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Does Cinnamon Break a Fast? Everything You Need to Know

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Kasparas Aleknavičius, MD December 2, 2022
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Cinnamon is a popular spice, especially in the fall, when it’s used to bake an apple pie or make pumpkin spice lattes. It’s made from the inner bark of trees known as Cinnamomum. The spice enhances the flavor of your meals and beverages. But does cinnamon break a fast?

Intermittent fasting includes not eating for a set period of time. However, you can drink black coffee, herbal teas, and plain water during your fast, since they are calorie-free.

If your coffee or tea seems a little dull and you want to add some extra spices like cinnamon to enhance the flavor, keep on reading to find out if it’s doable when intermittent fasting. In addition, we’ll cover anything else you should know about this particular spice.

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Does Cinnamon Break an Intermittent Fast?

No, it should not break a fast.

To specify, Ceylon cinnamon and Cassia cinnamon are the two types of cinnamon. Cassia is the one that people usually use and refer to as “cinnamon”.

Cinnamon contains antioxidants such as polyphenols, which can help protect your body from free radical damage. Aside from that, it has several health benefits and may even be used as a natural food preservative.

The nutritional values of a teaspoon of cinnamon:

  • Energy: 6.42 calories
  • Carbs: 2.1 g.
  • Calcium: 26.1 mg.
  • Iron: 0.21 mg.
  • Magnesium: 1.56 mg.
  • Phosphorus: 1.66 mg.
  • Potassium: 11.2 mg.
  • Vitamin A: 0.39 micrograms.

As you can see, cinnamon does contain calories. Therefore, you can only use it in small amounts during your fasting window. One or half a teaspoon of cinnamon should not break a fast.

In fact, it can lower your blood sugar levels and doesn’t affect autophagy.

Does Cinnamon in Your Coffee or Tea Break the Fast?

A good rule of thumb is to only allow yourself 1 gram of carbs. Cinnamon doesn’t increase insulin levels and therefore adding one tablespoon or less into your morning coffee or a cup of herbal tea will not break a fast.

However, make sure to drink black coffee without any milk or sweeteners and avoid combining multiple spices at once.

Spicing your hot drink during a coffee break might improve the taste of your beverage, making you feel more satisfied and motivated to stick to your intermittent fasting period.

Besides, ground cinnamon offers several health benefits, and consuming this particular spice with your coffee or tea is the simplest method to enjoy it.

Benefits of Cinnamon in Intermittent Fasting and Weight Loss

Cinnamon is much more than a delicious spice that you put into your food or green tea. Here are the benefits of cinnamon in intermittent fasting that might pique your interest.

Helps control appetite

When implementing intermittent fasting into your lifestyle, one of the problems people face is hunger which is hard to ignore.

This is where cinnamon can come in handy. The spice is high in fiber and can help control your appetite. This is because fiber makes you feel more full and helps suppress cravings throughout the day.

The body devotes more energy when processing the spice than it does with other foods, thus, it might enhance your metabolism and fat-burning processes.

Appetite management when intermittent fasting can help reach your weight loss goals faster and easier. Therefore, don’t hesitate to add cinnamon to your decaffeinated coffee, black tea, or whatever fasting-safe drink you’re having.

Lowers blood sugar levels

Cinnamon lowers blood sugar levels and can help decrease the risk of diabetes.

Cinnamon interferes with several digestive enzymes that slow down your digestive system and stomach-emptying processes. This minimizes the amount of glucose that reaches your bloodstream after eating. Therefore, controls blood glucose levels.

Better blood sugar control can help reduce sugar cravings and increases your energy levels. This also helps prevent or delay long-term, serious health problems such as heart disease.

Rich in antioxidants

A number of studies show that cinnamon is rich in antioxidants. One of which is polyphenols.

Antioxidant molecules included in foods play an important role in human health by functioning as protectors of health. Besides that, antioxidants react to free radicals and damage from metabolic illnesses and age-related syndromes in humans and other animals.

As a result, cinnamon can benefit your overall health and is thought to contain more antioxidants than 26 other spices.

May support brain function

Cinnamon has been considered to have a beneficial effect on diseases that include the function of brain cells. Even though more research is needed, cinnamon might help to prevent Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s diseases or alleviate the symptoms.

Therefore, the spice may support brain function and has also been linked to lower inflammation, improved memory, and greater attention.

Other Additives That Do Not Break the Fast

If you wish to diversify your nutrition even more – here are some other additives that will not break a fast.

Cocoa

Cocoa powder contains fat, protein, and carbohydrates. This indicates you should consume it with caution. More than one teaspoon of cocoa powder in your black coffee would have too many calories and undoubtedly break your fast.

Although one or half a teaspoon of cocoa should be an adequate amount, some people might still consider it a fast-breaker because it contains calories (1 teaspoon contains 4 calories).

In addition, make sure to drink pure cocoa powder without any additives.

Cocoa powder is loaded with antioxidants, can boost your metabolism, and even reduce the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke. Using this additive while intermittent fasting can help you lose weight by reducing appetite and inflammation.

Nutmeg

Nutmeg is a spice derived from the nutmeg tree’s seed. It’s a must-have autumn spice that’s commonly used to flavor hot beverages and pastries. Moreover, one teaspoon of this spice will not break your fast.

Nutmeg has anti-inflammatory properties and can improve blood sugar and blood glucose control. These advantages are a great addition to intermittent fasting since they may help improve your overall fasting performance.

Furthermore, 1 teaspoon of nutmeg has 11 calories, so keep to that amount in order to not interfere with your fasting period.

Almond milk

Some people refer to a fast where you allow yourself to consume tea or coffee with low-calorie additives as a “dirty fast”. Moreover, a splash of unsweetened almond milk might have 10 or more calories in it.

The important thing is that it doesn’t spike your insulin or blood sugar levels. If extended water fast seems too difficult to do, flavor-rich beverages with a few calories can come in handy. Besides, even unsweetened almond milk can have a sweet taste.

Almond milk is high in minerals and vitamins, particularly vitamins D and E, and can help you meet your daily nutritional requirements. It’s a great dairy-free, milk alternative that will not break your fast.

Himalayan sea salt

The Himalayan sea salt is loaded with electrolytes which are important for overall health, especially during weight loss periods. Adding some to your sparkling water will not break your fast.

Himalayan salt contains more minerals than regular salt. It includes calcium, potassium, magnesium, and iron. Even though more research is needed, this type of salt might also help regulate your blood sugar.

Intermittent fasting benefits

Weight reduction is one of the numerous backed by science advantages of intermittent fasting. More and more people are opting for a time-restricted eating pattern rather than a calorie-restricted diet. It could be easier to follow and might even result in better overall health outcomes.

The main benefits of intermittent fasting:

However, beginners are advised to try the 12:12 fast first and then ease their way into more advanced fasting routines. Try out if it works for you first before jumping into long periods without food.

To make intermittent fasting even easier, try out the DoFasting app. It’s a personalized app that helps you choose the right fasting routine and tracks your progress. It also has a fasting timer to keep you aware of when your fast begins and concludes.

Take a
1-minute quiz

and discover how much weight you can lose with DoFasting!

Conclusion

Ground cinnamon is a spice that’s loaded with antioxidants and can help control your appetite, lower blood sugar levels, support brain function and promote weight loss.

Moreover, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon will not break a fast.

Author

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Kasparas Aleknavičius, MD
  • Head of Medical Affairs at Kilo Health
  • Medical Doctor at Vilnius University, Lithuania
  • Partnering with the EU-funded Young50 and EUPAP projects

Kasparas Aleknavicius is a medical doctor that graduated from Vilnius University, working as head of medical affairs at Kilo Health. After nearly 5 years in the industry, Kasparas focuses on digital health and is looking for innovative ways to help people lead healthy lifestyles through digital health and wellness platforms.

You can find Kasparas on LinkedIn and follow his latest research on Medium.

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