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Honey and cinnamon are popular foods with proven health benefits. Can they also help people lose weight?
When it comes to weight loss, exercising and having a healthful diet are the most effective strategies. Some people use other methods to speed up the process, such as eating specific foods.
This article looks at the research into whether honey and cinnamon can lead to weight loss.
Honey is a popular health food, and it has long had a place in traditional medicine.
Honey is antimicrobial and antiviral, meaning that it can kill harmful microbes, according to a 2018 review. As a result, it can help prevent bacterial and viral infections. This is due to its low pH and the hydrogen peroxide that its enzymes produce.
Various studies have also shown that honey can help treat wound infections and burns when applied to the skin.
Honey contains healthful compounds called flavonoids and phenolic acids, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects in the body.
Oxidative stress and inflammation are major causes of disease, and honey can help protect against these issues.
There is some evidence that raw honey has more health benefits than regular honey, as it retains more ingredients from the beehive. Other types that people believe may have extra benefits include Manuka, Tualang, Ulmo, and Slovenian honeys.
Cinnamon is an aromatic and flavorful spice, and like honey, it has a long history of medicinal use.
The authors of a 2013 review found that cinnamon has antimicrobial and antiparasitic effects. The researchers also concluded that cinnamon contains antioxidants, can aid wound healing, and may even lower blood pressure and cholesterol.
There are several types of cinnamon, including Ceylon cinnamon and Mexican cinnamon.
Producers make cinnamon from the inner bark of an evergreen tree commonly grown in Sri Lanka, which was called Ceylon when it was under colonial control.
While some people claim that honey and cinnamon can help with weight loss, so far, very little research supports this. However, some studies show promise.
For example, replacing regular sugar with honey might help with weight management. Researchers behind a 2011 study in rats found that replacing sucrose with honey helped prevent weight gain.
Also, the authors of a 2010 study reported that honey can activate hormones that suppress appetite in humans.
Because honey has more properties that support health, compared with sugar, the switch may be generally beneficial. Read more about honey vs. sugar here.
There is also some limited scientific evidence that cinnamon may support weight loss.
A 2017 study in mouse and human cells found that a compound in cinnamon called cinnamaldehyde led to improved metabolism.
Also, the results of a 2012 study in rats suggest that cinnamon may help with diabetes-associated weight loss.
It is important to note that neither of these studies tested the effects in living humans.
Overall, no research gives convincing evidence that eating cinnamon, honey, or both can help with weight loss in humans.
When aiming to lose weight, the key is to make lasting lifestyle changes, such as maintaining a healthful diet and exercising regularly.
A common type of cinnamon, Cassia cinnamon, contains significant amounts of coumarin. This compound can help treat edema, or fluid retention that causes swelling, but large amounts may have toxic effects.
Still, if a person is using cinnamon every day — whether for weight loss or another purpose — it is a good idea to use Ceylon, or Sri Lankan, cinnamon, which contains far less coumarin. This type is sometimes called “true” cinnamon.
In powdered form, it is not possible to tell Cassia and Ceylon cinnamon apart. If the labeling does not list the type, a person may need to buy the spice from a specialty store.
While there is no scientific evidence that honey and cinnamon help with weight loss, these ingredients can benefit health, by combatting oxidative stress and inflammation, for example.
To make honey and cinnamon tea, add 1 teaspoon of honey and half a teaspoon of cinnamon to 1 cup of boiled water and mix well.
Honey and cinnamon are popular foods with proven health benefits. However, currently, there is no evidence that either ingredient helps with weight loss.
The most effective strategy is to maintain a healthful diet and get regular exercise.
Shop for honey and cinnamon
People can purchase these ingredients at health food shops or online.