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FOOD

Fat Burning Spice

Scientists have found that an ingredient in cinnamon could help fat-burning in humans.

The great thing about using cinnamon for weight loss is that it is such a common spice. It is a “superfood” every household keeps and can be added to many common foods.

The essential oil in cinnamon helps give the spice its distinctive flavour. It has also been proven to protect mice against obesity in previous studies.

Furthermore, in a study conducted at the University of Michigan have claimed that the oil also activates thermogenesis, a metabolic bodily process which burns calories to produce heat.

This process can help kickstart weight loss, leading the study’s authors to conclude that cinnamon could boast a series of metabolic benefits.

Speeds Up Metabolism

Lead author Jun Wu, research assistant professor at the Life Sciences Institute was aware of the benefits of the essential oil cinnamaldehyde thanks to previous studies and wanted to further examine its effect on the body.

“Scientists were finding that this compound affected metabolism,” he explained.

“So we wanted to figure out how — what pathway might be involved, what it looked like in mice and what it looked like in human cells.”

In the study, they tested the fat cells from a range of volunteers and noticed an increased expression of the genes and enzymes that enhance lipid metabolism after they’d been treated with cinnamaldehyde.

Wu has thus far only tested his theory on human cells in a laboratory – Wu believes his results are promising in terms of addressing the rising obesity epidemic.

“Cinnamon has been part of our diets for thousands of years, and people generally enjoy it,” Wu said.

“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.”

How to Incorporate into Your Diet 

Until the theory is fully proven here are a few ideas as to how you can incorporate cinnamon into your diet to lose weight:

• Sprinkle a teaspoon on your oatmeal or breakfast cereal
• Mix cinnamon and honey into hot water to make a tea-like concoction
• Add to your regular tea or coffee
• Mix into butter, yogurt or cheese spreads to enhance flavour
• Add to fruit juices or ciders
• Mix into a protein shake
• Take a cinnamon capsule (supplement)

 

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