Honey is one of the best health foods. The health benefits of raw honey are very good and so raw honey should be included in your diet. Honey is one of the more popular natural sweeteners. Many countries use raw honey or organic honey in dessert recipes. There are a lot of medicinal advantages associated with honey. In this article, we talk about the many Health Benefits of Honey.
What is raw honey?
Raw honey is the crude form of honey, taken out from honeycombs within the beehives. It is not pure but contains bee pollens, which are good for health. It also contains impurities like dead bees, legs, hunks of bee wax and other impurities, which are strained out before bottling the same. Further, it is never heated above 95 degrees Fahrenheit, which is the normal temperature for the beehive. It is also never pasteurized and there are no other additions to raw honey. Thus the nutritional value of the raw honey is kept intact due to the less processing.
In the case of normal commercialized honey, the same is heavily processed and there are many unnatural additions to it, thus reducing its health quotient. Also the clear golden syrup like honey which you get in the market may not be organic.
Health Benefits of Honey
Today, we will look at the health benefits of honey.
1. Honey helps in weight management.
Research has indicated that honey helps in weight loss. Honey is a natural sweetener, which can easily replace sugar. With this small change, you can avoid those extra pounds and also control your blood sugar levels.
Research has also shown that honey helps in burning the fat in the body even while you are sleeping. Some nutritionists recommend having 1tsp of honey every night before going to bed. You can also consume honey with warm water, first thing in the morning. This helps in increasing the metabolism, thereby reducing your weight.
2. Honey also helps in strengthening the immune system.
There are many medicinal values of honey, for e.g., curing a sore throat and fighting infections caused by bacteria and viruses. Honey is rich in antioxidants, which helps in boosting the immune system. Further, it also helps in cleansing, leading to better immunity for children.
3. Honey has rich antioxidant properties.
Honey is rich in antioxidant properties, which helps in preventing the free radicals from causing diseases in the body. Honey contains polyphenols, which are powerful antioxidants, which help in preventing many diseases. Some researchers have also indicated that honey contains antioxidants like flavonoids etc., which help in preventing diseases like cancer and other heart diseases.
4. Honey is a great sleep promoter and acts as natural sleeping aid.
Honey is a great sleep inducer. It helps in releasing melatonin in the brain by creating a small spike in the insulin levels, which further stimulates the release of tryptophan and serotonin, which are important for getting good sleep.
Honey helps in getting natural sleep, thereby lowering the risks of hypertension, heart disease and obesity.
5. Honey is a natural cough syrup.
Honey helps in reducing the mucus secretion and cough. In the olden days our grandma used to give us a teaspoon of honey with a pinch of turmeric, in order to get relief from cough. Honey helps in reducing the irritation in the throat and is a good remedy for dry and wet cough.
Further, it helps in relieving the nocturnal cough of children and allowing them to sleep peacefully at night.
6. Honey is good for healing wounds.
Honey has antibacterial, antifungal and antioxidant properties. Application of honey on wounds helps in killing bacteria.
7. Honey benefits the skin and hair.
Honey is one of the most popular ingredients in many natural and herbal beauty treatments. It is one of the best natural moisturizers for dry skin. Honey helps in unclogging the pores and thus giving relief to dry skin. Different honey face masks are used for skin tone correction, dry skin problems, glowing skin, treating wounds, cuts or burns etc.
In case of red or itchy skin, you can mix honey with olive oil and apply it on the affected part to get relief. Honey also helps in exfoliation and so it is used in many face packs.
8. Honey helps in improving the heart health.
Honey helps in improving the cholesterol levels, by reducing the LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) and increasing the HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol). Some studies have also indicated that it helps in lowering the triglycerides level. All this help in improving the heart health.
Let us understand how honey can be used or consumed.
- Organic honey will be opaque rather than sparkling clear.
- Never cook honey or store it near a heat source, as it will destroy the nutritional properties of honey.
- You can add honey to cereals, toast, yogurt, smoothies, fresh cut fruits, pancakes or healthy desserts.
- Honey is used as an energy source for athletes.
Some of the side effects or disadvantages of honey.
- Though honey is good, it should be consumed in moderate and appropriate quantities, as over-consumption can lead to vomiting, nausea etc.
- Honey should not be given to children below 1 year.
- People who are allergic to pollen, celery etc., should not consume honey.
- Never heat honey as it will eliminate its healthy properties.
These are some of the health benefits of honey. We would encourage you to include honey in your diet as appropriate. Children love honey and so it should be used as a healthy alternative to sugar.
Hope you have enjoyed reading this article on the Health Benefits of Honey.
Please read our earlier article Health Benefits of Pomegranate
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