Could A Secret Weight-Loss Weapon Be Found On Your Spice Rack?

The thought of cinnamon probably conjures up images of hot apple pie, warm cinnamon buns, cinnamon toast … not exactly the kind of foods you associate with weight loss. But amazingly, research has recently discovered that this sweet, tasty spice can play a hand in helping you drop a pants size or two.

Hard to believe? I’ll show you the evidence if you read on…

For this study, researchers at Ball State University recruited 30 adults, and gave them two separate meals, spaced a week apart.

Meal #1: A bowl of hot cereal

Meal #2: A bowl of hot cereal with two and a half teaspoons of cinnamon.

Both times researchers measured blood sugar before the meal and then again two hours after eating.

Here’s what they found…

The cereal with cinnamon significantly improved blood sugar balance. In fact, the cinnamon-spiked cereal resulted in a 24 percent reduction in total blood sugar during the two-hour post-meal period.1 The reason for this appears to be cinnamon’s ability to help your insulin work more efficiently.

What’s weight got to do with it? (I feel a Tina Turner song coming on…)

Everything … If you’re overweight, you’re likely experiencing some level of insulin resistance. What this means is that the insulin in your body has become less effective at lowering your blood sugar, making it harder to lose weight, even when following a low-calorie diet.

And when your body isn’t using sugar properly, you’ll often crave sugars or carbohydrates. It’s a losing game because as you consume more of the sugar you crave, less of it is being converted into energy… Instead it’s being stored as body fat.

This is why cinnamon’s ability to help your insulin work more efficiently2 can have a direct impact on your waistline.

Other cinnamon kudos

Emerging research3 reveals that cinnamon also decreases inflammation. Inflammation can be a positive when in response to environmental attacks, viruses, or bodily damage. But chronic, low-grade inflammation, which happens when fat cells overrun the body, triggers a reaction that causes cells to stop responding to insulin.

Inflammation also messes with leptin, a key weight-controlling hormone. When insulin and leptin hormones no longer function properly, all kinds of metabolic mayhem ensue. And the weight not only begins to pile on, it also becomes much harder to lose.

11 ways to make cinnamon a habit

Apples are a natural pairing with cinnamon for a healthy treat

  • Add cinnamon to a cup of tea, hot chocolate or coffee
  • Sprinkle on low-fat cottage cheese or low-fat yogurt
  • Combine with ginger, garlic and olive oil to season steamed vegetables
  • Dip an apple into peanut butter, then cinnamon
  • Sprinkle cinnamon on fruit salad
  • Add to your favorite vegetable stir-fry
  • Dust on whole-grain pancakes
  • Shake on quinoa cereal
  • Combine with ginger, tarragon, salt and pepper and bake with chicken
  • Add cinnamon to black bean soup for a unique twist
  • Throw in the blender when you’re whipping up a breakfast smoothie

Has this study convinced you to add some more cinnamon into your life? Me too. I’m going to try some in my oatmeal tomorrow morning. Let me know if you find any interesting ways to use cinnamon. I’d love to hear about them.

SteveSisskind_sig
Steven Sisskind, M.D.

Steve Sisskind, M.D.

Hi, I'm Dr. Steve Sisskind, Chief Medical Officer & Founder at RealDose Nutrition.

As a young physician, I struggled because my patients came to me with serious health issues, but I didn't have the right tools to help them. Medical school taught me how to put "band aids" on their symptoms with drugs and surgery, but not how to address the root causes of their problems.

Years later I discovered a better approach... based on the fundamental idea that the power of nutrition can transform your health and vitality. But there's a lot of confusion... What foods should I eat? Which supplements should I take? What does the science say?

I have dedicated my life to answering these questions... And I share this knowledge with you every day here at RealDose Nutrition.

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References:

1. Magistrelli A, Chezem JC. Effect of ground cinnamon on postprandial blood glucose concentration in normal-weight and obese adults. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2012;112(11):1806-1809. PMID: 23102179.

2. Qin B, Panickar KS, Anderson RA. Cinnamon: potential role in the prevention of insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes. J Diabetes Sci Technol. 2010;4(3):685-693. PMID: 20513336.

3. Hong JW, Yang GE, Kim YB, Eom SH, Lew JH, Kang H. Anti-inflammatory activity of cinnamon water extract in vivo and in vitro LPS-induced models. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2012;12:237. PMID: 23190501.

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15 comments

  1. I put cinnamon in my protein breakfast shake

  2. I’ve never thought of cinnamon being so good for you. Thank you for sharing this!

  3. Yes, but WHICH cinnamon? The Cassia you buy at the store or Ceylon Cinnamon?

    • Dr. Steve Sisskind

      Hi Richard,

      Thank you for writing in! As a supplement, Ceylon cinnamon is the better choice. But as a spice, Cassia will do just fine. Hope this helps! Make it a healthy day!

  4. Cinnamon is in almost all of Arabic food very good like stuffed squash and green bean and lamb stew!

  5. Tonight I had most of the family women over for dinner and enjoyment. We celebrate each other often. I decided to try to make a natural spiced tea. I used 2 of my favorite teas, Irish breakfast and Constant Comment. I then added 2 cinnamon sticks and about 2 tsp. of cloves. It was delicious, and apparently good for me (I have diabetes). I’ve lost just shy of 9lbs over the last 8 weeks.

    • Dr. Steve Sisskind

      Hi Kate,

      Thank you for writing in and for sharing your great ideas with us! Congratulation on the weight loss! Losing a steady 1 pound per week is healthy and means your body is not going through unnecessary stress in the process. I am glad you enjoyed the article and even happier that you shared your tea ideas with us. I’d like to try this with my family and see how it goes for them. Hope to hear from you again! Have a healthy day!

  6. I have hypothyroidism…..cold, no nails. very dry skin, sleepy, brain fog,, can’t lose weight, dry hair, constipation,headaches… what do you recommend??

    • Dr. Steve Sisskind

      Hi Katie,

      Thank you for writing in and for sharing your concerns with us! A sick thyroid can often not just impart severe discomfort but also cause one to lose weight. Though it may seem difficult, at first glance, I want to reassure you that you can lose the weight over time. Aside from adapting a healthy eating plan and the exercise plan suited to your body, getting around 7 to 8 hours of sleep will also help other hormone related discomforts. A diet composed mainly of vegetables and rich in Omega 3 fats will help fight inflammation as a result of your thyroid problem. Lastly, if you are taking thyroid medications, I do advise that you take these a few hours before or after your meals so as not to impede absorption. Hope this helps! Have a healthy day!

  7. The Greeks use cinnamon when cooking some of their meats for example Greek Meatballs have about 1 ½ tsps cinnamon in them, they are not fried or oven baked but cooked in a tomato puree mix on stovetop to which you can add a cinnamon stick. Morroccan tagines also use cinnamon. I’ve tried both cuisines using cinnamon & its delicious.

    • Dr. Steve Sisskind

      Hi Lyn,

      Thank you for writing in and for sharing your thoughts with us! I am very curious to try these out myself. Have a healthy day!

  8. I LOVE IT – THE CINAMON AND YOUR ADVICE – TURMERIC IS GOOD, TOO.

  9. donnagail broussard

    i get cinnamon oil softgels from New Chapter and I chew them after meals for good breath and help controlling post meal insulin levels…yum

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