Most people eat cinnamon every day without knowing that it is more than just a flavoring or a spice. Current research shows that it may actually help the body lose weight. Your body can use this spice in two different ways to lose weight, and you don’t have to eat huge amounts of it to get the full benefits, either.
Cinnamon can increase your metabolism, says a 2004 report published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In the study, eating cinnamon increased sugar metabolism in fat cells 20 times faster.
The metabolism is how your body converts what you eat into energy. A faster metabolism can help you use more calories; more expended calories can help you lose weight. Since cinnamon speeds up the metabolism, you may burn more calories than you normally would.
Eating cinnamon can also keep you from eating too many calories, according to Ann Kulze, M.D., board member of the medical advisory board for the Wellness Councils of America, Charleston, S.C. She says that this spice reduces food cravings by keeping the food you already ate in your stomach longer. The slower digestion of the food keeps you from being hungry.
Kulze recommends eating 1/2 tsp. to 1 tsp. cinnamon to increase metabolism and lose weight. This amount can be sprinkled on or added to different foods, such as oatmeal, toast, meat marinades and chocolate milk, throughout the day. Some people may choose to eat a cinnamon pill, instead of consuming cinnamon powder. This option can be handy for people who don’t like the taste of cinnamon.
The type of cinnamon most people use on their food is made from a type of bark. This bark contains chemicals that can build up in your body if eaten consistently over a long period of time, says a report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. These chemicals can be potentially toxic if they reach certain levels. Certain water soluble cinnamon that do not create toxins in the body are under development but are not on the market yet.