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Benefits of Cinnamon & Honey

By Mala Srivastava

Besides imparting rich flavor to a variety of dishes, cinnamon and honey confer a plethora of health benefits. If you're looking for natural ways to boost your health, incorporating these ingredients into your favorite recipes may help combat hypertension and cardiovascular diseases.

May Help Treat Cardiovascular Diseases

Eating honey may be good for your heart. According to a review published in the July 2010 issue of “African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines,” phenolic constituents -- quercetin, kaempferol and acacetin -- found in honey show promise for treating cardiovascular diseases. Many studies have established a strong link between regular consumption of phenolic compounds and a lower heart disease risk. These compounds may benefit your heart by decreasing blood platelet aggregation, preventing oxidation of low-density lipoproteins and improving widening of the blood vessels that supply blood to your heart.

Can Help Keep Blood Sugar in Check

Adding cinnamon to your diet can help keep your blood sugar stable. A study published in the November 2012 issue of “Journal of Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics” found that cinnamon can help lower your blood sugar levels, thereby minimizing your chances of developing diabetes. In the study, healthy, normal-weight and obese adults who consumed a cooked breakfast cereal with 6 grams of cinnamon showed improvements in their blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity compared to adults who did not ingest the cinnamon-containing cereal. To enjoy the benefits of cinnamon, add this flavorful spice to your fruit smoothies, iced coffees and teas and yogurt.

May Protect Against Cancer

Honey is effective in suppressing the growth of tumors and cancers, disclosed a review published in the journal “Molecules” in February 2014. This natural sweetener may exert its protective effect against cancer through inhibiting proliferation of cancer cells, mitigating inflammation, initiating the death of cancer cells and preventing the formation of new blood vessels that encourage cancer growth. While honey shows toxicity toward cancer cells, it poses no threat to the development of normal, healthy cells. By interfering with various processes associated with the development of cancer, honey might help prevent the disease. The review concluded that honey may have potential as an anti-cancer agent. However, further research is needed to support its effects against cancer.

Help People With Hypertension

By eating cinnamon, you can help bring down your high blood pressure numbers. A study reported in the October 2013 issue of the journal "Nutrition" explored the effects of cinnamon on blood pressure in people with prediabetes and Type 2 diabetes. In the study, participants who consumed cinnamon witnessed the reduction of 5.39 millimeters of mercury in their systolic blood pressure and a 2.6-millimeter of mercury drop in their diastolic blood pressure readings. While cinnamon shows positive effects on blood pressure, more studies are needed to confirm its usefulness.

Important Considerations

While honey is beneficial to your health, it is still sugar and therefore should be eaten in moderation. A 1-tablespoon serving of honey provides you with 64 calories. The American Heart Association recommends that women should eat no more than 100 calories per day from added sugars, or 6 teaspoons of sugar, and men should have no more than 150 calories a day, which is equal to 9 teaspoons.

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