Since ancient times, honey has been considered a healthy addition not just to our kitchens but also to our medicine cabinets. Can something so sweet be healthy? Before adding it to your morning porridge, check out some of the science behind honey's supposed health benefits.
What are the nutritional benefits of honey?
How does honey benefit your health?
Is honey a myth when it comes to its health benefits?
Manuka honey: what is it?
Is honey bad for you?
There are a lot of natural sweeteners in honey, but how much sugar does it contain?
Honey contains the following nutrients in one portion (teaspoon):
While honey has a higher calorie count than sugar (16 calories per teaspoon), its composition of sugars makes it healthier than sugar.
Honey contains most of its sugar in fructose (40%), followed by glucose (30%). Glucose and fructose levels vary in honey, but these relatively low levels make honey a healthier alternative to sugary treats.
Aside from its antibacterial properties, honey also contains hydrogen peroxide. The following paragraphs discuss why these are so important for our health.
A unique natural remedy, raw honey is loaded with nutrients, a relatively healthy blend of sugar, minerals, and antioxidants. It has been linked to many health benefits, from heart health to wound healing.
Honey benefits the body in the following ways:
Some honey is more effective than others because of its higher levels of nutrients and antibacterial properties.
The benefits below can be attributed to buckwheat honey and manuka honey, which are great sources of nutrients.
Polyphenols, which are potent antioxidants, are found in honey.
Consuming honey in moderation can boost blood antioxidant levels. Evidence shows that this can reduce the risk of heart conditions (such as heart attacks and strokes) and even some types of cancer.
Honey with a darker colour usually contains more antioxidants. Honey made from buckwheat is an excellent source of antioxidants, which improve the body's antioxidant defences.
Do you have a sore throat? The advice to drink hot lemon and honey water has already been given to you - and you should follow it!
Honey is one of the best home treatments for a painful throat due to its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
When children suffer from respiratory infections, honey has been shown to suppress coughs and improve sleep.
A rare but dangerous condition known as infant botulism can affect babies up to 12 months. The condition is caused by bacteria multiplying in the intestines, resulting in weakened muscles and breathing difficulties.
One of honey's less commonly known health benefits is its antibacterial properties. Ancient Egyptians used honey to treat wounds and burns dating back thousands of years. Thousands of years later, honey has been proven to be a successful treatment.
Studies have shown its effectiveness on post-surgery wounds and burns. We can thank honey's antibacterial properties - in the form of its hydrogen peroxide levels - for this natural remedy. Honey contains low levels of hydrogen peroxide (a weak acid), which helps keep wounds and burns clean.
Our cholesterol levels play an essential role in heart disease - we have "good" cholesterol (called HDL) and "bad" cholesterol (called LDL).
As a result of reducing LDL cholesterol levels and increasing HDL cholesterol levels, honey can benefit our cholesterol balance. Fat buildup in our arteries, which causes heart attacks and strokes, can be prevented.
Several studies have linked honey's antioxidants to lowering high blood pressure. Heart disease can be significantly affected by this. The medical advice is to consume honey in moderation even though there are some excellent health benefits.
Antioxidants and antibacterial properties in honey help fight bacteria and viruses. You want honey with a higher level of antioxidants to reap the benefits.
Manuka honey and buckwheat honey have some of the highest levels.
Several health benefits of honey are not supported by scientific research, or scientific research has conflicting opinions.
Some believe you can become less sensitive to pollen by ingesting honey over time and exposing your body to it. However, there is no solid confirmation to support this claim.
According to some studies, people with diabetes may experience an improvement in their insulin resistance if they consume small amounts of honey. Insulin resistance leads to low glucose uptake from the blood and subsequently elevated glucose levels. Insulin resistance can be reduced by honey.
However, insufficient evidence supports this idea, and honey shouldn't be used to regulate blood glucose levels.
Manuka honey is one of the latest superfood fads to hit supermarket shelves. Bees collect nectar from manuka trees to make this type of honey. What is the difference? According to a New Zealand study, the antibacterial properties remained even after hydrogen peroxide was removed from manuka honey.
It includes tooth decay, gum disease, and plaque buildup. In our mouths, this can help prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. Manuka honey's nutritional value varies depending on the type of tree it comes from, just like all honey.
While honey is a great sugar alternative, there are some points to remember.
Some brands may add syrup to honey, which increases its calories and sugar content. As with most things, honey should be consumed in moderation.
Overweight, diabetics and people consuming high sugar or carbohydrate should pay particular attention to this. Honey should be avoided in these situations.
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