If cinnamon has become a staple in your smoothies, coffee, or baked goods, you’re about to hear some seriously good news: new research has proven that the spice improves your metabolism and helps you burn fat. Hey, there’s a reason why it’s one of the main spices in a pumpkin spice holiday blend.
The study, which appears in December’s edition of the journal Metabolism, shows that cinnamaldehyde — the essential oil found in cinnamon that gives it its flavour — can actually attack fat cells and could be an active way to fight obesity.
“Cinnamon has been part of our diets for thousands of years, and people generally enjoy it,” says study author Jun Wu. “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.”
Through a process known as thermogenesis, the oil urges fat cells to burn energy, thereby making your metabolism work harder and better.
While researchers first studied cinnamaldehyde’s effects on mice — where it was found to protect them against obestity — they decided to see if the same oil could also have a similar effect on humans.
Volunteer patients contributed fat cells, and these were then added with cinnamaldehyde, and researchers found that metabolism was consistently boosted through thermogenesis.
While researchers do urge that more studies should be completed before claiming that cinnamon is the ultimate weight loss and obesity solution, the spice has been a nutritionist-favorite for years for a variety of health reasons.
In fact, cinnamon has also been linked with helping women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) conceive, has been a favorite coffee addition (notably, for one Victoria’s Secret model), and is a great way to help eliminate sugar cravings.
Not only does it smell divine (and immediately conjures up images and themes of holidays and Christmas), but it can actually train your metabolism to work harder, urging your body to fight fat, and even prevent obesity.
There’s no reason why we shouldn’t be adding a little bit of it to our favorite meals.