Honey has been used as a natural remedy for many ailments for decades. Its sweetness is one of nature’s finest gift to man. Naturally, we have different kinds, each having unique properties, different flavonoids, and distinct taste, depending on the floral source of the nectar. Dark varieties tend to have more antioxidant properties.
Honey is a natural sweetener that contains glucose and fructose, which makes it to be used mostly for baking, preparing desserts, and as sweeteners in beverages. It can also be used in beauty products for maintaining glowing skin.
1. Honey Contains Some Nutrients
Honey is a sweet, thick liquid made by honeybees.
The bees swarm their environment and collect the sugar-rich nectar of flowers.
Then inside the beehive, they repeatedly consume, digest and regurgitate the nectar.
The end product is honey, a liquid that is supposed to serve as stored food for the bees. The smell, color and taste depend on the types of flowers the bees visit.
Nutritionally, 1 tablespoon of honey (21 grams) contains 64 calories and 17 grams of sugar, including fructose, glucose, maltose and sucrose.
It contains virtually no fiber, fat or protein.
It also contains trace amounts (under 1% of RDA) of several vitamins and minerals, but you would have to eat many pounds to fulfill your daily requirements.
Where honey shines is in its content of bioactive plant compounds and antioxidants. Darker types tend to be even higher in these compounds than lighter types.
2. Honey Also Helps Improve Cholesterol
Having high LDL cholesterol levels is an important risk factor for heart disease.
It plays a major role in atherosclerosis, the fatty buildup in the arteries that can lead to heart attacks and strokes.
Interestingly, several studies have shown that honey can improve your cholesterol levels.
It reduces total and LDL cholesterol, while significantly raising HDL (the “good”) cholesterol.
Honey seems to have a positive effect on cholesterol levels. It leads to modest reductions in total and LDL cholesterol, while raising HDL.
3. Honey Can Lower Triglycerides
Elevated blood triglycerides are another major risk factor for heart disease.
They are also a key sign of insulin resistance, a major driver of type 2 diabetes.
Triglyceride levels tend to increase on a diet that is high in sugar and refined carbs.
Elevated triglycerides are a risk factor for heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Several studies show that honey can lower triglyceride levels, especially when it is being used to replace sugar.
4. Honey Promotes Burn and Wound Healing
Applying honey to the skin has been used to heal wounds and burns since ancient Egypt, and is still being used today.
When applied to the skin, honey can be part of an effective treatment plan for burns, wounds and many other skin conditions. It is particularly effective for diabetic foot ulcers.
5. Honey Can Help Suppress Coughs in Children
Coughing is a common problem for children with upper respiratory infections.
It can affect sleep and quality of life, for both the children and their parents.
However, mainstream medications for cough are not always effective and can have side effects.
Interestingly, honey may be a better choice. The evidence shows that it is very effective.
One study found that it worked even better than two common cough medications.
Another study found that it reduced cough symptoms and improved sleep even more than cough medication.
Nevertheless, it should never be given to children under 1 year of age, due to the risk for botulism.
For children over one year of age, honey can act as a natural and safe cough suppressant. Some studies show that it is even more effective than cough medication.
6. High-Quality Honey Is Rich in Antioxidants
High-quality honey contains many important antioxidants. These includes phenols, enzymes and compounds like flavonoids and organic acids.
Scientists believe that it is the combination of these compounds that gives honey its antioxidant power.
Interestingly, two studies have shown that buckwheat honey increases the antioxidant value of the blood.
Antioxidants have been linked to reduced risk of heart attacks, strokes and some types of cancer. They may also promote eye health.
Honey contains a number of antioxidants, including phenolic compounds like flavonoids.
7. The Antioxidants in It Can Help Lower Blood Pressure
Blood pressure is an important risk factor for heart disease, and honey may help lower it.
This is because it contains antioxidant compounds that have been linked to blood pressure lowering effects.