Amomon means “fragrant spice plant” in Arabic and Hebraic and in Italian, canella means “little tube”. These are a few of the many terms given to the popular spice known as cinnamon. Dating back as far as 2800 B.C., Chinese writings describe cinnamon as an important part of the culture, so much so that over the years this spice was traded right up there with silver. Nowadays we find it in sweetened cereals, baked goods and sprinkled on various foods such as yogurt. Yet, many do not consider it’s wealth of healing capabilities including the potential as a weight loss remedy.
In the Mix
Cinnamon is derived from the inner bark of the cinnamon tree grown and harvested mostly in Sri Lanka but also found in Brazil, Indonesia, Vietnam, China and Burma. After a cinnamon tree grows for about six to eight years it is cut down leaving a stump to allow it to grow again making it a very sustainable practice. It is then stripped from the bark, dried and packaged as sticks for export.
Several studies have been published regarding the weight loss properties of cinnamon. This includes it’s unique ability to be used for Type 2 diabetes which is a disease often resulting from obesity. When ingested, the spice seems to slow down glucose absorption within the intestines while stimulating insulin production. This normalizes blood glucose levels which in turn can indirectly decrease weight gain.
The Department of Human Nutrition, NWFP Agricultural University, Peshawar, Pakistan conducted a study titled, ‘Cinnamon improves glucose and lipids of people with type 2 diabetes’ and concluded that, “The results of this study demonstrate that intake of 1, 3, or 6 g of cinnamon per day reduces serum glucose, triglyceride, LDL cholesterol, and total cholesterol in people with type 2 diabetes and suggest that the inclusion of cinnamon in the diet of people with type 2 diabetes will reduce risk factors associated with diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.”
The Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics published a study from the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, Ball State University, Muncie, IN called, “Effect of ground cinnamon on postprandial blood glucose concentration in normal-weight and obese adults.” finding that, “These results suggest cinnamon may be effective in moderating postprandial glucose response in normal weight and obese adults.”
A Pro Comments
Columbia University and New York Giants team nutritionist Tara Ostrowe comments to Reader’s Digest on the benefits of this spice, “Cinnamon really is the new skinny food…Scientists already credit cinnamon in helping lower blood sugar concentration and improve insulin sensitivity. When less sugar is stored as fat, this translates to more help for your body when it comes to weight loss.”
Talk to your doctor about incorporating daily cinnamon into your healthy diet and exercise program. Add it to your tea, oatmeal, fruit, toast or anything else you can think of as a small amount will go a long way and potentially assist in your weight loss mission.