Health Benefits of Honey
Honey has been used by mankind since the past 2,500 years, all over the world. While the numerous health benefits of honey have made it an important aspect of traditional medicines such as Ayurveda, scientists are also researching the benefits of honey in modern medicine, especially in healing wounds.
Known as Honig in German, Miele in Italian, Shahad in Hindi, Miel in French, Miel in Spanish, Mel in Portuguese, мед in Russian, Honing in Dutch, and μελι in Greek, there is hardly any region in the world where honey is not cherished.
What makes honey so popular? It is the ease with which it can be consumed. One can eat honey directly, put it on bread like a jam, mix it with juice or any drink instead of sugar, or mix it with warm water, lime juice, cinnamon and other herbs to make a medicine. It is savored by all due to its taste as well as health benefits.
The health benefits of honey include the following:
Sweetener: Sugar can be substituted with honey in many food and drinks. Honey contains about 69% glucose and fructose enabling it to be used as a sweetener.
Energy Source: According to USDA, honey contains about 64 calories per tablespoon. Hence honey is also used by many as a source of energy. On the other hand, one tablespoon of sugar will give you about 15 calories. Further the carbohydrates in the honey can be easily converted into glucose by even the most sensitive stomachs. Hence it is very easy to digest honey.
Weight Loss: Though honey has more calories than sugar, honey when consumed with warm water helps in digesting the fat stored in your body. Similarly honey and lemon juice and honey and cinnamon help in reducing weight. Read more about benefits of honey in weight loss.
Improving Athletic Performance: Recent research has shown that honey is an excellent ergogenic aid and helps in boosting the performance of athletes. Honey facilitates in maintaining blood sugar levels, muscle recuperation and glycogen restoration after a workout.
Source of Vitamins and Minerals: Honey contains a variety of vitamins and minerals. The type of vitamins and minerals and their quantity depends on the type of flowers used for apiculture. Commonly, honey contains Vitamin C, Calcium and Iron. Check for the vitamin and mineral content in sugar from any source, you will find it to be either nil or miniscule.
Antibacterial and Antifungal Properties: Honey has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties and hence it can be used as a natural antiseptic.
Antioxidants: Honey contains nutraceuticals, which are effective in removing free radicals from our body. As a result, our body immunity is improved.
Skin Care with Milk and Honey: Milk and honey are often served together as both these ingredients help in getting a smooth soothing skin. Hence consuming milk and honey daily in the morning is a common practice in many countries.
Honey in Wound Management
Significant research is being carried out to study the benefits of honey in treating wounds. Nursing Standard provides some of these benefits in the document - The benefits of honey in wound management. These have been given below:
- Honey possesses antimicrobial properties.
- It helps in promoting autolytic debridement.
- It deodorizes malodorous wounds.
- It speeds up the healing process by stimulating wound tissues.
- It helps in initiating the healing process in dormant wounds.
- Honey also helps in promoting moist wound healing.
The healing powers of honey are not hyped. The Waikato Honey Research Unit provides details about the world-wide research that is being carried out on the benefits of honey in medicine. Further, BBC reported in July, 2006 that doctors at the Christie Hospital in Didsbury, Manchester are planning to use honey for faster recovery of cancer patients after surgery. Such research will provide scientific evidence to the so-called beliefs held by honey lovers all over the world and help in propagating benefits of honey to more people.
Now that you know the benefits of honey, how do you eat it? You can eat it raw, add it it in water and different beverages and you can add it in several recipes also. Organic Facts has published an ebook on quick and easy honey recipes.
Other Articles of Interest:
Health Benefits of Honey and Ginger
Health Benefits of Honey and Milk
Factors Governing the Benefits of Honey
Health Benefits of Honey and Cinnamon
Health Benefits of Honey in Weight Loss