For ages, honey has been used as a staple, both in food and medicine. The reason is that it is very rich in plant compounds and provides several benefits. It is particularly used as a healthy substitute for refined sugar which is nothing but 100% empty calories. Here are the top 8 health benefits of honey:

Top 8 Health Benefits of Honey 

1. Nutrient Content of Honey

The thick liquid made by honeybees, honey in its organic form is made of natural sugars collected from the nectar of flowers. The honeybees inside the beehive consume, digest and regurgitate the nectar in nature’s own basket to produce a delicious end product.

Nutritionally 1 tsp of honey contains 64 calories with 17grams of sugar made of fructose, glucose, maltose and sucrose and trace amounts of vitamins and minerals. It contains no fiber, fat or protein. The darker the color of honey, the higher the number of plant compounds.

2. Rich in Antioxidants

High-quality pure honey contains many important antioxidants including flavonoids and organic acids. Studies have found that buckwheat honey has the power to increase the antioxidant value of your blood.

The antioxidants can lower blood pressure, prevent cancer and help to maintain heart health.

3. Honey Lowers Triglycerides

Associated with heart disease and diabetes, triglycerides can be detrimental and promote fatty buildup in your arteries. Honey, when replaced with sugar, can be beneficial for patients with diabetes and help to lower triglyceride levels. A study comparing honey and sugar discovered that people who consumed honey had 11 to 19% lower triglyceride levels.

The combination of honey and cinnamon can be very beneficial to blood sugar management. Studies suggest that the insulin-boosting power of cinnamon can counteract the glucose elevation in honey, which would make your honey and cinnamon mixture a low glycemic index food combination.

4. Counters Allergies

Raw honey contains bee pollen which can provide natural allergy relief and boost overall immunity. Especially, people who suffer from pollen allergies can benefit a great deal by consuming natural pollen and become less sensitive to it. Many seasonal allergies tend to be mitigated with consumption of local raw honey because it desensitizes them to the fauna that stimulates their allergic reaction.

5. Boost Energy

Commonly referred to as the perfect running fuel, honey provides an instant boost of energy in the form of glycogen. Thereby, it makes it ideal for energetic morning starts and pre or post-exercise energy source for athletes.

6. Promotes Sleep

Apart from fuelling your body with the right balance, honey also promotes restorative sleep. First, it restocks the liver’s glycogen supply and prevents the brain from searching for fuel which can wake you up. Secondly, raw honey triggers the release of melatonin, the sleep hormone and provides natural sleep aid.

7. Heal Wounds and Ulcer

Popularly used to treat wounds and burns in the skin, honey is also anti-bacterial. Honey reacts with the body fluids to produce minimal levels of hydrogen peroxide, creating an unfavorable environment for bacteria. A combination of honey and ghee has also been advocated and used as dressing for infected wounds since 1991 in four Mumbai hospitals.

In addition, honey can also reduce the size, pain, and odor of problematic skin ulcers.

8. Suppress Cough

As opposed to over the counter cough medications that make you very drowsy, honey in its natural form is very effective to treat cough minus the drowsy side-effects. Evidence shows that a single dose of honey can reduce mucous secretion and cough. Half tsp to 1 tsp of honey at bedtime is recommended for anyone over the age of one.

Finding and Using Raw Honey

With all the health benefits of honey, the bitter truth is that honey is rarely consumed in its organic form. Statistics state that out of the 50 percent of the population that directly purchase honey, 35 percent never eat honey the right way, and the remaining 15 percent consume honey in products made with honey.

Therefore, always purchase raw honey in its pure organic form. Never cook with honey as cooking destroys its properties. Also, do not store it near a heat source. Drizzle pure honey in beverages and food to enjoy its benefits.

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