All throughout history honey has been a most precious commodity. As a matter of fact, many stories – even Bible stories – clearly show how much honey is valued. The ancient Israelites were promised a land flowing with honey and milk. Other reliable historical records show honey was used as medicine by many ancient people. Apiculture or the practice of keeping bees began in 700BC. If all these facts are to go by then it is quite interesting to note that majority of the population in the US alone who know its benefits still do not consume honey. Maybe it’s because they do not comprehend just how important honey is, so I’ll aim to do just that. Below are the health benefits of honey which can never be ignored:
1. Excellent Cough or Common Cold Syrup
Raw and pure unprocessed honey has been identified as being quite effective when it comes to the treatment of coughs or the common cold. It is not only more effective but is also healthier when compared to over-the-counter cough syrups. One single dose of honey has been proven to substantially decrease mucus secretion and coughing. The best dosage of honey is half to 2 teaspoons before sleep and this applies to any age.
2. A Powerful Antioxidant Booster
Honey is a powerhouse when it comes to the generation of antioxidants in the body. It helps the body produce high levels of antioxidants required for eliminating the free radicals that cause diseases in the body. Honey, by being a natural immune booster helps the body to counter diseases. It has polyphenols which are very powerful antioxidants responsible for minimizing risk to diseases such as cancer and heart problems.
Studies have proven that honey increases immensely the level of polyphenols in the body. Patients who take a few spoons of honey a day enjoy tremendous health benefits unlike those who do not. Other disease-fighting flavonoids contained in honey include: chrysin, pinocembrin, and pinostrobin. The antioxidants boosts testosterone level, kill many types of cancer cells, and boosts enzyme activity respectively.
In addition to boosting the body immune system, honey is rich in bee pollen which provides a natural allergy relief. It also keeps off infections. The pollen component in raw honey acts as a body defender against allergic reactions to pollen. Individuals who are allergic to pollen and other substances experience tremendous improvement when they consume raw honey.
Various research done in 2013 showed that those who took more honey experienced an improved immunity within a period of 8 weeks. One of the allergy problems that honey helps cure is the Allergic rhinitis which usually characterized by sneezing, itchy, watery eyes and other symptoms. Processed honey does not contain pollen and thus is ineffective in preventing or fighting allergies. Raw honey is therefore the best choice in this case.
4. Lack of Sleep
Those that suffer from lack of sleep or insomnia can now be happy to know that honey is a good solution for the problem. Melatonin, which is an excellent immune system booster and builder of body tissue is generated in huge quantities when you consume honey just before bedtime. Lack of sleep increases susceptibility to some serious problems such as Type 2 Diabetes, arthritis, hypertension, stroke, and heart disease. When you take honey before bedtime, the liver’s glycogen is restocked which in turn helps the brain relax instead of triggering a search for fuel. This search for fuel is the cause of insomnia.
5. Honey to Counter Diabetes
It has been proven that raw honey helps prevent the development of diabetes. Furthermore, diabetic patients are advised to take honey in addition to the medication since it boosts the efficacy of the medicine. Raw honey when added with cinnamon ensures a healthy blood sugar level. It also helps eliminates some conditions such as acne and gingivitis.
6. Ulcer and Wound Healer
Honey has been in use as a wound healer for centuries. It is an excellent antibacterial agent with excellent abilities of healing wounds. As a matter of fact, many hospitals use honey-infused bandages since they are effective as an aid to body healing. Other studies have shown how honey reacts with body fluids to generate hydrogen peroxide which create an environment that inhibits the growth of bacteria. You can use honey to treat bodily burns by applying it directly on the wound. You can also apply it on the dressing which should be changed after 24 to 48 hours.
Ulcer is a common disease affecting literally millions of people the world over. Many suffer without knowledge that honey is effective in treating many types of ulcers. Honey has been used and proven to be effective in reducing the size, odor, and pain experienced on severe skin ulcers.
7. Weight Management
There is a strong correlation between weight loss and honey consumption. A research done by Sandego State University showed that those who replaced sugar with honey do not gain extra weight and their blood pressure improved greatly. Other researches have also proven that honey suppresses the craving for food and this really helps those who are trying to lose weight.
8. Honey as a Natural Source of Energy
Raw honey is made up of 80% natural sugars, about 18% water, and remaining 2% is made up of minerals, pollen, protein, and vitamins. In fact, honey is referred to as the ideal running fuel. No wonder those engaging in sports consume honey regularly. Honey is ideal since it provides an easy absorbed energy supply. You should take honey in the morning and before after exercise.
Sports Nutrition and Exercise experts at the University of Memphis recommend honey as one of the best carbohydrates to be taken before exercising. It is comparable to glucose that is usually available in commercial energy gels. Raw honey is not only ideal before exercise but it’s also ideal for recovery after exercising. In fact, most post-workout meals and workout snacks come with raw honey included.
A Final Word
You should incorporate honey within your daily diet so as to enjoy its tremendous health benefits. Raw honey is the best choice since it has no additional substances and has not been subjected to pasteurization which kills the pollen found in raw honey.