From the fragrant, captivating aromas that linger in a spice Souk in the humid, and often narrow streets in opulent Abu Dhabi. And the primary ingredient on a stack of hot, fragrant South African pancakes. We find the undeniable presence of one of the world’s most recognizable spices, the unmistakable prevalence of Cinnamon.
Exploring the theory of cinnamon being considered as an effective weight-loss tool
There is no authenticity as yet to the claims of cinnamon as an effective weight loss tool.
The jury is not out as yet in providing a definitive conclusion. But a 2017 article in Medical News Today suggests that it is more likely to work, if not used as a stand-alone method. However, it bears mentioning it can yield fruitful results when coupled with not just healthier eating habits, but an entire well-balanced, health-conscious lifestyle, that includes regular exercise to the weight loss trifecta.
The Mediterranean diet is a key example of advancing to a more salubrious way of life overall. Adding spices such as cinnamon will encompass all the makings towards achieving this goal. Ancient civilizations that populated the Mediterranean Basin, were very fond of this lifestyle in particular.
Incorporating cinnamon as a staple in everyday life
Three tips and tricks that can be applied to gradually integrate cinnamon into a daily lifestyle can include;
Detox Tea. ½ teaspoon of cinnamon, 1 teaspoon of honey, and a squeeze, or a dash of lemon juice, provides a hot beverage that assists with a body cleansing.
Add it to your cereal bowl. Having breakfast as early as possible in the morning, after you have woken up, and then adding a pinch of cinnamon to your breakfast, or cereal bowl will not only add a completely different flavor profile to your dish, it will also help with effective weight loss.
Turbo-boost your metabolism by kicking it into first gear. This can be achieved by combining breakfast and cinnamon. Drinking a cup of cinnamon and honey tea, or cinnamon-infused water in your early morning routine.
Use it as an aromatic and flavorant in your cooking. Using only a teaspoon of this spice that is found in the inner tree bark of several varietals of the Cinnamomum species, goes a long way into transforming bland food into saporous dishes that smell great too.
Cinnamon can help to burn off belly fat
Donald Hensrud M.D wrote an expert article on the composite of belly fat. Belly fat is made up of both brown and white fats. The brown fat is known as the “good” fat, as it consists of an iron-rich organelle, called Mitochondria, which in turn acts as a catalyst for fuel, by transforming food into a sustainable energy source for the body.
Studies have shown that cinnamon can aid in burning belly fat (white fat), by morphing it into brown fat. This will assist in upping body temperature and subsequently favoring potential weight loss, and burning belly fat.
The recommended daily intake of cinnamon
Web MD suggests consuming no more than 2-4 grams of cinnamon powder per day. To put it in another perspective by using another form is to state that the average weight of a cinnamon stick is between 1.5 to 2.5 grams in total.
Like with everything, too much cinnamon has some toxic pitfalls associated when ingesting copious amounts thereof, and one needs to be cognisant about the negative impact it may bring in this instance.
Some of the evidence-verified, key benefits related to the regular use of cinnamon
There is a cornucopia of advantages listed all over the web, that unpacks this gift, favored by the kings of ancient Egypt. We have listed the most common, that are evidence-based and verified, and associated with weight loss specifically;
Antioxidant-rich. Polyphenols are a set of micronutrients that are derived from a variety of different plant-based foods. Cinnamon, in particular, possesses seven different types of Polyphenols. Antioxidants are made up of Polyphenols which act as catalysts in weight loss management
Protector of women’s hearts. Any surplus body fat can increase strain to your heart, making it work harder and a regular intake of cinnamon might lower the risks of heart disease and combat high cholesterol as well, by lowering the blood triglycerides from eating fatty foods.
Natural antibiotic. Continued or regular cycles of antibiotics can dramatically increase your weight, as shown in a 2018 study. This is due to Ghrelin. Ghrelin is a hormone found in your body that makes you feel hungry. Subsequently, increasing your food intake and resulting in weight gain. Cinnamon can provide some resistance to this.
The different types of cinnamon
There are two known varietals of cinnamon, which are Cassia and Ceylon. Ceylon is supposedly the “true” and the healthier option of the two. However, Cassia is the most common in the bottled variety, used by the majority of households across the globe.
Some key indicators of visible and tangible differences between the two include;
Costing perspective. Ceylon is the premium of the two options and comes at nearly 10 times the price of Cassia. Beware the Hustler. This does not mean that you won’t be exposed to a merchant that might take advantage of the ill-informed, by trying to disguise Cassia as Ceylon and trying to sell it at the same inflated price.
The safest option for consumption. Ceylon is recommended as a safer choice between the two.
The Taste Test. Cassia is delicately flavored, with light tones of citrus and cloves, and does not taste too prominent. Ceylon, on the other hand, is bolder tasting and possesses a pungent, aromatic flavor profile with more bite, and quite volatile at that.
Touchy-Feely. Ceylon is reddish-dark brown in color, very fragile to the touch, and takes on the form of an intricate series of layers in the cinnamon stick. Cassia is more tan in appearance, grainy to the touch, and looks like bark.
Possible Drawbacks in using cinnamon
Having highlighted some of the benefits associated with cinnamon use, we also have to shed some light on the possible pitfalls as well;
Enter the dreaded Coumarin. If you already have a history of liver problems, it’s best to avoid cinnamon as a whole due to the levels of Coumarin it produces, which is toxic for vital liver function.
Diabetes. When you find yourself ready suffering from diabetes, it’s also not advisable to use cinnamon due to the risks associated with increased levels of Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).
Contact Stomatitis. Naturally, as with everything else, some people will bare intolerance to cinnamon. This is named Contact Stomatitis. Some of the known symptoms linked to this condition include abdominal pain, itching, and wheezing of the chest.
Having discovered that there are many contradicting online articles where some humans are pro cinnamon and some are anti-cinnamatics (yes, we coined a pun right there) we will leave it up to you, the reader, to decide how they feel about cinnamon.
However, it can be said that there is hard evidence that does highlight the many health associated benefits of cinnamon, not to mention the social aspect of having flavorsome food every day.
We suggest for the reader to try out some of our suggestions in the article for themselves, by trying to incorporate cinnamon in their daily lives, and then to engage with us on their own experiences.
Everyone is different and will, therefore, have completely different expectations in using cinnamon, and we are keen to hear about all of them.
Whatever your desired outcome might be, there is no denying that the Ancients that discovered this spice, gave us an interesting gift in this spice.
- Cinnamon can be used as a catalyst for effective weight management in conjunction with a healthy diet, and regular exercise.
- Some evidence-based theories suggest that cinnamon has several key benefits attached to it, such as reduced risks for heart disease and antioxidant-rich, plant-based food.
- A recommended daily dose of cinnamon is speculated to be between 2-4 grams per day.