A compound found in cinnamon can burn up fat – scientists think cinnamon may be the secret to losing weight after they studied how the spice interacts with fat cells. Hot cider with cinnamon sticks? Yes, please!

IBT reports:

The organic compound that gives cinnamon its flavor, cinnamaldehyde, makes fat cells burn calories to create heat, a process known as thermogenesis. Harnessing the cinnamon ingredient’s power to turn fat into energy could be important in fighting obesity.

A study in the journal Metabolism noted that cinnamaldehyde has previously been shown to have an anti-obesity effect in mice, including in preventing hyperglycemia, which is a high blood sugar level. This research looked deeper into the exact mechanism behind this protective quality in cinnamon.

The team treated mouse and human fat cells with cinnamaldehyde. They found that the compound made the cells from both species express genes and enzymes that were connected to metabolic activity.

Our ancestors didn’t have access to high-fat or energy-dense foods all the time so fat storage was a survival trait that could be called upon when times were lean, and especially for when temperatures were frigid. Researchers say that today’s “fat storage has become overkill,” however.

The the study says [emphasis added] that this new research demonstrates a…

…a mechanistic explanation for the anti-obesity effects of [cinnamaldehyde] observed previously and further supporting its potential metabolic benefits on humans.

Given the wide usage of cinnamon in the food industry, the notion that this popular food additive, instead of a drug, may activate thermogenesis, could ultimately lead to therapeutic strategies against obesity that are much better adhered to by participants.

Jun Wu said in the university statement:

Cinnamon has been part of our diets for thousands of years, and people generally enjoy it. So if it can help protect against obesity, too, it may offer an approach to metabolic health that is easier for patients to adhere to.

Recipe!

  • 2 tea bags of Chai Rooibos
  • 1 tea bag of Ginger
  • 1 Tablespoon of date syrup or honey
  • Cream or cream substitute of choice (almond creamer, coconut milk etc…)
  • Cinnamon sticks and vanilla optional

Directions: 

In a medium-large mug, pour hot water over tea bags, leaving room for cream. Stir in sweetener, optional add-ins and creamer, and steep 3-5 minutes. Enjoy.

Spice Up Your Life!

When it comes to fat-burning foods – spices top the list! While cinnamon can burn fat in two ways (the other is by affecting insulin), ginger has also been found to positively affect obesity and is studied for that reason alone. Turmeric fights inflammation which may have an effect on weight since inflammation is followed by swelling. Ginger and turmeric are both great for inflammation and keeping blood sugar down (so be mindful when using!).