Honey isn’t just delicious and sweet in taste but nature has packed it with countless health benefits. It contains a treasure chest of hidden nutritional and medicinal value for centuries. The sweet golden liquid from the beehive is a popular kitchen staple loaded with antibacterial and also antifungal properties.
Honey is the perfect product that is a magic pill for our body while also being delicious and enjoyable. You won’t believe that a substance that works fine as a sweetener can treat a number of health problems. These can include cough, cold, weight loss and even managing diabetes.
It has excellent antioxidants, which means its regular consumption will cleanse your body of various toxins. In addition, its antibacterial properties will considerably improve the condition of your skin. Honey also contains trace amounts of vitamins, minerals, electrolytes, enzymes, amino acids and flavonoids. These compounds are responsible for some of honey’s potential health benefits.
Impressive Health Benefits of Honey
Honey is among the most popular and widely used sweetener with enormous health benefits. Below are things you probably didn’t know about it that will have you singing its sticky praises.
1. Natural Sweetener
Sugar can be substituted with honey in numerous food and beverages. Honey contains around 69% glucose and fructose, empowering it to be utilized as a sweetener. This is advisable for your general well-being over ordinary white sugar. Though it has a larger number of calories than sugar, when consumed with warm water, it assists in with digesting the fat stored in your body.
2. Alleviates Allergies
Honey’s anti-inflammatory effects and ability to soothe coughs has led to the belief it can also reduce seasonal allergy symptoms. Honey acts like a natural vaccine. It contains small amounts of pollen, which if the body is exposed to small amounts of it, it can trigger an immune response that produces antibodies to the pollen. After repeated exposure, you build up these antibodies and your body become okay to their presence. This reduces your histamine levels, resulting in a lesser allergic response.
3. Nourishes Your Skin And Face
Using Honey for skin is very useful because of its moisturizing and nourishing properties. It’s is the best natural moisturizer, especially for your dry skin and it is also very easy to apply. It does not only unclogs pores but it also helps moisturize parched skin. It also helps curing cracked lips during winters. Many people also use honey masks for skin tone correction. Also being a natural antiseptic, it is useful for treatment of wounds, bruises, cuts, burns and other infections.
4. All-Natural Energy Drink
Ever feel like lying your head down on your desk at work after lunch because you’re feeling completely zapped? How about trouble getting moving in the morning? Yes, our energy can surely fluctuate, so any time we can utilize a natural energy booster, it’s certainly a win-win.
Honey is an excellent source of all-natural energy. It contains about 17 grams of carbohydrates per tablespoon. This natural fructose and glucose directly enter the bloodstream and can deliver a quick boost of energy. The rise in blood sugar acts as a short-term energy source for your workout, especially in longer endurance exercises.
5. Weight Loss
If you’re watching your weight, doctors recommend excluding all sugar-based sweets — but not honey. That’s because the sugar present in honey has a different composition from that found in other sweeteners. It burns body fat even while when you are sleeping. It is one of the best foods for losing weight.
Doctors recommend to have a spoonful before going to bed. You can also consume a little honey with warm water on empty stomach early in the morning. Having it first thing in the morning, helps increase the metabolism, which in turn helps reduce weight faster. Honey is also good for improving your overall health.
6. Cough Suppressant
Honey can be the all-natural cure when it comes to pesky colds. A persistent cough that won’t go away can easily be remedied with two teaspoons of honey, according to a 2012 study published in the journal Pediatrics. Children between the ages of 1 and 5 with nighttime cough due to colds coughed less frequently when they received two teaspoons of honey 30 minutes before bed.
The golden liquid’s thick consistency helps coat the throat. The sweet taste is believed to trigger nerve endings that protect the throat from incessant coughing. Honey is believed to be as effective as the common cough suppressant ingredient dextromethorphan. It can also be used in treating upper respiratory tract infections.
7. Boosts Your Memory
We are what we eat and hence it is very important to consume foods that help make our mental health strong to sustain in old age. Honey, the eternal sweetener has numerous health benefits. One of such benefits includes boosting memory and concentration. It does not only increases brain power and memory but also makes you a healthier person altogether.
Consumption of honey prevents metabolic stress and helps calm and soothe the brain. This helps in augmenting memory in the long run. It’s natural antioxidants and therapeutic properties also help in boosting brains’ cholinergic system and circulation. This prevents receding of cells that cause memory loss.
8. Cures Hangovers
When you get a hangover from drinking too much alcohol, combat its effects by applying honey remedy. Honey is gentle on the stomach and contains a mix of natural sugars such fructose. This speeds up the oxidation of alcohol by the liver, acting as a ‘sobering’ agent.
9. Sleep Aid
Honey can be a health aid for sleepless nights. Similar to sugar, it can cause a rise in insulin and release serotonin — a neurotransmitter that improves mood and happiness. Moreover, honey also contains several amino acids, including tryptophan. Honey’s steady rise in insulin, causes the tryptophan in it to enter the brain, where it’s then converted into serotonin and then into melatonin, which is a sleep aid. This hormone is responsible for regulating sleep and wake cycles.
10. Relieves Sore Throats
One of the better known health benefits of honey is that it is able to help treat sore throats. Thanks to its antimicrobial properties, which also kill certain bacteria that causes the infection. Professional singers commonly use honey to soothe their throats before performances.
11. Strengthens Immune system
Honey has countless medicinal properties that naturally help in curing a sore throat. Its antioxidants and bacteria-fighting assets also help against fighting infections that occur due to viruses, bacteria and fungi. Honey has the a number of antioxidants and when consumed daily can be beneficial for boosting immunity in the long run. This is why it is one of the best immunity boosting foods. It is always advisable to consume it every morning before breakfast or even workout to get an extra kick of energy for the whole day. It also works as a cleansing toner which improves immunity in children.
12. Managing Diabetes
Despite being sweet in taste, honey doesn’t increase the sugar in the bloodstream which is good for diabetics. It is also said to reduce fasting blood sugar and a healthy alternative to artificial sweeteners. Diabetics can add it to their meals without having any increase in blood sugar.
13. Prevents And Helps Control Eczema
Honey acts as a natural cleanser by removing dirt and making the skin smooth and soft. It can also be used for exfoliation of the skin.You can mix it with oats in order to remove dead cells. Regular use prevents eczema from occurring or coming back again. Eczema is a skin condition that causes red, itchy, flaky skin that causes discomfort. You can make a mixture of raw honey and cold-pressed olive oil and apply on the skin to get rid of the problem.
14. Helps With Gum Diseases
Honey’s anti-bacterial and infection healing properties help in treating and healing wounds. Teeth and gum diseases such as gingivitis, bleeding and plaque can be treated to a great extent with the regular use of honey. Honey has antiseptic hydrogen peroxide which acts as anti-microbial agent that prevents the growth of bacteria. You can use raw honey mixed with water as a mouthwash. Also rubbing it directly on painful gums gives instant relief from pain, inflammation and other periodontal diseases.
15. Cleanses The Digestive Tract
Honey is a strong antiseptic, so it’s recommended to eat a spoonful of honey on an empty stomach. This simple ritual helps to prevent various diseases associated with the digestive tract. Besides, while passing through the stomach, honey destroys germs and heals small wounds in the mucous membrane.
16. Treats Dandruff
Dandruff and itchy scalp are annoying problems as well as embarrassing. Honey can bring temporary relief to the scalp by targeting dandruff. Thanks to it’s antibacterial and antifungal properties. It can also treat seborrheic dermatitis, which are often caused by an overgrowth of fungus. Using honey on hair is as safe as eating it. Moreover, honey also has anti-inflammatory properties, which address the redness and itching on the scalp.
17. It Prevents Nausea
Nausea and morning sickness will prevent you from eating your favorite diet. This makes you loose essential nutrients and becomes weak. However consuming a bit of honey can change this greatly. You can mix with lemon juice which will help prevent vomiting as well.
18. Treats Sinus Infections
With increasing pollution and dust many people these days suffer from sinus related issues. Sinuses are small cavities in the skull that produce mucus to guard the respiratory system from allergies and infections. When we suffer from infections the viruses block the sinus, traps the air and mucus which causes distress. Honey on the other hand is a natural anti-bacterium and anti-septic that helps to clear the infections and reduce inflammations. Honey also soothes throat and reduces coughs and strengthens the immune system thereby causing less sinus attacks.
19. Helps Prevent and Fight Cancer
Yes, honey is another food that can help prevent or fight cancer because it has carcinogen-preventing properties and can help fight the growth of existing tumors. Perhaps you’ve heard how cancer actually feeds on sugar, but honey does not have the same properties as sugar.
Honey has wonderful flavonoids and phenolic compounds that make it a superfood. It’s anti-metastatic properties that can fight tumors and cancer. More specifically, honey includes the phenolic compounds: gallic acid, chrysin, elegiac acid, p-Coumaric acid, syringic acid, ferulic acid, and caffeic acid; all are thought to contribute to the healing of the cells of the body.
The evidence of honey helping with the prevention and healing of cancer cells is growing and much more research needs to be done, but the initial findings are promising. Regular consumption of raw, unprocessed honey can certainly be an easy and affordable way to give your body the boost it needs to ward off sickness.
20. Increases Sex Drive
Low libido? That’s no fun. The good news is that honey is a natural aphrodisiac and regular consumption can give your libido the boost it deserves! Researchers say that honey helps men produce more testosterone; as for women, it helps with estrogen levels. It’s been long known that honey can help give people more arousal in the bedroom, yet many are not taking advantage of such an easy remedy for low libido.
21. Helps With Cholesterol
Cholesterol levels do matter, so finding easy solutions for lowering cholesterol is what we all like to do. Cholesterol is necessary for the body to help you digest fat, but too much of it isn’t good for the health. Health experts recommend intaking about 1,000 mg of cholesterol per day.
With the body already producing some cholesterol, it’s essential to watch how much meat, eggs, dairy products, and other high-cholesterol foods we consume. By eating more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and drinking plenty of water, your cholesterol levels should be alright.
But if you are contending with higher levels of cholesterol, consider adding a tablespoon of honey to your diet each day. Honey has zero cholesterol and has plenty of great nutrients like calcium, potassium, and B vitamins. Also, honey has antioxidants in it, which help bind free radicals in the body.
Here is a great recipe to add the benefits of honey to your daily regimen that will help lower your cholesterol:
- 1 teaspoon honey
- juice of half a lemon
- couple dashes of powdered cinnamon
- simply mix together in a warm glass of water and consume once a day.
It’s best no to feed to infants. Because, it contains spores of Clostridium botulinum. This is not dangerous to adults and older children, but infants can have a serious reaction of illness in the first year.
Moreover, do not add honey to baby food or use as a soother to quiet a fussy or colicky baby. This is to prevent bacteria causing infant botulism.
Last but not the least, honey is a sugar so do not eat jars full of it. Eating honey is a more healthy choice than white sugar but that doesn’t mean you can eat all you want. Moderate amounts ensures good health and also helps maintain a healthy weight.
Honey does a number of things for the body as you can see above, which is why it is important to staple in our diet. Do you know any other health benefits of honey? Let us know in the comments section below.