The Skinny on Cinnamon
For many of us, cinnamon brings to mind snickerdoodles, oatmeal, and warm apple cider, but science is investigating whether this spice can do more than punch up your favorite foods. Although the evidence is still shaky, several studies have found that small doses of cinnamon might help people slim down.
Improve Insulin Sensitivity
If cinnamon is a skinny spice, it is probably due to its effect on either blood sugar levels or insulin sensitivity. This could promote weight loss because blood sugar and insulin production help determine how our body stores (and craves) sugary foods.
When blood sugar levels spike in the average person’s body, so do insulin levels (because insulin transports sugar from the blood to be used as energy). That surge indicates to the body that there’s lots of energy available and that it should start storing energy — as fat — for later.
This may not sound desirable but it’s the way the body is supposed to work. The bigger problem is when the insulin spike is too big and too much sugar leaves the blood stream. This drop in insulin and blood sugar can cause the body to demand more sugar.
Lower Blood Pressue
For now, there really isn’t enough evidence to say that cinnamon is the answer to our weight loss woes, but it has shown some significant potential. Specifically, evidence has found that cassia cinnamon may lower blood pressure in people with type 2 diabetes. Unless you take a large amount, cinnamon isn’t considered dangerous, so adding a little extra sprinkle to your next snack might be worth a try.
Recipes with Cinnamon
If this cinnamon-for-weight-loss challenge sounds reasonable to you, here are some recipes to get you on your way:
Apples, cinnamon, and whole-grain oats give you the slow-burning carbs you need to sit through office meetings that stretch into the afternoon.
Chocolate, cinnamon, and smoked paprika spice up this hearty vegetarian chili.
In the mood for something a little sweet for tonight’s dinner? This quick recipe is a perfect choice.
Rafehi H, “Controversies surrounding the clinical potential of cinnamon for the management of diabetes”
Akilen R, “Cinnamon in glycaemic control: Systematic review and meta analysis”
Magistrelli A, “Effect of ground cinnamon on postprandial blood glucose concentration in normal-weight and obese adults”