Honey, is the sweet nectar, the eminent health food that has been consumed all across the globe for hundreds of years. It is not only famous as a food sweetener, surprisingly enough it has a plethora of uses, especially in the beauty and health department. No wonder it is known as the golden medicine, given its endless uses.
First and foremost, it is crucial to know the difference between raw honey and processed one. Simply put, raw honey retains all of its nutrients and medicinal properties. On the other hand, processed honey, as the name suggests, is processed, pasteurized, and in the process, stripped of its nutritional compounds. Hence, raw honey is the best choice for health and medicinal uses.
Top 15 Health Benefits of Honey
1. Rich in Antioxidants
It is one of the best choices when it comes to antioxidant-rich foods. Consisting of flavonoids and rich antioxidants like organic acids, making it highly effective for fighting against diseases caused by cell damage, such as cancer, as well as heart diseases and high blood pressure.
2. Better Alternative To Sugar
Surprise, surprise, honey is better than sugar, or any other sweetener out there. What really is a surprise is that honey has a higher caloric content. Ironic, is it not? Yet, the amount of calories and sugar does not make it any less healthier. The low GI value of honey ensures that it does not increase blood sugar quickly. And, since it is sweeter than sugar, you require less of it.
Iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, ascorbic acid, riboflavin, the list goes on and on and on.
The bottom line is that honey is so rich in nutrients, that there is no reason for it to not be included in one’s diet. Not to mention the GI value is lower than sugar.
4. Improves Cholesterol
Several studies have claimed that honey increases HDL cholesterol (aka good cholesterol), and lowers LDL cholesterol (aka bad cholesterol). This ensures the prevention of conditions that are caused by fatty buildup in the arteries, such as strokes and heart attacks.
The anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties make it perfect for healing minor wounds. Applying honey on burns is the most commonly used natural remedy. This magical nectar has soothing and healing properties, making it perfect for not only keeping us healthy on the outside as well as on the inside.
6. Resolves Digestive Issues
It is a potent prebiotic, which means it helps maintain the good bacteria in your gut. Honey is often used for treating gut problems such as diarrhea, and is proven to effectively treat stomach ulcers by eliminating Helicobacter pylori bacteria.
7. Boosts Immunity
It comes as no surprise that honey is known as one of the best immunity boosters. With antibacterial, antifungal, and antibacterial properties will be effective against infections caused by viruses and bacteria. It is also proven that honey aids in the production of new immune cells. If consumed on a daily basis, it can boost your immunity significantly in the long run.
8. Increases Calcium Absorption
Calcium is extremely crucial for your body to function properly. It ensures that your bones and teeth remain strong and that your muscles communicate well with your brain. Honey increases calcium absorption in your body and helps fight anemia by increasing hemoglobin in the blood.
9. Cough Suppressant
Remember those childhood days when you got a common cold and your mother gave you a spoon of honey and some lemon juice? Ever wonder why the vicks and other similar cough suppressant toffees taste sweet? That is a perfect example of showing how versatile honey is. It is proven to be highly effective in suppressing cough, especially in children.
10. Weight Loss
Honey is not just a fancy flavour or sweetener in herbal green teas. Yes, it has sugar in it, but the composition of this sugar is different from the regular white sugar and sweeteners we consume. The best way to induce weight loss with honey is to drink it with a glass of warm water. Doing this every morning increases the metabolism as well.
11. Improves Sleep
This is a very unexpected health benefit that most people do not know. Drinking a mixture of warm water and honey does not only aid in weight loss, it also helps the brain release tryptophan, which converts into serotonin, which in turn forms into melatonin, aka the wellness hormone. This not only puts you to sleep but ensures tissue regeneration during that time.
Apart from fighting bacteria and microbes, honey is known to be a natural moisturizer. This means it provides moisturization and deep nourishment, especially effective on dry skin and hair. It can be used for topical application by itself or incorporated with lip, hair and face masks.
13. Removes Dead Skin Cells
Using physical exfoliants such as face scrubs can sometimes damage the skin. It is easy to overdo it and cause redness and irritation, especially when used on sensitive skin. It is effective in removing dead skin cells while hydrating and healing the skin simultaneously.
14. Sun Protection
Sun exposure can do irreparable damage to the skin, causing premature aging, wrinkles, and blemishes. The best way to stay protected from UV rays is to stay in the shade. But we all know that is not always an option. Instead of using store bought SPF lotions, use the most natural form of sun protection, honey. Apply a thin layer onto your skin and wash it off after 15 minutes. Do this before stepping out in the sun and keep your skin protected!
15. Treats Skin Infections
Topical application of honey can aid in regenerating new skin cells. This makes honey an effective treatment for skin damage and skin disorders such as eczema and dermatitis.
Yes, it is amazingly versatile, and it tastes heavenly. But keep in mind that it should not be consumed too much or too often. This can lead to adverse effects, as it has a high caloric value. So go moderately crazy on nature’s golden medicine and ensure peak health for yourself!