Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Cinnamon - who knew what it could do!

I came across an article in a magazine at a doctor's office that mentioned cinnamon for weight loss. It also touted many other health benefits such as improved memory, soothing stomach problems and possibly helping to prevent ulcers, reducing blood sugar levels and increasing insulin levels... the list seemed rather long for such a simple spice that most of us sprinkle on bread with gobs of butter and sugar! I'm guessing, cough cough, that the bread, butter and sugar kind of negate a lot of the healthy benefits.

I decided to give it a try. According to studies it helps to melt the fat that sticks with us around our middle section. Why it would  target that area is beyond me, but then again I don't understand how an aspirin knows to stop the pain in my leg or head, either. I have a feeling it just helps with overall body fat and it's most noticeable in the stomach and butt region, but that's just a guess.

I stopped by GNC as it was handy and picked up a bottle of 200 capsules for $20. I'm sure I can get it cheaper elsewhere, but I was passing the store and zipped in while thinking about it.

I'm on day four of taking one capsule in the morning with breakfast, two at lunch and one with dinner. I'm not going to exactly be a scientific study in whether this works as I'm already well under way in my diet changes and have lost weight as a side benefit. However, I figure it has so many other health benefits that whether it works on my fat and flab is just icing. Ooops, not icing, I don't eat that nasty stuff any more!!!

It's not necessary to buy the pills like I did. You can just add a quarter teaspoon of the stuff in your cabinet to your breakfast, a half teaspoon at lunch and another quarter teaspoon at dinner. I decided to use the pills simply for convenience... and I wasn't sure I really wanted three meals a day that had cinnamon in them, although in reading I learned of many ways to add it to my daily regime.

One thing I hadn't thought about until reading articles for this blog was using cinnamon sticks. One article suggested using them to stir your coffee or tea. Great idea! Another article I read has a recipe for cinnamon tea. Hmmm, I do love a good cup of tea. I also love sweet potatoes with cinnamon so there are some times when I'll skip the pills.

According to the articles I read people lost weight without changing their diets. They had control groups where some got a placebo, the others got the cinnamon. The group with cinnamon lost quite a bit of weight. I'm rather leery of all the claims and hype that come with each new miracle discovery. I don't doubt that it might help, but not to the extent that you just keep on eating cakes, candies, gobs of gravy, and all those fattening dishes and will still lose weight.

Diet is all about eating right, exercise and keeping your head screwed on straight. I think I've tried every miracle pill that's been sensationalized over the years. Most work...until they don't. I think your body adjusts to whatever you dump in it and pretty soon your metabolism expects those green tea pills. When you drop them, your butt expands. Yo yo happens.

For me it's a little different with cinnamon. Weight loss will be a nice side benefit. The other benefits far outweigh the possibility of weight lose (pun intended). Diabetes runs in my family. I don't mind the extra help from cinnamon in staving off that ailment.

I do have a cholesterol problem. Despite exercise and diet changes, I have to take pills to keep it low. I'm hoping that with the addition of cinnamon, which is supposed to lower your bad cholesterol, that maybe I can get off the prescription pills. I will eat bread and water to keep from taking a prescription medication. They all have side affects and do things in a person's body that aren't right sooner or later. I'll take a naturally occurring spice over a doctor prescribed pill any old day!

I just took my annual barrage of blood tests so I suppose it will be a while before I learn whether adding cinnamon improves any of my numbers. I may have to come up with a reason to take more tests later in the year just to see if it's helping. At least I have a "before" set of tests as comparison.

If you decide to try cinnamon, or have tried cinnamon, let me know your results.

Here are some articles if you'd like to find out more about cinnamon.

Cin City: Cinnamon Health Benefits
Wondering how to lower blood sugar? Try some cinnamon, which has double duty benefits
Like Lindsay Lohan in Mean Girls, cinnamon is a good kid that got mixed up with a bad crowd. The fatty results: cinnamon buns, cinnamon sugar, cinnamon swirl raisin bread... But without the sugar, cinnamon's benefits on your health is better than good: It's fantastic. "It's emerging as a true wonder food in terms of health protection," says Ann Kulze, M.D., a physician in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, and author of Dr. Ann's 10-Step Diet....

10 Health Benefits of Cinnamon
Studies have shown that just 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon per day can lower LDL cholesterol. Several studies suggest that cinnamon may have a regulatory effect on blood sugar, making it especially beneficial...

Cinnamon Tea for Weight Loss
Cinnamon tea is easy and inexpensive to make; all you need is water and cinnamon. It may also be a key to weight loss for some people.
Read more: Cinnamon Tea for Weight Loss |


Cinnamon Weight Loss Effects
Cinnamon is a small, evergreen tree, native to South Asia, especially Sri Lanka and the Middle East region. The name, 'cinnamon' is also used to refer to the bark of the tree, which is one of the most important spices to be used by the ancient world. Cinnamon was so highly valued by the ancient world, that it was regarded as a gift suitable for God and the monarch. In modern times, however, cinnamon is mainly valued as a spice, and for its medicinal properties. It can be used as a home remedy for a number of ailments, and to boost mental and physical well being. In addition to all the health benefits, cinnamon is widely popular...

Cinnamon Weight Loss
The latest contender in the effort to find natural means for weight loss is the spice known as cinnamon. Cinnamon weight loss through its effect on the blood glucose levels has now been documented by researchers. It is effective as an appetite suppressant if taken after meals. It also reduces the cholesterol levels, particularly bad cholesterol. It doesn't affect the levels of the good cholesterol.

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