Honey health benefits

Besides the fact that honey is a naturally sweet and delicious treat, it brings to the table, and the body, a whole lot more. Honey has been used for hundreds of years to heal wounds and treat ailments; today, it is still used as a natural health booster. It is a pure and natural form of sweetness used for its medicinal and healing properties. As an energy provider, immune system strengthener, and a natural remedy it is perfect for conditions ranging from soothing dry skin to easing symptoms of a respiratory infection.

Bees and Honey
Honey is naturally made by bees for their own nourishment, but it has a lot more uses than just food for these buzzing insects. This magnificent process all begins when the bees munch on the flowers, collecting the flower nectar in their mouths. The nectar is then mixed with special enzymes in the saliva of the bees; this chemical process makes honey. The bee hive is the storage place for this honey; after it is made in the bees’ mouth, it is carried to the hive and kept in the cells. At this point, it is fit for consumption and only needs to be extracted. When buying honey, always look for “100% pure” versions. Also, for flavor, the darker the color, the richer, deeper flavor it will offer.

Why Honey is so Special
Honey is a special agent in the food and medical world. In the world of food, it can be eaten plain, on peanut butter sandwiches, added to tea or hot water, and the list is infinite. Yet, no matter the use, all of its health benefits are provided, which leads us to the medical world of honey. Who knew that a sweet sugar could bring so many wonders? The unique composition of honey provides antioxidants and antimicrobial properties, which can help aid in digestion and fight certain diseases. While the quality of honey is directly proportionate to the amount of health benefits offered, here are a few points to show its potentials.

  • Different types of honey provide friendly bacteria, lactobacilli and bifidobacteria. Both of these carry protective and beneficial benefits to humans and bees.
  • Honey can promote better blood sugar control. The liver must be fueled properly to metabolize glucose. Honey is a perfect fuel source because it contains equal amounts of fructose and glucose. Fructose allows the release of the enzyme that allows glucose to be converted to glycogen, which is the primary form of storage of glucose in the muscles and liver. There must be adequate store of glycogen to supply energy to the brain and other organs during times when food is not being consumed. If the supply is insufficient, stress hormones (adrenalin and cortisol) are released to convert muscle protein into glucose. Prolonged stress can lead to impaired glucose metabolism, insulin resistance, diabetes, and increased risk of heart disease and obesity.
  • Additionally, some research has shown that honey should be the sweetener of choice to those who already suffer from Diabetes because it can improve or control insulin sensitivity.
  • The antioxidant properties that honey has reduce oxidative stress, and therefore promote endothelial function in Diabetics and improve vascular health in general. Daily consumption can actually boost levels of protective antioxidant compounds in the body.
  • It has been shown to reduce cholesterol levels by as much as 7%.
  • Honey is known to boost immunity.
  • In those with Diabetes, honey has been shown to cause less of a blood sugar spike than other refined sugars, such as sucrose or dextrose.

The Many Uses of Honey
Honey has been used for centuries for medicinal purposes. Here is a list of ailments that honey can easily be used for. Don’t hesitate to use this natural sweetener.

  • Cuts, burns, and wounds. The antiseptic properties of honey prevent bacteria from growing and keep the area clean. Honey can also absorb moisture from the air, allowing cuts to be healed more quickly. The antimicrobial properties fight off bacteria and fungi and helps reduce inflammation and pain.
  • Improving athletic performance. This is due to honey’s regulatory processes of maintaining blood sugar levels and keeping a steady supply of glycogen to the muscles.
  • Vitamins and minerals. As opposed to some fruits and vegetables, honey is excellent at keeping its vitamin and mineral content. It is high in vitamin C, B vitamins, and minerals such as potassium.
  • Amino acids. Honey is also an excellent source of amino acids, the building blocks of protein.
  • Antioxidants. As stated above, honey provides powerful antioxidant properties that fight off free radicals and reduce oxidative stress.
  • Relieving coughs and sore throats. Honey has soothing qualities that can reduce symptoms of coughing and a sore throat. This can be particularly helpful at nighttime.
  • Beautifying skin. Honey has its topical uses too. In addition to the antimicrobial and antioxidant properties, honey is a thick and rich moisturizer. It binds moisture to the skin and keeps it hydrated.
  • Digestion. The friendly bacteria in honey feel right at home in the human intestines, allowing for better digestion opportunities. Also, honey contains other complex carbohydrates that act as prebiotics for normal intestinal bacteria. This non digestible material is used as food for these bacteria.
Last updated on Apr 12th, 2011 and filed under Nutritional Information. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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