When I heard that cinnamon could be good for weight loss I immediately pictured a gooey cinnamon roll with icing. Reality set in when I resigned myself to the fact that although cinnamon is good for weight loss, cinnamon rolls definitely are not. If you are looking for a way to spice up your diet and help yourself lose weight, stock up on cinnamon and use it liberally.
I know it seems inconceivable that a simple spice like cinnamon could be good for weight loss, but there is scientific research supporting the claim. A study published in a 2011 issue of the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism supports the theory. This study, like most studies on cinnamon and weight loss, focuses on the fact that cinnamon seems to play a role in stabilizing blood sugar and insulin levels. When your insulin and blood sugar levels are under control, your body is able to more easily burn fat instead of storing it.
It needs to be said that cinnamon isn’t a magic bullet for weight loss. However, you can add cinnamon to your diet in a way that will actually enhance your dieting efforts.
Fortunately, it’s easy: Add cinnamon to food.
Cinnamon is a unique spice in that it can be used in breakfast foods, main dishes, desserts, and snacks.
Sprinkle cinnamon on oatmeal, Greek yogurt, or scrambled eggs in the morning. The cinnamon will enhance the flavors of the food without overwhelming your senses.
Main dish ideas
Include cinnamon in vegetarian chili, in fajitas filled with grilled chicken marinated in lime juice, on sweet potatoes, over brown rice, and in roasted pork dishes.
A traditional use of cinnamon, and one of my favorites, is to sprinkle cinnamon on apple or pear slices, warm them in a cast iron skillet with a bit of water, and serve as a dessert. It doesn’t get much better than that. You can also add cinnamon to vanilla-flavored low-fat ice cream or frozen yogurt.
Roast pecans with a bit of coconut oil and cinnamon. The flavors pair well together and both pecans and coconut oil are good for weight loss. Other snack options that include cinnamon are homemade trail mix, popcorn sprinkled with cinnamon, homemade granola bars, and apple cinnamon fruit bars.
Spice up drinks with cinnamon
Sprinkling cinnamon directly on water is not very appetizing because the cinnamon just sits on top. Instead, I often add a bit of cinnamon to my coffee in the morning to give it a gourmet flavor and reap the health benefits. Other ideas to spice up your drinks with cinnamon are to add cinnamon to hot tea, sprinkle it in a fruit smoothie, mix it with almond or regular milk, or make a cinnamon vanilla yogurt shake.
Take a cinnamon supplement
There are several types of cinnamon, including Ceylon cinnamon and cassia cinnamon. While small amounts of cinnamon will not cause harm to most people, WebMD cautions that excessive amounts of cassia cinnamon can be toxic. If you purchase a cinnamon supplement make certain it is Ceylon cinnamon and do not exceed the recommended dosage.
It is important to understand that while it would be nice, cinnamon is not a magic spice for weight loss. It may marginally help your weight loss efforts, but adding cinnamon to your diet will not automatically cause pounds and inches to melt off.