Cinnamon is a leading spice in the content of compounds with antioxidant properties that are associated with several health benefits.
Also, studies have confirmed that one of the benefits of cinnamon is lowering blood sugar levels. So it could be used not only to reduce appetite and lose weight but also for type 2 diabetics. (1,2)
This article discusses cinnamon’s properties, benefits, and possible side effects, backed by the latest research. Does it help you lose weight?
Cinnamon: What is it?
Cinnamon ( Cinnamomum zeylanicum ) is a spice derived from the bark of a tree from southern India: the Ceylon cinnamon tree.
Its properties and benefits have been known in Ayurveda traditional Indian medicine for several thousand years.
Today, research affirms that regular consumption of cinnamon contributes to the normalization glucose metabolism.
In other words, cinnamon can be used as a natural dietary supplement to improve blood sugar levels. For this reason, it is recommended to consume cinnamon not only to lose weight but as a supplement to a diet for type 2 diabetics.
Benefits of cinnamon
Cinnamon is a natural food, so its benefit is free of preservatives, additives, and other aggressive ingredients for the stomach. Also, cinnamon could help you lose weight. The benefits of cinnamon are:
- Regulate body weight
While making a direct association between cinnamon consumption and losing weight is not entirely correct. Cinnamon can help you regulate food cravings. This is apparently because it is capable of lowering insulin levels.
- Improve the cardiovascular system
Polyphenols are molecules with antioxidant properties present in cinnamon. Therefore, one of its benefits is preventing aging and protecting the body from chronic diseases such as cancer. As well as it has also been confirmed that these molecules present in cinnamon have potential improvement properties on the cardiovascular system. (5)
- Lower blood sugar levels
Studies claim that one of the benefits of cinnamon is lowering blood glucose levels. This is a way to moderate your insulin response and reduce your appetite. (2) One of the fundamental properties of cinnamon for a person with diabetes.
- It can lower bad cholesterol.
One of the potential benefits of cinnamon is lowering bad cholesterol. A significant drop in blood cholesterol was observed in a study where 1, 3, and 6 grams of this spice were given to a group of volunteers. Triglyceride levels were lowered by 23-30%; lousy cholesterol was reduced by 7-27% and 12-26% of total cholesterol. (6)
- Can prevent gastritis
Cinnamon extracts can fight some microorganisms that cause gastritis, such as Helicobacter pylori. One of the benefits of cinnamon is to create a protective environment against the attack of these pathogens. (6)
// Recommended: How to reduce abdominal fat?
Nutritional properties of cinnamon
Cinnamon is a species with a high content of vitamins and minerals. It is also a food with a high vegetable fiber content, which could benefit from improving the digestive system.
Another of the properties of cinnamon is not having lactose or gluten. Those who suffer from lactose or gluten intolerance should not worry about consuming this spice. It can even be combined with oatmeal to make homemade vegetable milk. Here are the nutritional properties of cinnamon:
|Total fat||1.2 g|
|Total sugars||2.2 g|
|C vitamin||3.8 mg|
|Vitamin B6||0.2 mg|
|Folic acid||6.0 µg|
|Vitamin A||15.0 µg|
|Vitamin E||2.3 mg|
|Vitamina K||31.2 µg|
Table of nutritional value of cinnamon. USDA Source
// Recommended: Guide for diabetics
Is cinnamon good for weight loss?
Studies have confirmed that one of the benefits of consuming 1–6 cinnamon is lowering blood sugar levels. (2,6) So it could help you lose weight.
However, if a person eats cinnamon but significantly increases the number of calories they eat, good results in weight loss should not be expected.
In other words, this powder is best viewed as an effective spice for reducing the effect of simple carbohydrates, not as a natural fat-burning supplement.
If you are looking to lose weight, cinnamon could help you. But it is not a magic solution.
Is cinnamon thermogenic?
Some components of cinnamon can act as thermogenic. However, it is not true that you can burn a good amount of fat and lose weight by eating cinnamon.
Science has not confirmed its properties in eliminating body fat due to increased temperature. (6)
If you are looking to lose weight, you must reduce your appetite. Eating even when you are not hungry is one of the main factors of being overweight and obese.
Cinnamon and honey: Does it help to strengthen the immune system?
Cinnamon and honey are one of the favorite combinations in gastronomy. Its flavors combine perfectly. As for strengthening the immune system, its effects are limited.
While honey is high in polyphenols and cinnamon antioxidants, all compounds are capable of strengthening the immune system. Cinnamon should not be seen as the solution to infections.
Making cinnamon and honey tea is a good idea for a cough or a mild cold, but it is not capable of curing an advanced infection.
Exaggerating the benefits and properties of honey and cinnamon can be counterproductive for your health.
Contraindications and side effects
Cinnamon is considered a safe food. Its contraindications are only for those people who have allergies and rare reactions to its compounds. In addition, cinnamon should not be known to be inhaled in any case as it can cause side effects in the respiratory tract.
Although it has numerous properties, it must constantly be ingested with food and mouth.
In excess, amounts greater than 6 grams per day can cause the following side effects:
- Liver disorders
- Residues in the kidney
Benefits of Ceylon vs. cassia cinnamon
Ceylon original cinnamon is often confused with cassia.
The benefits and properties that we mentioned apply exclusively to the powder made from the Ceylon tree. Not that of other barks like the Cassia tree.
The properties of the components attributed to C. Cassia are the improvement of the bone system and serve to improve the functioning of the muscular system. (3,4)
In summary, if we compare the benefits of Ceylon vs. cassia cinnamon, we can say that the former reduces blood sugar levels and could help you lose weight; the latter is the improvement of the health of the bones and muscles.
Cinnamon is a spice of Asian origin. It is obtained from the Ceylon tree.
The properties of cinnamon are: regulating blood sugar, lowering cholesterol, prevent gastritis, among others.
Some components of cinnamon are thermogenic. However, it is not true that this is why you can lose weight.
Of the nutritional properties, its high content of fiber and minerals such as calcium and potassium stands out.
A powder similar in taste and appearance is made from the Cassia plant. However, they should not be confused. The properties and benefits of this powder are entirely different.