Honey has been used as a sweetener and preservative throughout human history. But who knew such a sweet, sugary substance could be so good for you? While we all know a sweet treat is good for the soul, honey has incredibly positive effects on the human body that we probably never think about when dripping some over our morning waffles. Mmmm…waffles…
Ahem, without further ado, here are ten ways eating honey can have a positive effect on your health and your body.
Honey is a source for vitamins and minerals
Most honey is full of three incredibly important vitamins and minerals. Honey is a source of Vitamin C, which has a variety of benefits on the human body, including strengthening the immune system. It also is a source of calcium, which strengthens the bones. Lastly, honey is shown to contain iron, which is helpful to the circulatory system.
Honey can increase your red blood cell count
Drinking water mixed with honey increases the body’s red blood cell count, in turn oxygenating your blood. High levels of oxygen increase a body’s productiveness, as well as its ability to stave off bacteria and disease. Increased oxygen levels also increase energy levels as well, making aerobic exercise easier on the body. When a person’s body is more apt to physical activity, their mind is also more susceptible to positive thoughts and moods. Drinking honey water, therefore, can lead to increased productivity in a person’s body, as well as the mind.
Honey is a great alternative to sugar
Honey contains sugar; there is no doubt about that. However, the type of sugar it contains is different from the white sugar we put in our morning coffee. Without getting too much into the chemical structures of each, let’s just leave it at the fact that real honey contains real sugar. Other compounds found within honey, such as dextrin, combined with the natural sugars found within honey, help to regulate a body’s blood sugar level.
Honey has many medical uses
Honey has been proven to have antibacterial characteristics, and can also be used as a disinfectant. In clinical tests, a certain purified honey was used to treat ulcers and other leg wounds; the treatment was a success for 99% of the patients involved. Honey has shown the ability to eradicate E. coli and salmonella, commonly found in uncooked meats. Honey has also been used for treatment of lung diseases such as mucus and asthma.
Honey is a prebiotic
Honey may be used as a prebiotic. This is not to be confused with probiotics, such as yogurt, which contain healthy microbacteria that aide the intestines in the digestive process. Prebiotics, however, serve as food for these bacteria, which in turn increases the amount of “healthy” bacteria within your body.
Honey conditions the skin
Honey can alleviate skin conditions such as dermatitis and dandruff. The application of honey to affected skin has shown to alleviate conditions after the completing the regimen. Using honey as a remedy for skin conditions has proven to soothe itching and scaling, and also has shown promise in improving hair loss.
Honey is an alternative to cough medicine
Honey can alleviate symptoms of congestion, especially in children. The syrupy consistency of honey forms a film in a person’s mouth and throat that soothes the irritated areas and shield the areas from further infection. Using honey to soothe sore throats works especially well to regulate sleeping patterns when a cough is keeping you up at night. The protective film created continues to work its magic throughout the night, allowing for a good night’s rest.
Honey may reduce allergy symptoms
Honey made from locally pollinated flowers may alleviate allergy symptoms in the same way vaccines inoculate us from diseases. By introducing the body to small amounts of an allergen, it is possible for the body to built up an immunity to the chemical in question over time. Of course, this method requires patients to use honey that is produced locally, but the benefits of doing so include suffering a smaller amount of allergic reactions, and less intense reactions as well.
Honey gives you a quick energy boost
Athletes have been known to take a spoonful of honey when they’re feeling drowsy or light-headed. As mentioned, honey has a positive effect on a person’s red blood cell count, as well as his oxygen levels. Of course, higher oxygen levels mean higher energy levels. The consistency of honey also gives it “time-releasing” qualities, making it even more beneficial for athletes who must be active for long periods of time, such as marathon runners.
Honey can possibly stave off cancer
Honey contains various flavonoids, which reduce the risk of some cancers. However, this has not been clinically proven to reduce the risk of all cancers; but it has shown significant effects in some smokers and women.
As previously mentioned, honey can be used in place of syrup on waffles or pancakes, in tea, and in various other recipes. You can check out the Food Network’s page for a list of meals, snacks, and desserts which include honey. And now that my mouth is watering, I’m going to cut this a bit short as I make a bee-line to the pantry. See what I did there?