It adds a sweet touch to your favourite foods, but the benefits of honey extend way beyond taste.
Of all the natural home remedies your parents or grandparents made you try as kid—whether it was aloe vera or oatmeal or ginger—our guess is that honey was your favorite. Well, it turns out that it’s also a favorite of doctors due to its nourishing and healing properties. But what are the benefits of honey?
7 Benefits of Honey
Although we have more advanced methods of embalming bodies, we still use honey today as a sweetener as well as an ingredient in beauty products, candles, and fragrances. But, most important, we use it as natural source of nutrition.
#1. Honey is filled with antioxidants
One the most of important benefits of honey lies in its antioxidants. They include phenols and flavonoids, which can reduce oxidative stress and inflammation in your body while protecting you against stroke, heart disease, and cancer.
How to use: You’d have to consume at least one teaspoon of honey a day to get an adequate source of antioxidants, but don’t forget that honey is considered an “added sugar”.
#2. Honey is good for your heart
We’ve already mentioned that honey is antioxidant-rich, which can protect you from heart disease, but it also can also improve your cholesterol levels. Honey caused a 5.8 percent reduction in LDL (“bad cholesterol”) and a 3.3 percent increase in HDL (“good”) cholesterol in patients when compared to sugar.
#3. It can help heal burns, wounds, and other skin conditions
In addition to being rich in antioxidants, honey also has antibacterial and antiseptic qualities that accelerate wound and burn healing by providing a moist environment and increasing the flow of nutrients to the affected site. Honey’s also effective at killing pathogens. Honey can also be used to treat and prevent acne, dandruff, and itchy skin.
How to use: Apply a thick layer of medicinal or raw honey on the affected area and wrap with appropriate dressing if necessary. If your wound is severe, consult your doctor before applying the honey. Look for natural creams, lotions, and shampoos that contain honey to curb dandruff and itchy skin, and to treat acne, add a couple of teaspoons of honey to your favorite homemade face mask or scrub.
#4. Honey can curb your cough
There’s a reason why honey is often a main ingredient in cough drops and syrups. Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, honey has been medically proven to reduce cough frequency and improve quality of sleep in children with the common cold. Studies also show that honey can be just as (if not more than) effective than over-the-counter cough medicines.
How to use: Consume one teaspoon of honey or you can also mix it into a warm beverage, preferably fresh ginger tea, which is also good at curbing coughs and soothing sore throats.
#5. It can boost athletic performance
Studies found that honey allowed 39 weight-trained athletes to sustain their blood sugar levels for over two hours following exercise. Honey also significantly increased the power and speed of nine competitive cyclists when compared to glucose and placebos.
“We wanted to see if honey would be a good source of carbohydrate for athletes in comparison to other forms of carbohydrate. Honey did as well or better in several areas,” stated Expert, who led the studies.
How to use: Try homemade drink made with honey, citrus juice, water, and salt during tough workout sessions.
#6. Honey can ease digestive problems
Antioxidants in honey may prevent free radicals from damaging the cells that line the digestive tract, which can cause acid reflux. Honey may also be able to reduce inflammation in the esophagus and provide a coating for its mucous membrane.
How to use: To calm heartburn caused by acid reflux, eat one teaspoon of honey or mix it into a glass of warm water. Four tablespoons of honey should be mixed into a cup of hot water to relieve symptoms of diarrhea in adults.
#7. It’s healthier for diabetics than sugar-sort of
Here’s the good news: Studies show that honey can improve heart disease risk factors in diabetics and it doesn’t raise your blood sugar as quickly as refined sugar can. The bad news is that it’s still not considered to be “diabetic friendly” because of its carb content, so it should be consumed with caution.
How to use: If you have diabetes, it’s important to consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet.