Food And NutritionHealth

Top 12 Health Benefits Of Honey, Uses And Risks.

Honey in a bowl and a teaspoon of honey

Honey has been revered for centuries for its delicious taste and medicinal properties. It is a sweet liquid that bees produce using nectar from flowers.There are about 320 varieties of honey, which vary in color, odor and flavor.

On an average, it contains about 80% sugar. It’s also a mix of amino acids, vitamins, mineral, iron, and antioxidants. 

In addition to its use as natural sweetener, it is also used as an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-bacterial agent. Many people commonly use it to orally treat coughs and topically to treat burns and promote wound healing. 

In this article, we’ll explore the many of its uses, potential health benefits and some risks to consider.

Benefits

Here are some potential benefits of incorporating honey into your daily diet.

Nutritional powerhouse 

Honey is much more than just a sweet treat as it contains a rich array of nutrients including vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. These nutrients can improve your overall well-being from boosting your immune system to providing energy and proper digestion. It offers a natural nutritional boost when consumed regularly. 

Healing wounds and burns

2015 review found that honey potentially helps heal burns, and also a 2017 study found that the defensin- 1 protein in it aided in wound healing.

Another earlier study found that the application of medical grade honey to the site of infection had no advantage over the distribution of antibiotics, which led to it actually increasing the risk of infection in people with diabetes.

It’s worth keeping in mind that honey exits in many products such as face creams, deodorant and shampoos in varying amounts. 

Soothing effects on cough and sore throat 

It has long been used as natural remedy for soothing coughs and relieving sore throats. Studies suggest that eucalyptus , citrus, and labiatae honeys can act as a reliable cough suppressant for some people dealing with upper respiratory infections and acute night-cough.

Potential allergy relief 

Surprisingly, consuming locally sourced honeys may relief from seasonal allergies.

Skin and beauty benefits 

Many people, not only use honey internally but externally as well. It isn’t just beneficial for internal health, but it can also work wonders for your skin and beauty regimen. With it’s moisturizing properties, it can help soothe acne-prone skin and can act as an anti-aging agent.

Energy boost and mental clarity 

Honey is natural sweetener that is rich in carbohydrates, primarily in the form of fructose and glucose. They are forms of sugar and can provide a quick and easily digestible source of energy for your body. Consuming honey can give you a natural energy boost, most especially when you need a quick pick-me up during the day or before engaging in physical activities.

Moreover, it contains trace amounts of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can support overall brain health.

Antioxidants help protect the brain cells from oxidative stress and damage caused by free radicals. When oxidative stress is reduced in the brain, it can help improve cognitive function and mental clarity. 

Neurological disease

Studies suggest that honey might offer antidepressant, anticonvulsant and anti-anxiety benefits.

Better sleep

Honey has been linked to improve sleep quality. Consuming it before bedtime may help with release of serotonin, which helps play a huge role in regulating sleep and mood. Lack of sleep can affect your brain’s function which can lead to poor brain function. However, regular good night sleep can enhance cognitive function, memory, and overall mental clarity.

May improve heart health

Honey contains nutural compounds that can positively impact cardiovascular health and prevent heart disease. 

According to one review, it may help lower your blood pressure, improve blood levels, regulate your heart beat and prevent the death of heathy cells.

One of the ways it can support heart health is by improving the lipid profile, specifically by lowering levels of low-density lipoprotein (ldl) cholesterol, also known as “bad” cholesterol. 

Maintaining cholesterol in the body is important for heart health. High levels of LDL pose a threat of heart disease, but taking it may help lower it’s levels and help promote a healthy cardiovascular system. 

Furthermore, one observational study, including over 4,500 people over 40 associated a moderate honey intake, are at a lower risk of high blood pressure among women. A rodent study also showed that it contains antioxidants that can help protect against oxidative stress, a key contributor to heart disease. Oxidative stress occurs when there is an inval between harmful free radicals and the body’s antioxidant defense.

By reducing oxidative stress, honey may help in preserving the health of blood vessels and lowering the risk of heart-related conditions. 

With all that’s been said, note that there’s no long term human study available on honey and heart health. There is still need for more research to understand its effect on heart health better.

Weight management and satiety

Many people don’t consider this, but it can be a part of a balanced weight management plan. It can help provide a feel of fullness and curb cravings. When consumed mindfully, it can help with weight control due to the feeling of satiety it can provide.

Easy to add to your diet

If you want to reduce your intake of refined sugar, honey may be a better substitute. It is easy to add to your diet. It’s great for sweetening foods like plain yogurt, coffee or tea. You can also use it in your cooking and baking.

Regard of this, always remember that it is still a type of sugar, which can still cause a rise in your blood sugar, and can contribute to weight gain and increase your risk of type 2 diabetes or heart disease when taken in large amount. It can be a better substitute than added sugars but must be taken in moderation.

Interesting Ways To Use Raw Honey

There are several ways to use honey. Here are some too cool ways to use it. Some include:

1 . Honey on skin

Cuts and scrapes: Honey is antiseptic which  means it contains healing properties. 

Zits and blemishes: You can dab some honey on them. You can also add some cinnamon for a faster result.

Facial mask: Some people mix charcoal and honey to make a detox face mask. It can help with dry skin and acne.

Dry lips: It can help with chapped lips. Just put some on your lips and leave for a 1 to 2 minutes and lick it off. You can leave it for longer if you want.

Exfoliating scrub: It has exfoliating properties. You can add some oatmeal in it to make a scrub and exfoliate your entire face and lips. If you don’t have oatmeal or prefer something stronger, then you can use sugar instead.

2 . Honey on hair 

Hair mask: You can use it on your hair. Combine it with oils like almond and coconut oil and rub it through your hair. This can help your hair shine better, prevent and split ends. 

Scalp therapy: You can use it your scalp for cleansing and healing of your scalp. Some people like to add it with eggs as a shampoo for their hair and scalp. And some people have also testified to their hair growing longer and fuller after using it for a long period of time.

How Can I Preserve Honey

Storing it is actually easy. All you have to do is buy it and place it in your cabinet or even table top. It is an amazing product because is actually can not expire. Which can last for however long you want it to last.

Honey may crystallize which is completely normal with one that is 100 percent. And this is what you should look out for when you check the ingredients. Avoid buying the one with extra additives like sugar, but straight up honey.

If it becomes crystallized and you want it go back to its liquid form, but put it in some warm water and you’re good to go.

Risks of honey

Honey is a sweetener that has a lot of health benefits, however it still has 50% fructose and 50% glucose, which can slow down your weight loss and raise blood sugar. However, Tupelo honey is much lower and is used by diabetics in small amounts.

If you want to consume it for certain health purposes, the best one to take will be the manuka honey. It’s a really unprocessed honey that has a lot of great properties. But always make sure it is always raw and not pasturized. This is because it being pasturized and cooked destroys everything in it, which will just make you consume pure sugar. 

Also avoid giving raw honey to babies because there’s a risk of them getting botulism. 

Overall, always make sure it is raw when you get them.

Take away

Honey is a nutural sweet substance produced by bees using nectar from flowers. It’s a thick golden liquid with various colors, flavors, and textures, often used as a sweetener in food beverages.

It is also an antibacterial agent and is rich in antioxidants. Which can be used to treat skin issues like cuts and burns. It can also be used as a hair treatment agent.

Always buy the raw one and avoid those with extra additives. It’s also best to consume it in moderation as it contains some amount of sugar.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Is Honey Better Than Sugar?

Both have different properties and nutritional benefits. Honey is sweeter than sugar and contains small amounts of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It also has a lower glycemic index, which means it may have a milder impact on blood sugar levels compared to refined sugar. 

However, honey is higher in calories and fructose compared to sugar. While it does have some potential health benefits, it’s still a form of sugar and should be consumed in moderation. Deciding between both of them often depends on your personal preferences and diet goals. 

What Are The Different Types Of Honey? 

Most of them vary in flavor, color, and consistency based on the types of flowers visited by the bees. Some common varieties include clover honey, wildflower honey, manuka honey, and acacia honey.

What Is Raw Honey? 

Raw honey is unprocessed and unpasteurized, retaining more of its natural vitamins, enzymes, and antioxidants compared to processed honey.

How Is Honey Made? 

Bees collect nectar from flowers, store it in their honey stomachs, then return to the hive where it’s regurgitated and processed into honey by other bees. Then they deposit it into honeycomb cells and fan it with their wings to reduce moisture, creating the thick substance we know as honey. Truly amazing!

Is Honey Good For My Health? 

Honey contains antioxidants and has antimicrobial properties that can support overall health. It’s often used as a natural remedy for sore throats and coughs. However, keep in mind that it is high in sugars and should be consumed in moderation

Can honey crystallize? 

Yes, over time, honey can crystallize, forming sugar crystals. And this is perfectly normal. This process is natural and doesn’t affect its quality. Placing the container in warm water can dissolve the crystals.

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