Sprinkling a little cinnamon—just 2 grams or about a half a teaspoon—into your daily diet may help lower blood pressure suggests an analysis in the journal Nutrition.
After examining the results of three studies, the authors determined that cinnamon measurably lowered both systolic and diastolic blood pressure in adults with prediabetes and Type 2 diabetes.
“I would definitely recommend adding cinnamon, but it wouldn’t be the only thing,” says Wendy Bazilian, DrPH, RD, author of The SuperFoodsRx Diet.
“It would have to be in tandem with an overall diet that would be helpful to someone with hypertension, exercise, and weight management, which is the number one way to bring down blood pressure.”
Dr. Bazilian’s favorite ways to ramp up cinnamon intake are to toss it with freshly-cut fruit, stir it into a natural nut butter, add it to balsamic or vinaigrette dressing, or sprinkle it on top of yogurt or nuts before roasting.
Cinnamon can even dress up a savory meal—it adds interest to basic sautéed vegetables and traditional chili recipes.
“Even if we’re health-inspired, we still eat food because it tastes good,” Dr. Bazilian says.