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This spicy seasonal flavor may increase your metabolism

cinnamon Pin It
Photo: Stocksy/Lumina

When the weather starts shifting colder, you start finding cinnamon in everything—whether it’s your morning smoothie and adaptogenic oatmeal or your favorite sweet potato dish. And if you love the flavor, there’s a new healthy reason to spike all of your recipes with it: A new study just found it’s great for your metabolism.

Cinnamon is already known for its anti-inflammatory properties and ability to encourage circulation in your body, and now, cinnamaldehyde (AKA the essential oil that gives cinnamon the flavor you love) has been found to trigger fat cells to burn energy they would typically store. But how much spice is required for you to reap the calorie-shedding metabolic benefits?

“If you eat it every day, there will be a cumulative effect, and that over time you will achieve these benefits.” —Jun Wu, PhD

Study co-author Jun Wu, PhD, told Time that it’s not necessary to eat a whole bunch of cinnamon at once. “If you eat it every day, there will be a cumulative effect, and over time you will achieve these benefits,” Dr. Wu said. “If you already eat a lot of it, carry on—and if it’s not something you use regularly, it’s a great time to start.”

Who knew spicing up your favorite seasonal recipes is also good for your health? I’ll consider it an early holiday gift to my taste buds.

Looking for ways to sneak the spice into your diet? You’ll love this cinnamon-packed mocktail. Also, give vanilla-cinnamon cashew milk a try, too.