Counteracting obesity, especially if the fat is localized on the waistline, is a question of health rather than aesthetics. In fact, several scientific studies have observed that the fat, and in particular abdominal fat, is not inert but an organ able to produce hormones and pro-inflammatory substances that in the long run may create the conditions for diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases and even tumors (Coelho et al, Arch Med Sci, 2013 - Deng et al, Annu Rev Pathol, 2016). Also in this case, food choices can be a good help to speed up metabolism and fight fat. In the previous post we’ve started to see the power of spices, today we continue with the properties of cinnamon and saffron.
This scented spice has an effective action against obesity and hyperglycemia. In fact, it helps to improve glucose tolerance and reduces weight gain by decreasing the abdominal fat, thanks to the action of one of its active substances, cinnamaldehyde (Camacho et al, Sci Rep, 2015 and Tamura et al, J Nutr Sci Vitaminol, 2012). The mechanism of action of this substance has also been explained. According to scientists indeed, cinnamon activates thermogenesis, that is the production of energy from adipose tissue (Jiang et al, Metabolism, 2017). And the beneficial effects of cinnamon are observed with doses easily reachable with the diet, in fact a study of a few years ago observed that 1 g per day of cinnamon is able to reduce triglycerides, blood sugar and cholesterol (Khan et al, Diabetes care, 2003). You can add a pinch of cinnamon to your breakfast yogurt, to the coffee or you can use this spice to decorate your desserts!
Saffron is a spice with a fascinating aroma, it can be added to flavor risotto recipes but also vegetables and a lot of other dishes. Excellent is a cup of plant based milk with a pinch of saffron. Saffron, thanks to its highly antioxidant active ingredients, crocine, crocetine and safranal, counteracts obesity and diabetes and plays a role in keeping at bay blood pressure and lipid profile, namely the level of fats in the blood. Moreover, according to scientific studies, saffron seems useful to prevent or treat obesity, abdominal fat and metabolic syndrome, a condition linked to an increased risk of developing problems of the cardiovascular system (Abedimanesh et al, J Cardiovasc Thorac Res, 2017 or Razavi et al, J Sci Food Agric, 2017).