may increase blood antioxidant levels and decrease markers of oxidative stress, which can lead to cell damage (
While the research is promising, more studies are needed to understand the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of Saigon cinnamon in particular.
May have antibacterial and antimicrobial properties
Indeed, the spice is used in both food and cosmetic products to reduce the risk of bacterial contamination (
However, few studies are available on Saigon cinnamon specifically.
A test-tube study found that the essential oil compounds of this variety had antibacterial activity against Listeria, a type of bacteria that commonly causes foodborne illness (
Another test tube study observed that cinnamon extract oil may be more effective than other oils at targeting and eradicating Borrelia sp., the bacteria that causes Lyme disease (
While the antibacterial and antimicrobial properties of cinnamon are promising, further studies in humans and on Saigon cinnamon in particular are needed to better understand these effects.
Here are some additional suggested benefits of Saigon cinnamon:
- Improves taste. Adding Saigon Cinnamon to Foods May Improve Palatability, Study Finds Plus, due to its naturally sweet and spicy taste, it can be a good alternative to low-calorie sweeteners (
- Tang. Saigon cinnamon has a stronger flavor than other varieties, which may make it a better choice if you appreciate a more robust flavor.
Saigon cinnamon can lower blood sugar and have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial effects. Plus, it’s a tasty addition to your diet. Nonetheless, more research on Saigon cinnamon in particular is needed.
You can easily add it to baked goods, yogurt, cereals, and even some savory dishes.
Here are some ways to enjoy Saigon cinnamon:
- Sprinkle it over the oatmeal.
- Add it to a smoothie.
- Bake with in muffins, pies or breads.
- Add it to curries or marinades.
- Add whole cinnamon sticks to a teapot.
Saigon cinnamon can easily be added to your diet and used in a variety of dishes.
Saigon cinnamon, also known as Vietnamese cinnamon or Vietnamese cassia, is a type of cassia cinnamon.
It can lower blood sugar levels and has anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antibacterial properties.
Nevertheless, due to its high coumarin content, you should limit your intake to 1 teaspoon (2.5 grams) per day.
Ceylon cinnamon is much lower in coumarin and has a lower risk of toxicity. If you want to try this strain, you can find it in line or in health food stores, even if the price is higher.