The delicious taste of honey is good enough reason for you to include it in your meals, but how much do you know about the health benefits of honey? Here’s how a little bit of honey every day can do you a whole lot of good!
The numerous health benefits of honey have been documented for a long time. It is one of the major ingredients commonly used in the ancient Indian system of medicine, Ayurveda. Honey also finds mention in the literature and medicinal systems of other cultures.
This golden liquid is the nectar gathered by honey bees from various flowers, to which they add some enzymes when they store it in their combs. The combination of the nectar and these enzymes secreted by the bees is what makes honey such a delicious and nutritious food.
The Key Health Benefits Of Honey
Honey is rich in nutrients and has essentials like vitamins B and C. It also contains nutrients like zinc, manganese, calcium, iron, potassium, copper, fluoride, and selenium.
Here are some of the main health benefits of honey.
Fights Infections And Helps Build Immunity
Honey has probiotic as well as antibiotic properties. It helps the growth of good bacteria, like the Bifidobacteria, which are present in the intestines and help in the process of digestion. Honey also has antibacterial and antifungal properties, and it helps strengthen the immune system.
It helps produce hydrogen peroxide, an antiseptic that is used to clean wounds, and for this reason, it is also used in external applications to treat cuts and wounds. The water content in honey is low and this inhibits the growth of microorganisms.
Provides Immediate Relief From Cough And Cold
Think coughs and colds have to run their course and convinced that there’s no help at hand? Try honey!
In a study involving several children between the ages of 2 to 18 who were suffering from cough caused by infection, honey was found very effective in controlling the nighttime coughing that kept the kids awake.
Penn State University asked the parents of children suffering from cough to provide no treatment to their children on the first day. The next day, one set of children were given a single dose of honey flavored dextromethorphan (DM), while another set of children were given a single dose of buckwheat honey.
The children who were dosed with honey showed significant improvement, with a marked reduction in their symptomatic coughing. It worked even better than the cough medicine.
Has Rich Antioxidant Properties
Honey has floral flavonoids that raise the levels of antioxidants in the body and prevent cell damage by free radicals. Flavonoids also play an important role in decreasing cell fragility.
Is A Healthy Sweetener
In a study involving healthy subjects, patients with high cholesterol, and patients with Type 2 Diabetes, the participants were all given solutions that contained sugar, artificial honey, or natural honey. This study was conducted for a period of 15 days.
The healthy subjects showed many beneficent effects after taking honey. For the patients with high cholesterol, natural honey had the effect of reducing total cholesterol by 8% and bad cholesterol by 11%. In subjects with Type 2 Diabetes, honey resulted in much lower levels of blood sugar than either sugar or artificial honey.
Boosts Performance And Replenishes Lost Nutrients
It has been found that athletes who take honey before an event receive a boost in energy, as the rich carbohydrates and the minerals in honey provide vital nutrients. Consuming honey after the completion of an athletic event helps in replenishing the carbohydrates and minerals lost during the period of physical activity.
Cures Illnesses When Mixed With Cinnamon
A combination of honey and cinnamon has been found to be effective in controlling a number of ailments including sore throat, gastritis, and common cold. It has also been used traditionally to treat arthritis, cholesterol, and skin and hair problems.
Other Health Benefits Of Honey
Honey can help with weight loss, as it stimulates and helps the body’s metabolic activities, preventing fat buildup in this way. It can help relieve morning sickness, and in some instances, raw honey has also been useful in fertility treatments.
Honey can also be used for topical application over wounds and cuts, and in face masks to smoothen the skin and add a healthy glow to it. It helps the body absorb calcium better and improves the hemoglobin count. Honey is also used widely in cosmetic products like face creams and lip balms.
Now that you’ve learned about the health benefits of honey, go ahead and make it a part of your daily meal. Do you even need another reason?