Since centuries ago, honey has been consumed and used as food and medicine. It is rich in plant compounds that are beneficial to one’s health. Honey is especially healthy, in contrast to refined sugar, since it does not contain calories.
Why Honey is so good for you
If you’re wondering if you should start consuming more honey, below are the top benefits of eating honey.
1. Contains Nutrients
Created by honeybees, honey is sweet and has a thick consistency. Nectar from flowers is carried by bees into their beehives, where they further process it using their biological mechanisms, to produce honey. These are then stored and used as food for the bees. Honey is relatively healthy given that it does not have fiber, protein or fat. It consists of minute amounts of vitamins and minerals. But to hit your daily required levels of these components, several spoons of honey is definitely far from sufficient. The best part about honey is in fact, the number of bioactive plant compounds and antioxidants that it has. The darker the honey, which depends on the type of flower the nectar is collected from, the greater the content of such nutritional compounds.
2. Good Honey Has More Antioxidants
To qualify as a premium grade honey, it would have to contain a high amount of antioxidants and nutrients. For instance, this includes organic acids and phenolic compounds. According to scientific theory, these compounds are responsible for its antioxidant properties. Through experiments and research, it has been found that buckwheat honey raises the level of antioxidants in your blood. These compounds are highly associated with being able to lower the likelihood of heart attacks, cancer, and strokes. Eye health could also be potentially improved.
3. Better Alternative Than Sugar
Research has shown that honey could help type-2 diabetics become less prone to heart disease. Honey could reduce the harmful LDL cholesterol, inflammation and triglycerides while increasing the beneficial HDL cholesterol at the same time. Yet, this does not mean that honey is entirely good and suitable for diabetics. Honey still results in a spike of blood sugar levels, but to a smaller extent as compared to refined sugar. Thus, it should be consumed in moderation. The best diet would be to avoid carbohydrate-rich food.
4. Reduction In Blood Pressure
Blood pressure is highly related to heart diseases and fortunately, honey could help with easing the pressure. This is possible due to the presence of antioxidant compounds. Experiments in both animals and humans reflected some reductions in blood pressure which are attributed to higher honey consumption.
5. Better Control of Cholesterol Levels
Heart diseases are strongly correlated to high LDL cholesterol levels. They have a big part to play in atherosclerosis, where arteries become congested due to fatty acid deposits on the inner walls, resulting in strokes and heart attacks. Delightfully, honey could help reduce cholesterol levels. Studies recorded a fall in bad LDL cholesterol and a rise in good HDL cholesterol; honey was more effective than table sugar in achieving this.
6. Reduced Triglycerides
Triglycerides are also another important compound that triggers heart diseases. They are linked to insulin resistance, which is one of the root causes of type 2 diabetes. The level of this compound is likely to rise when the diet consists of high levels of sugar and refined carbohydrates. Somehow, honey consumption has been mentioned to be able to reduce high levels of this, especially when sugar is substituted with honey.
7. Antioxidants Are Associated with Other Heart-Related Benefits
As mentioned earlier, honey contains high levels of antioxidant compounds and phenols. They are affiliated with strengthening one’s heart and lowering the likelihood of heart diseases. They could result in the expansion of heart arteries, hence allowing greater blood flow to the heart. Blood clots are also less likely to coagulate, preventing the occurrence of strokes and heart attacks. Lab research also found that honey protected the heart from oxidative stress. However, these studies were done on animals and not humans. Hence, do not rely solely on these results.
8. Speeds Up Burn and Wound Healing
Honey has been used for such treatment since centuries ago and is still widespread even today. Multiple studies have concluded that honey works best at healing partial-thickness burns and cuts that were subjected to infection post-surgery. They are also useful in curing and alleviating the damages for diabetic foot ulcers, which, if left untreated, could result in amputation. According to a study, the success rate was close to half for wound treatment and another indicated almost a full recovery for diabetic ulcers. The healing properties of honey are believed to stem from its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, along with its ability to nourish body tissues. Apart from these, skin conditions such as herpes lesions and psoriasis could use the help of honey too. The best type of honey to treat burn wounds would be Manuka honey.
9. Repress Coughs in Children
Coughing is not an uncommon illness for children who suffer from upper respiratory infections. These health issues could disrupt their sleep and quality of life and affects parents as well.
Yet, normal cough drops are not always successful in treating these issues and often have side effects. It might be a surprise to some, but honey could do a better job. Studies have found that honey was more effective than two other types of cough drops and is the preferred choice. Some other research also revealed that honey alleviated cough symptoms and allowed children to enjoy better sleeping cycles than cough medications do. Do however avoid giving children below one-years-old honey, as they are prone to getting botulism.
10. Yummy, But High in Sugar and Calories
Honey is delectable and a healthier option as compared to sugar. Do remember to select honey from a better brand as the low-quality ones tend to contain syrup. It should be eaten in moderation given the high calories and sugar content. You would only be able to enjoy the benefits of honey when you substitute unhealthier sugar options for it. It is simply a less damaging option as compared to sugar and syrups.
In sum, consuming honey on a regular basis will bring about a myriad of health benefits that will significantly improve the state of your bodily health. After all, health is wealth, so educating yourself on the types of foods to consume will go a long way in maintaining good health. However, be sure not to rely solely on honey to reap health benefits and eat a sufficient amount for the best effects.