Why honey is good for you and its health benefits
Why honey is good for you and its health benefits.
Honey is a natural liquid derived from nectar of flowers produced by honeybees. For thousands of years, honey, especially RAW honey, has been highly revered for its various health benefits across different cultures and people around the world. Honey comes in a variety of taste, colour and smell depending on the region, floral and climate.
What is honey?
Perhaps you are hesitant to try honey because it is so ubiquitous and seems kind of simple. This is a misconception, as honey comes in many shapes and sizes. It also goes by different names. In terms of health benefits, honey is loaded with vitamins and minerals like iron and calcium.
Honey has a long history dating back as early as the 2100 B.C and has been used by many cultures for its health and therapeutic properties throughout history. Ancient civilisations such as the Egyptian, Chinese, Sumerian and German highly valued honey,
due to its variety of health benefits and its suitability for medical uses. Physicians use it as a treatment for wounds, fevers and stomach ailments.
Raw honey is also nutritional, is full of bioactive plant compounds, antioxidants, trace elements of amino acids, enzymes, vitamins and minerals. This makes honey a healthy addition to daily diet. In modern days, the beneficial healing properties of honey is widely known and used by many as a form of home remedy and general well-being.
Raw honey is preferred as it comes straight from the beehives’s honeycomb, unfiltered and unpasteurised containing the most beneficial elements. Pasteurised honey is processed honey that went through heat treatment and may contain additives. The pasteurization process destroys many minerals, vitamins and essential compounds. So choose your honey carefully.
Honey contains phytonutrients. These are produced by plants, to provide resistance against fungi, bacteria, infections and to keep insects away. Phytonutrients, flavonoids, ascorbic acid and phenolic compounds are some of the compounds found in honey that are responsible for its high antioxidant benefit
Antioxidants reduce the oxidative effects in the body and help to protect your body from cell damage caused by free radicals. Studies have shown that consuming antioxidant rich foods can reduce the risk of chronic disease.
Antioxidants also reduce oxidative stress in the body by mopping up free radicals. Scientists have linked oxidative stress to a range of chronic health conditions, including many cancers.
Natural remedy for Soothing Sore Throats and Coughs
Raw honey has been used in home remedies throughout history. So it is not surprising to find that honey contains natural anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that are effective for relieving sore throat and coughs.
In a 2018 scientific journal review, honey's natural properties can help to relieve swelling and kill bacteria, making it as effective as some over-the-counter solutions.
Honey is a good home remedy for adults and children aged 1 year or older to ease nighttime cough, sore throat and improve sleep caused by respiratory infections. A common practice is to mix honey and lemon juice in lukewarm water and consume it before bedtime. One can also add ginger and mix up a concoction of a healthy, antioxidant-high, honey lemon tea, as a refreshing afternoon beverage.
Honey for Healthy Weight Management
Honey is considered a superfood, in appropriate amounts honey is beneficial towards weight management. Studies show that consuming honey before bedtime can help burn more calories and fat. It contains essential compounds that help suppress appetite. Start your day with a cup of honey mixed in lukewarm water, it helps increase the body's metabolism rate.
This golden brown liquid is packed full of goodness and contains vitamins, minerals, healthy fats and natural sugar such as fructose. Athletes who eat fructose rich food burn more body fat and have shown increases in stamina. Want a healthy energy boost in the afternoon? Eat honey!
Honey makes a great sweetener choice over refined sugar. Refined sugars are known to cause various health issues, and basically do not provide any benefits. Honey on the other hand is a great, healthy sweetening alternative. It still contains sugar, however it does not increase blood sugar levels as rapidly, caution is still needed and in moderation. So have it in your next cup of morning tea and coffee.
Natural Wound Healing Properties
The ancient Egyptian has used honey to treat wounds and burns, this is still being practised today. Honey’s natural healing properties are effective for healing burns, non-serious wounds, gastric discomfort, ulcers, skin sores and inflammation. It can create a moist, protective barrier around the wound that can reduce microbial infections.
Studies have found that honey can help wound healing by promoting new tissue growth and alleviate pain in people suffering from burns. Others have found that combining with conventional wound treatment, honey can reduce healing time and disinfect wounds thereby improving the healing of diabetic ulcers.
It is a miraculous feat that bees as small as a third of one's little finger are able to fly far and wide. Visiting thousands of flowers, collecting nectar and producing only approximately one tablespoon of honey in their lifetime. Imagine the number of bees and effort just to produce one jar of honey. Their relentless hard work and feat has benefited our health and well-being for centuries and centuries to come.