Does Cinnamon Break a Fast? What You Need to Know
Cinnamon contains insignificant calories, and small amounts won't break a fast.
Adding this health-promoting aromatic spice to your morning coffee, herbal tea, or plain water is an excellent choice to support healthy blood glucose and insulin levels and may lower your risk of diabetes.
Learn the best ways to enjoy cinnamon while fasting.
What is fasting?
Fasting is a popular method of meal timing that’s characterized by cycling from fasting periods to periods of eating.
There are several different fasting routines practiced across the world for various spiritual, cultural, and health purposes:
Time-restricted eating, also known as intermittent fasting, refers to eating only in a specific time frame each day, typically between 8 to 10 hours, and fasting for the remainder of the day.
Alternate-day fasting rotates between days of regular eating days and days of restricting caloric intake to around 500 to 600 calories daily.
Prolonged fasting involves fasting for longer durations, typically more than 24 hours, up to several days or even weeks.
Keeping insulin levels low is one of the major metabolic benefits of intermittent fasting.
Insulin is a critical player in regulating energy-making processes, and low insulin pushes your metabolism to utilize fat instead of sugar for energy.
As your body breaks down fatty acids, the liver produces large quantities of ketones, a by-product of fat metabolism and a highly efficient energy source.
As ketones enter your circulation and are used as a fuel source, your body enters a state known as ketosis.
Intermittent fasting helps to achieve fast weight loss, and most people practicing time-restricted eating also experience better sleep quality, diminished cravings, improved cognitive abilities, better blood sugar control, and improved insulin sensitivity.
Research published in The New England Journal of Medicine found “Periodic flipping of the metabolic switch provides the ketones that are necessary to fuel cells during the fasting period and elicits systemic and cellular responses that enhance mental and physical performance, as well as disease resistance.”
Watch the video below to learn the incredible benefits of cinnamon for insulin resistance and diabetes.
Can cinnamon break your fast?
Cinnamon is a popular spice derived from the inner bark of trees belonging to the Cinnamomum verum family.
One teaspoon of cinnamon contains less than two calories which isn’t enough to impact blood sugar or raise insulin levels, making it safe during fasting periods.
While pure cinnamon is suitable during a fast, it shouldn't be mixed with sweetened tea or coffee, or other calorie-containing beverages that can kick you out of ketosis, such as milk, almond milk, or coconut water.
It’s important to remember that cinnamon contains some calories, and consuming more than two teaspoons may break a fast.
Five benefits of cinnamon
Cinnamon has a long history as a medicinal remedy in various cultures worldwide, including Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine.
Cinnamon is believed to have several potential health benefits due to its exceptionally high concentrations of phytochemicals, including cinnamaldehyde, cinnamic acid, and procyanidins.
Research published in Pharmacognosy Research suggests that cinnamon has potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic, antimicrobial, and anticancer effects and lowers the risk of metabolic diseases, including diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Here are five health benefits of cinnamon!
1. Antidiabetic effects
Regularly consuming cinnamon can benefit individuals at risk of diabetes, a condition characterized by elevated blood sugar levels and cellular insulin resistance.
Cinnamon has been shown to enhance the cellular insulin response and improve insulin sensitivity and glucose uptake by cells, which helps keep blood sugar levels low.
Cinnamaldehyde may prevent chronically elevated blood glucose levels by decreasing the activity of digestive and liver enzymes involved in carbohydrate digestion and metabolism.
2. Potent antioxidant
Compared to many other spices, cinnamon has one of the highest concentrations of polyphenols with potent antioxidant properties.
Polyphenols can neutralize reactive oxygen species (ROS), which are highly volatile molecules that can cause oxidative damage to cellular structures and DNA.
Uncontrolled oxidative stress is linked to premature aging, inflammation, and an increased risk of heart disease, metabolic disorders, and cancer.
3. Promotes weight loss
“Cinnamon has impressive benefits for metabolic health and promotes weight loss,” explains Dr. Berg. “Cinnamon may increase your metabolic rate, thereby supporting improved energy utilization and weight management.”
There also is evidence that cinnamon has appetite-regulating effects and may reduce sugar cravings. Consuming cinnamon is believed to impact ghrelin, a hormone that regulates hunger and induces satiety.
4. Supports neuronal health
There is promising evidence that suggests that cinnamon contains several bioactive compounds that inhibit the buildup of tau protein clusters.
Tangled tau protein aggregates are believed to impair normal neuronal functioning and may contribute to the development of neurodegenerative conditions such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
5. Antimicrobial agent
Cinnamon may be an excellent choice to support your antimicrobial defenses if you suffer from recurrent gastrointestinal infections.
A recent study published in Food Science and Technology found that cinnamaldehyde is a potent antibacterial agent that inhibits the growth and proliferation of bacterial strains such as Salmonella and Listeria.
It also appears that cinnamon can lower concentrations of potentially harmful oral bacteria linked to tooth decay and bad breath.
How to enjoy cinnamon while fasting
Cinnamon is a delicious spice with a sweet taste that adds a rich aroma to various fasting-friendly beverages.
You can add cinnamon to bulletproof coffee—a mixture of black coffee, medium-chain triglycerides, and unsalted butter.
Bulletproof coffee is a keto-friendly drink that won’t impact your blood sugar and insulin levels and keeps your metabolism in a fasting state.
Ground cinnamon also works great in most herbal teas, and pieces of cinnamon bark can be used to infuse a pitcher of plain water. Sipping cinnamon water during fasting periods has been found to keep hunger cravings at bay.
Homemade cinnamon tea is another excellent way to incorporate this health-promoting spice into your fasting routine.
Add one small cinnamon stick or half a teaspoon of ground cinnamon to a cup of hot water. Steep for five minutes and enjoy an aromatic tea that won’t interfere with ketosis.
While cinnamon during fasting is generally safe and well tolerated, some individuals are sensitive to taking cinnamon on an empty stomach and may experience gastrointestinal upset or allergic reactions.
If you experience symptoms such as swollen airways or difficulty breathing after consuming cinnamon, it’s crucial to consult a healthcare provider immediately.
Cinnamon is a health-promoting aromatic spice that won’t break your fast. In fact, adding cinnamon to herbal teas, bulletproof coffee, or plain water may reduce cravings and hunger, which can help to prolong your intermittent fasting window.
Regularly consuming cinnamon has been found to promote weight loss, lower blood sugar levels, and stimulate insulin production. This makes cinnamon an excellent choice for those at risk of diabetes and metabolic diseases.
1. Does cinnamon break intermittent fasting?
No, cinnamon bark contains almost no calories, and adding cinnamon to non-caloric beverages such as black coffee, herbal tea, or water won’t break your fast.
2. What spices can you have while fasting?
In addition to cinnamon, other spices such as ginger, turmeric, nutmeg, cumin, and cayenne pepper are considered safe during intermittent fasting periods.
3. Does cinnamon stop autophagy?
Small amounts of cinnamon are unlikely to stop autophagy. However, cinnamon does contain some calories, and consuming more than two teaspoons can activate metabolic pathways that may stop autophagy.
4. Does cinnamon and ginger break Intermittent Fasting?
No, cinnamon and ginger won’t break intermittent fasting. In fact, adding small amounts of these spices to herbal tea, coffee, or filtered water may reduce sugar cravings and diminish hunger which can help to prolong your fasting window.
5. What does cinnamon do on an empty stomach?
There is evidence that consuming cinnamon on an empty stomach can promote digestive health, improves intestinal motility, and can support healthy blood sugar regulation.
However, some individuals are sensitive to the effects of cinnamon and may experience abdominal discomfort, nausea, or diarrhea when taking cinnamon on an empty stomach.
6. How much cinnamon can I have while fasting?
It’s recommended to limit cinnamon to around one teaspoon during fasting periods. Cinnamon does contain some calories, and more than two teaspoons may interfere with your metabolic fasting state.
7. Is cinnamon good for your blood sugar?
Yes, cinnamon has incredible benefits for metabolic health and blood sugar regulation.
Cinnamon increases your cell's responsiveness to insulin which supports healthy blood sugar levels linked to a lower risk of diabetes, weight gain, heart disease, and metabolic syndrome.
8. What are the benefits of having cinnamon while fasting?
Adding cinnamon to your fasting routine has several health benefits. Cinnamon is rich in health-promoting polyphenols that have potent anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic, and antimicrobial properties and has been found to lower the risk of diabetes, certain cancers, and heart disease.
9. Will cinnamon tea or coffee break my fast?
No, unsweetened cinnamon tea or coffee containing a small amount of ground cinnamon won’t break your fast.