Honey is a true powerhouse of vitamins and minerals including: certain amino acids, B6, niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, calcium, zinc, copper, iron, potassium, magnesium, manganese, and phosphorus. Cinnamon is also a good source of fiber, iron, calcium, and manganese. It also contains small amounts of vitamin A and K.

However, you should first be sure about the honey you intend to use. In 2011, a leading scientist in the study of honey from Texas A&M University took samples and studied more than 60 types of honey that had been purchased from ten different states as well as from the District of Columbia.

Although all the products claimed to be honey, this study showed that 76 percent of the products that had been purchased at major supermarkets, and 77 percent of samples that came from the big box chain stores, contained no pollen whatsoever. Honey samples that were taken from drug stores and fast food restaurants showed that 100 percent contained no pollen at all. This means that almost all products tested really weren’t honey, because they contained no pollen, but were some other type of sweetener.

When looking for honey, read the labels carefully. Only buy products that have “honey” as the only ingredient. If possible, raw honey is better still and can generally be found in most health food stores and at Farmer’s Markets. Now that you are all set with your honey, let’s take a look at the top 12 health benefits you can get.

1. Heart Healthy

Honey can be used for reducing cholesterol levels in the blood and provide protection for your heart. High cholesterol levels can result in a plaque buildup (called atherosclerosis) on the walls of your arteries and blood vessels, restricting the flow of blood and possibly even causing a clot to form that can result in a stroke or heart attack.

2. Improves the Immune System

Honey is terrific for boosting your immune system, eliminating chronic fatigue, as well as increasing your life span. When your immune system is compromised, you open yourself up to a wide variety of colds, flus, and other viruses. Using honey helps to fight viruses. Honey contains powerful antioxidants which fight off those free radicals in the body that cause early aging.

3. Weight Loss

Drinking a bit of honey and cinnamon in warm water in the morning is thought to be a great weight loss tool as it helps to keep blood sugar levels stabilized, avoiding cravings and those sugar crashes. Try adding a couple dashes of cinnamon and honey in your morning coffee.

4. Stabilizes Blood Sugar

As we mentioned in weight loss efforts, cinnamon and honey can be a great way to stave off diabetes. The antioxidant flavonoids in cinnamon resemble those of insulin, so it encourages glucose out of your bloodstream and into the cells of the body where it can be used for energy. Energy, from a pure source of all natural sugar, such as from fruit and honey, does not cause vast fluctuations in blood sugar that artificial and processed sugars do. Cinnamon, combined with honey, shows that the body has a slow but steady use of the glucose and can even show an improvement in the management of type 2 diabetes.

5. Cancer Prevention

The phytochemicals that are found in large amounts within honey are linked to cancer prevention. Cinnamon has anti-tumor compounds that can decrease the chance of metastasis, or the spread of cancer throughout the body. Honey also contains certain acids that actually shut down the activity of two enzymes, phosphatidylinositol-specific phospholipase C and lipoxygenase, both of which have been linked to materials in the body that cause cancer.

6. Itching/Bug Bites

Mix one part honey to two parts of water. Add a teaspoon of cinnamon and make a paste. Massage this paste into the itching parts of the skin or directly to an insect bite and the itching should go away within minutes.

7. Digestion

Honey and cinnamon make a powerful combination that can increase the health of your digestive system. Take two tablespoons of honey, sprinkled with cinnamon, before you eat will stop any indigestion before it starts.

8. Arthritis Relief

This is an age-old remedy for arthritis that actually works for most people. Three times per day, mix two tablespoons of honey with one teaspoon of cinnamon in hot water. Taken on a regular basis, even those with chronic arthritis can be eliminated.

9. Beautiful Skin

Honey and cinnamon can even be healthy for your skin. Due to its antibacterial properties, you can make a paste of honey and cinnamon and apply it directly to pimples to make them disappear, often overnight. You can also use this same mixture on skin sounds as honey and cinnamon have anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and antioxidant properties as well, which can reduce age spots and wrinkles by removing those harmful free radicals in the skin that tend to cause aging.

10. Relief from UTI’s

If you have ever had a urinary tract or bladder infection, you know how painful and annoying they can be. This is an old fashioned cure your grandmother most likely used. Mix two tablespoons of cinnamon and one teaspoon of honey in one glass of tepid water. This instantly kills the germs in the bladder and urinary tract. Sweet relief!

11. Beat Fatigue

The natural sugar content in raw honey is more helpful to the body than caffeine for boosting your energy level. Take a tablespoon of raw honey that has been sprinkled with cinnamon and mix in one glass of water. Try this about an hour after lunch and watch that afternoon slump disappear.

12. Live Longer

Another old remedy says that four teaspoons of honey mixed with one teaspoon of cinnamon and added to three cups of water makes a life lengthening tea. Boil for about one minute and then enjoy this sweet treat every day.