Since ancient times, honey has been valued like something precious. It has been used as both medicine and food. It is a natural product made from flowers and plants by honeybees. Although it’s low in minerals and vitamins it has a lot of plant compounds. Because of its powerful properties, it is often being referred as “liquid gold”.
Honey offers a lot of health benefits too. A tablespoon of it is particularly healthy when used in its natural state and as a sweetener instead of refined sugar. There are so many things to use honey for like as a sweetener, in homemade cosmetics (because of the great effects of it on skin and hair) or as immune booster.
Here are some of the top health benefits of honey:
1. Rich in Nutrients
What is honey made of? – The nectar of different plants and flowers. The honeybees consume, digest and regurgitate the nectar to produce it, which serves as stored food for the winter. The color, smell and the taste of the sweet liquid depends on the types of plants and flowers the bees have visited.
The honey contains no fat, protein or fiber, but it contains some calories and different types of sugar like fructose, maltose, sucrose and glucose. But what it is most rich in is the content of antioxidants and bioactive plant compounds. Lighter types of it are lower in these compounds than darker types.
2. “Less Bad” than Sugar
The link between honey and diabetes is still being researched. There is different research which shows that it can actually reduce several risk factors related to heart disease which are common in people with type 2 Diabetes. For example is lowers inflammations and bad cholesterol and raises good cholesterol.
However, several studies show that it can increase the sugar levels in the blood but not as much as refined sugar does. It is slightly better than refined sugar, especially for people with diabetes, but still it shouldn’t be consumed excessively. Honey sugar content is still high, so it should be taken with caution. It is a healthier alternative to sugar and it’s delicious but it should be consumed in moderation. Always choose high-quality brands, because low-quality honey products are usually mixed up with syrup.
3. Good for the Heart
The antioxidants found in honey have been linked to reduced risk of heart disease. They help the arteries to dilate which means increased blood flow to the heart. The phenols and antioxidants also prevent blood clot formation.
4. Wound and Burn Healing
Honey has been used since ancient times to heal wounds and burns. It is still commonly used for this purpose even today. Researchers believe that its healing powers come from its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects as well as its ability to nourish the tissues surrounding the wound.
It can also heal other skin conditions like herpes and psoriasis. Manuka honey is great for treating burned skin.
5. Help suppress coughs
A tablespoon of honey can help a lot with upper respiratory infections in children. Studies show that it is very effective when it comes to coughing and the best part is that it tastes good and doesn’t have side effects. Nevertheless, children under one year old should not eat honey. It is as precious as gold, because of its great properties and effects. It is a true natural treasure which shows how powerful Nature is and how it can help us heal from various conditions or prevent others.