8 Incredible Health Benefits of Honey

oney is a syrupy liquid that honeybees make from plant nectar. It is a common ingredient in many foods and is available in many forms.

The product also has several potential health benefits and plays a role in many home remedies and alternative medicine treatments.

Nutrients

One tablespoon, or 20 grams (g) of honey contains:

  • Calories: 61
  • Fat: 0 g
  • Protein: 0 g
  • Carbs: 17 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Riboflavin: 1% of the Daily Value (DV)
  • Copper: 1% DV

It is essentially pure sugar, with no fat and only trace amounts of protein and fiber. It contains small amounts of some nutrients, but most people typically don’t consume enough honey for it to be a significant dietary source of vitamins and minerals.

8 Incredible Health Benefits of Honey are:

A good source of antioxidants

Raw honey contains an array of plant chemicals that act as antioxidants. Some types have as many antioxidants as fruits and vegetables. Antioxidants help to protect your body from cell damage due to free radicals.

Free radicals contribute to the aging process and may also contribute to the development of chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease. Antioxidant compounds in raw honey called polyphenols have anti-inflammatory effects that could be beneficial in protecting against a number of conditions associated with oxidative stress.

The raw version of it can also contain bee pollen and bee propolis, which may have added benefits and raw honey may have potential protective effects for the respiratory, gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, and nervous systems, and even has potential in cancer treatment.

May Prevent Heart Disease

Honey contains over 180 substances, including natural sugars, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals. Honey’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds help protect against atherosclerosis.

Atherosclerosis is the buildup of fatty substances in the arteries. That buildup hardens over time and blocks blood flow to your body. Atherosclerosis is a risk factor for coronary artery disease (CAD) if the buildup prevents blood flow to your heart. CAD raises the risk of angina and heart attack.

Heart Attack Symptoms

Supports a Healthy Gut

It possesses prebiotic properties. Prebiotics help ferment healthy gut bacteria. For example, Lactobacilli is a type of “good” bacteria that aids in breaking down food and absorbing nutrients. 

Some people use Lactobacilli to alleviate irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms, such as diarrhea. The researchers linked the effects of prebiotics to a strong immune system and enhanced mental well-being.

Supplies Vitamins, Minerals, and Enzymes

A pilot study was performed on 10 healthy people consuming multi-floral honey daily for two weeks (1.2 g/kg BW). Honey consumption increases blood antioxidants, Vitamin C, beta-carotene (Vitamin A), glutathione reductase, iron, white blood cells, zinc, magnesium, hemoglobin, and copper.

On the other hand, it decreases blood ferritin, IgE, aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase, lactic acid dehydrogenase, creatine kinase, and fasting blood sugar.

Nourishes the Skin and Hair

According to a clinical review, honey can be used in rejuvenating the skin as well as slowing down the formation of wrinkles. It also helps make hair smooth and regulates the pH while preventing pathogen infections.

Another article suggested using honey as a face wash and facial cleansing scrub for pimples and dry skin.

A study of 30 volunteers showed that diluting it in water and applying it to the scalp lowers hair loss, itching, and dandruff.

Improving cholesterol and decreasing triglycerides 

Honey is a great resource for managing high cholesterol, as it naturally decreases “bad” cholesterol (LDL) and increases “good” cholesterol (HDL). Learn more about the different types of cholesterol and how it is tested.

It can decrease triglyceride levels because it can be used as a sugar substitute. Generally, diets that are rich in refined sugar and carbohydrates lead to increased triglyceride levels, which increase the risk for heart disease and type 2 diabetes. 

Relieving a sore throat, asthma, and coughing

Honey reduces throat and lung inflammation, and can be beneficial to treat colds and flus.

It can additionally be used to improve sleep during illness. 2 tablespoons at bedtime can trigger more saliva production. This lubricates the throat and protects it from irritation that causes coughing.

Many times, it is safer and more effective than some cough syrups. Learn more about homemade cough syrups you can make to relieve productive or dry coughs.

Effects on Blood Sugar

Despite its potential benefits, honey is high in sugar (82%) and has a glycemic index of around 80, which makes it a poor choice for diabetics. In tiny amounts, however, it may be a healthier alternative to table sugar.

In a clinical trial of 48 people, honey improved blood lipid profile but increased hemoglobin A1C, a long-term measure of blood glucose levels.

In 7 diabetic patients, honey caused a milder glucose rise compared with pure glucose (dextrose) but caused a greater elevation of insulin than sucrose (table sugar).

On the other hand, recent studies have pointed to the paradoxical blood sugar-lowering effects and started researching it as a healthier sugar substitute.

How to consume

Honey should be consumed in small quantities, as it is high in calories. You should not consume more than 2 teaspoons of honey per day. It can be added to juices, honey, cookies, cakes, and other recipes. 

You should opt for pure honey when possible that is organically cultivated, as processed honey sold in supermarkets contains other ingredients, which can detract from its natural health benefits. 

Contraindications for use

Even if honey can offer many health benefits, there are some restrictions to keep in mind. It is contraindicated for the following patient populations: 

  • Children under 2 years of age: up until the second year, children’s digestive systems are not fully developed. Consuming can pose a high risk for botulism infections, due to the bacteria present in it.
  • Diabetics: Although honey has many benefits in comparison to white sugar,  diabetics should avoid consuming honey, as it contains simple sugars that increase blood sugar levels. 
  • History of allergies: Patients with an allergy to honey may present with symptoms like skin redness, itching throughout the body and throat, swollen lips, and tearing. Therefore, honey and any food containing honey should be avoided altogether in this population.
  • Fructose intolerance: Because fructose is present in honey, people with fructose intolerance should avoid eating it. 
  • Irritable bowel syndrome: Some people with this disease can experience indigestion, excess gas, and diarrhea after consuming honey. It is rich in fructose, which can trigger these symptoms. In these cases, honey consumption should be avoided.

If these considerations do not apply to you, and given honey can provide many benefits, this food can easily be inserted into your daily diet. 

A Quick Review

Honey has many beneficial properties, like treating infections, fighting metabolic syndrome, preventing artery hardening, and supporting a healthy gut. 

Honey may become an alternative to antibiotics. Honey also contains some nutrients and many different ways to enjoy it. Whether spooning it from the jar or adding it to your tea, honey can be a beneficial addition to your diet.

How do I store raw honey?

Honey doesn’t expire very easily but it can become contaminated in certain circumstances. Store honey in a tightly sealed container away from light and extreme temperatures.

After a while, your honey may start to crystallize. This is completely safe but can make it look grainy and sugary. You can warm it just slightly to melt the crystals , but know that higher temperatures can cook the honey, removing its raw properties and causing it to darken in color.

If your honey has changed color drastically or smells off, throw it out.

Also read: https://www.healthevoke.com/are-bananas-best-for-diabetics/

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