Cinnamon for Weight Loss

July 20, 2009 by  
Filed under Weight Loss Diets

Cinnamon is probably one of the most favorite spices. Its name is associated with tasty cakes, cappuccinos, apple pies, aromatic, refreshing teas, etc. Besides adding its specific aroma to food it also adds its healing properties. As a matter of fact cinnamon has been used for thousands of years not only for its warming aroma but also for its healing properties.

Here is an article written by Lynn Alex republished with her permission:

Cinnamon and Weight Loss

Cinnamon is a source of important nutrients such as manganese. It has anti-oxidant, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. Cinnamon can also help lower the cholesterol level.

Recent research showed that cinnamon can help improve blood sugar level and maintain a healthy insulin balance.

The blood sugar regulating properties of cinnamon are the factors that can help lose weight. However, please note that cinnamon is not a miracle weight loss product. If you want to lose weight you need to use it in conjunction with the other weight loss techniques.

Cinnamon Sticks

How to use cinnamon for weight loss?

Sprinkle cinnamon on your morning coffee, use in herbal teas, shakes and smoothies. Note that you need to consume at least one teaspoon a day to see the benefits.

Try the following drink: 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, a pinch of stevia (really a pinch because stevia is much sweeter than sugar and a healthier alternative to it), half a glass of hot water and half a glass of rice milk. It has a pleasant taste and increases the mind alertness.

Or you can add it to your shakes: 1/3 of ripe banana, 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, 2 full tablespoon of soft tofu, 1/3 teaspoon of cocoa, 1 glass of rice milk (or organic soy milk or low-fat organic cow milk).

You can also take cinnamon capsules. This is probably the best way to consume it since according to a research saliva destroys some of the beneficial properties of cinnamon.

Buy the cinnamon sticks or cinnamon powder in a natural food store to ensure the quality of the product.

Cinnamon can irritate the stomach lining so if you have stomach problems, consume it in moderation.

In general if you are pregnant, breast feeding or have a chronic disease, take precautions with any herbs. Ask your doctor or do your own research to make sure they won’t harm you.

Homemade Chocolate Recipes for…Weight Loss?

July 2, 2009 by  
Filed under Weight Loss Diets

Cutting favorite dishes out of diet for weight loss never works. Sooner or later you go back to your favorites and indulge. Chocolate is no exception – however it is not junk food.

While many ready-made varieties can be categorized as junk food due to the excessive amounts of sugar in them, homemade chocolate recipes can help make our favorite desert as healthy and weight loss friendly as possible.

Cocoa, the main ingredient of a quality chocolate bar, contains lots of vitamins and minerals. Cocoa also contains L-Tryptophan. It can help increase your mood and hence decrease the cravings for junk food. Chocolate, consumed in moderation, is actually a weight loss ally and not an enemy.

Vitamins B1, B2 and magnesium are among the vitamins and minerals found in cocoa. You can read about these nutrients here:

Magnesium: What it Can Do For the Body

Vitamin B Complex at a Glance

Vitamin E: Facts We Need to Know

Vitamin D: A Brief Introduction

Strawberry Chocolate Cake in a Plate

A recent research in the United States found out that chocolate contains more anti-oxidants than the well-known green tea and red wine!

To benefit from everything cocoa has to offer you need to choose the darker chocolate variety, one that contains more cocoa. The cocoa content should actually be over 65%.

But even if you choose the right variety, it still will be loaded with sugar and contain at least one unwanted additive.

Also if you can control what can of chocolate bar you buy, it is harder to choose the healthier and weight loss friendly variety among other chocolate products such as chocolate cakes, ice-creams and multiple of other delicious chocolate dishes.

This is where the homemade chocolate recipes come handy.

First of all you can control the main ingredient – chocolate or cocoa, choosing the darker chocolate variety with less sugar and preferably very few of other ingredients.

Second you can substitute the ingredients in the recipe with weight loss friendly alternatives. For example, use healthy sugar substitutes instead of sugar, decrease the overall sugar content, add cinnamon and vanilla for additional benefits, add milk instead of cream, etc.

So if you are a chocolate lover and at the same time trying to lose weight, use homemade chocolate recipes, substitute the ingredients and enjoy delicious chocolate desserts while losing weight at the same time!