I know you can name more than one thing you enjoy that has been flavored by cinnamon right? Cinnamon is derived from the bark of trees found in Asia and has been widely used in the ancient world to treat various illnesses from common colds to diarrhea. It is also loaded with manganese and fiber (both which help aide in digestion).
One morning while fixing my coffee with my heavy cream I noticed my wife and my roommate grab the cinnamon and put some in their coffee cups. I was quite puzzled and asked why they were doing this. They both responded saying that cinnamon helps boost your metabolism. Now I am not saying they are wrong but I was very skeptical and proceeded to do some research. What I found out about cinnamon was interesting and worth sharing.
Now I could not find any direct evidence or research that supported the claim of cinnamon increasing your overall metabolism. But what I did find is that there were studies showing that it can be helpful in metabolizing certain kinds of foods. In particular cinnamon can help with how your body metabolizes sugar, increase insulin sensitivity, and help you lower your blood sugar levels. How does this work? Well in your body is a hormone called insulin. Insulin sensitivity refers to the ability for the fat cells to take in sugar and metabolize it. The better this hormone functions in your body the further away from Type II Diabetes you are. Studies have shown that cinnamon can help increase insulin sensitivity allowing fat cells to recognize and respond to sugar, thus metabolizing it more efficiently.
Besides being an old school sickness fighter and insulin enhancer, cinnamon has also been researched for it’s anti-inflammatory properties. Cinnamon contains three components in it’s oil, cinnamaldehyde, cinnamyl acetate, and cinnamyl alcohol. The components have been studied for their numerous effects on the body but the most profound is their effects on inflammation within the human body. A study performed on obese adults (obese subjects were used because individuals with higher body fat also have an increase in muscle and joint inflammation) showed that after taking 6 grams of cinnamon a day a reduction in inflammation was shown as well as a slight decrease in body fat and increase in lean muscle.
For those who exercise regularly a diet high in antioxidants is recommended to combat the inflammation that WILL occur and not allow you rely on NSAIDs. Fruits, nuts, vegetables, and spices (such as cinnamon) can be loaded with natural anti-inflammatories.
As with anything we write about I am not saying to start eating sticks of cinnamon and watch the weight fall off or be pain free. But adding a little bit to your coffee, tea, or toast with butter can’t hurt your health and could make these items taste better. Who doesn’t want things to taste better? It is suggested that an individual takes up to 6 grams of cinnamon a day to reap the health benefits. The goal is all these little tricks and tips we tell you about will add up to the big picture, so invest in your health a little bit and put some cinnamon in your coffee.