Raw honey is a remarkable natural substance that is receiving a lot of well deserved attention.
It has been found to bestow a number of health and nutrition benefits on the users, some of which are mentioned below:
- The group of bacteria known as bifidobacteria, also known as “good bacteria,” reside in the gut and stimulate the immune system as well as reduce cholesterol, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. Regular ingestion of honey may help enhance the presence of bifidobacteria. A 2002 study by Michigan State University researchers published in the “Journal of Food Protection” showed that honey promoted the growth of intestinal bifidobacteria.
- Raw honey can provide an energy boost. Its carbohydrates supply energy and strength and it can boost your endurance and reduce muscle fatigue. World’s Healthiest Foods found that studies performed using honey during workouts produced more favorable outcomes than the use of other types of sugars. Honey was proven to be an efficient energy source that, when combined with its wound-healing properties, can help performance athletes. Honey helped produce favorable blood-sugar levels before, during and after workouts, which in turn maintained muscle stores and provided faster recovery after workouts.
- Consume local raw honey to obtain the immune-stimulating properties needed for your body to adapt to its environment. It can also help your body ward off allergies.
- The World’s Healthiest Foods website says that raw honey contains the phytonutrients caffeic acid, methyl caffeate, phenylethyl caffeate and phenylethyl dimethylcaffeate, which have antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties to keep your immune system healthy and ward off colds and flus.
- Raw honey contains 27 minerals, 22 amino acids and 5,000 live enzymes. It keeps you healthy by fighting disease and boosting the digestive system. One daily spoonful in your tea or spread on your toast is all that is needed to reap these benefits.
- Honey helps in cleansing blood and has positive effects on the regulation of blood circulation.
- Honey and lemon goes to work in the body shifting the extra fat stores, thus making it usable energy for regular body functions. Honey is cholesterol-free and can reportedly help keep cholesterol levels in check. One study found that treatment with raw honey was able to reduce total cholesterol, triglycerides and blood-sugar levels. It also showed that raw honey was actually able to increase HDL, or good cholesterol. Plus, it proved that honey also causes blood-sugar levels to rise less than table sugar, which may help to improve blood-sugar control and insulin resistance.
- According to a 2009 study conducted by Virginia Tech researchers and published in the “Journal of the American Dietetic Association”, honey may slow the effects of oxidative stress. Substituting honey for refined sugar may increase your daily intake of antioxidants to the same degree as a serving of berries or nuts, thus providing a sweet means to combat cellular damage from free radicals.
- Honey is use to treat wounds. According to the World’s Healthiest Foods website, raw honey contains primarily glucose and fructose, which strongly attract water. Because of this, honey can absorb the water in wounds, drying it out faster to discourage bacteria growth and promote faster healing. It also contains the enzyme glucose oxidase that, when combined with water, produces hydrogen peroxide, a mild antiseptic.
- Honey reduces the production of acid in the mouth and thus, is good for maintaining oral health.
- Honey has a healthy Glycemic Index (GI), meaning that its sugars can be gradually absorbed into the bloodstream to result in better digestion. We should try to avoid eating excessive high-glycemic foods which would prompt an elevated insulin release in our body as a result of the pancreas being stimulated to metabolize the sudden surge of glucose into the blood.
- Honey contains natural minerals and vitamins which help the metabolizing of undesirable cholesterol and fatty acid on the organs and tissues into the system, hence preventing obesity and promoting better health for us.
- When used in the form of face packs, honey helps in rejuvenating the skin and also helps reduce the appearance of wrinkles. No wonder why Cleopatra Queen of Egypt regularly took milk and honey baths to maintain her youthful appearance.
- For dry hair, honey can be applied after shampooing to restore moisture and shine. The sugars in honey attract water to restore moisture to your hair.
- A study on children over the age of 2 with cough from respiratory infections found that honey consistently improved the children’s cough greater than the use of the medicine dextromethorphan. Parents of the children rated honey most highly for relief of cough and sleep difficulty.
Honey contains a natural presence of botulinum endospores, therefore, children under one year old should not be given honey. Before the age of twelve months, a child’s intestinal tract is not mature enough to inhibit the growth of Clostridium botulinum, which can be found in honey.
No honey, in any form, should be given to babies younger than age one!