Boost your metabolism with cinnamon

Try the popular spice in healthier versions of comfort foods.

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A new study identified the mechanism by which cinnamon improves metabolic health.

Researchers at the University of Michigan found that cinnamaldehyde, the essential oil that gives cinnamon its flavor, helps speed up metabolism by acting directly on fat cells and causing them to burn energy via a process called thermogenesis. Lead study author Jun Wu, Ph.D., believes these results can help people make healthy nutrition swaps (i.e. using cinnamon instead of sugar). However, he points out that more research is needed to determine in what quantities it’s most beneficial. “Cinnamon has also been shown in previous studies to help regulate blood sugar,” adds Amanda Lloyd, R.D., a Long Island, New York-based nutritionist.
These latest findings offer even more reason to add the spice to your cooking, says Lloyd. Try incorporating it into your morning oatmeal or favorite holiday dishes such as this apple-chia crisp.