Health Benefits of Honey
Honey is a sweet liquid produced by honeybees from the nectar they gather from flowers via the complicated process of regurgitation and evaporation. Honey is made up of glucose, fructose, and minerals such as iron, calcium, phosphate, sodium, chlorine, potassium, magnesium. It is also fairly rich in vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, and B6.
Due to the presence of powerful antiseptic, antibacterial and healing properties, honey is used as medicine to treat many common health problems.
Here are the top health benefits of honey.
1. Boosts Energy
Honey can instantly boost your energy level. Due to the natural sugars in honey, it provides a healthy source of calories and energy whenever the body needs them most.
It easily fights fatigue and solves the problem of low energy. At the same time, honey satisfies the body’s innate craving for something sweet. This means you can have honey without worrying about putting on extra weight. Next time you feel the urge to eat something sweet, simply have a tablespoon of raw, organic honey.
2. Reduces Muscle Fatigue
Athletes often suffer from muscle fatigue, which can impact their performance level. But the problem can be solved easily with honey.
Honey can boost athletes’ performance and endurance levels and reduce muscle fatigue. This is due to the perfect combination of glucose and fructose in honey. Glucose is absorbed instantly by the body and provides immediate energy, while fructose is absorbed more slowly, providing sustained energy to the body.
3. Regulates Blood Sugar
Honey is sweet, but those who suffer from diabetes can enjoy it without a problem. In fact, honey can help regulate blood sugar levels due to the combination of fructose and glucose. Some types of honeys have a low hypoglycemic index. This means when such honey is consumed, it will not spike your blood sugar level fast.
Those suffering from Type 1 diabetes should eat one tablespoon of honey daily. At the same time, the minerals,vitamins and antioxidant properties in honey are highly beneficial. Plus, as it is sweeter, you are likely to use a lesser amount of honey than sugar.
4. Treats Coughs
Several studies have found that honey is a far more effective remedy for coughs compared to many over-the-counter cough medicines. Honey has strong antibacterial properties that help soothe sore throats and kill the bacteria that cause the infection.
To get quick relief from coughing, mix one tablespoon of honey with some fresh-squeezed lemon juice and drink this solution at regular intervals. You can also mix honey, lemon juice and a pinch of salt in a glass of lukewarm water and use it to gargle. For cough treatment, it is recommended to use buckwheat honey over other types of honey.
5. Heals Wounds and Cuts
Honey has natural antiseptic, antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. These properties help clean wounds and cuts. Also, honey can keep wounds and cuts free from infection, reduce odor and pus, lessen pain and promote speedy healing.
After gently cleaning the wound or cut with lukewarm water and mild soap, apply a layer of honey on the affected area and cover the area fully with a bandage. Change the bandage every 24 hours. Honey is an excellent option for those who are allergic to topical antibiotics.
6. Heals Minor Burns
You can also use honey to treat minor burns effectively. Its antibacterial and antifungal properties can prevent bacterial growth and the antimicrobial properties prevent infection.
If you have a minor burn, simply apply raw honey to the affected area. Within sometime, you will feel relief from the burning and itching sensation and pain. You must apply honey on the minor burn several times a day for several days in order to promote fast healing.
7. Beats Insomnia
Many people have trouble sleeping. Honey is a simple solution for this problem. Honey is a fat-digesting carbohydrate that stimulates the release of insulin and allows tryptophan to enter the brain easily.
Tryptophan is the compound that makes us sleepy. Simply have a glass of warm milk with honey before going to bed. Both honey and milk are tryptophan-containing foods.
8. Good for Skin
Due to its antimicrobial and antifungal properties, honey is the ultimate ingredient to use for healthy and glowing skin. For blemishes, apply a little bit of honey directly on the affected area before going to bed. This will give the skin all night to absorb the honey’s medicinal properties.
9. Reduces Weight
Honey contains vitamins, minerals and amino acids. All these elements work together to promote fat and cholesterol metabolism, which in turn helps maintain body weight and prevents obesity.
It has been found that drinking a glass of lukewarm water with honey and lemon juice on an empty stomach, first thing in the morning, is one of the simplest ways to lose weight. Doing this helps with detoxification, cleansing the liver, removing toxins, and flushing fat out of the body
10. Improves Digestion
Honey is an effective antimicrobial agent that benefits the entire digestive tract. The enzyme (glucose oxidase) present in honey can produce small amounts of hydrogen peroxide that can treat gastritis
Honey also neutralizes gas, which often occurs with overeating. One or two tablespoons of honey before heavy meals is the best way to improve the digestion process.
With all these health benefits from honey, it’s a good item to include in your diet plan. But,do not give honey to children under one year of age as it has the potential to cause infant botulism.
11. Reduces The Risk Of Heart Diseases
International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, published in 2009 states that honey promotes a healthy heart by improving blood circulation and preventing clogging of arteries. This is possible because honey reduces the level of bad cholesterol (LDL) and concurrently increases the level of good cholesterol (HDL) in blood. It helps in removal of cholesterol from the walls of blood vessels and prevents the build-up of a plaque.
Honey mixed with cinnamon revitalizes the arteries and veins of the heart, and reduces blood cholesterol by up to 10%.
Add 1-2 tablespoons of honey and 1/3 teaspoon of cinnamon to warm water and drink it daily. Taken on a regular basis, this concoction helps reduce the risk of heart attacks.
12. Boosts Immune System
Honey has great antibacterial and antioxidant properties which give your immune system a boost. It helps in keeping away several ailments such as flu, common cold, etc.
To improve your immune system, add 1-2 tablespoons of honey to warm water and take it daily on an empty stomach. For an extra boost, add fresh lemon juice and a dash of cinnamon.
13. A Natural Healer
Honey is a wonderful antibacterial agent and is effective in healing burns, cuts, and wounds when applied externally. Applied topically to scrapes, lacerations, and even sore nipples, honey promotes rapid tissue repair and eases the pain. Using pure honey on open wounds keeps them sterile and prevents further infections, gangrene, and other complications. This is due to the presence of a bacteria-killing agent called inhibine, found only in raw honey. Unfortunately, inhibine is easily destroyed during pasteurization.
14. Eliminates Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria
Many controlled studies have found that honey can even eliminate food-borne pathogens like Salmonella and E Coli. Scientists at ACMC at the University of Amsterdam noted that honey contains a protein defensin-1 that kills bacterial protein, protecting us from a number of diseases.
15. Acid Reflux
Honey is wonderful for controlling acid reflux. Since honey is 125.9 times more viscous that water at body temperature, it helps a lot in preventing gastroesophageal reflux. The patients suffering from the said conditions should try having some honey whenever they feel the symptoms are showing up.