6 Benefits of Honey and How to Add it to Your Diet
Honeybees produce a sweet golden liquid from plant nectar. This sweet liquid, known as honey, is beneficial to humans in various ways. Honey is made up of pure sugar, amino acids, vitamins, minerals, iron, and zinc which is why it’s used in so many foods and is an ingredient in recipes. Honey is in its most beneficial form when the honey is raw.
Types of Honey
The smell, color, and taste of honey varies, depending on the type of flower that the honey is made from. Honey can be purchased either as raw or pasteurized. Raw honey comes directly from the hive and is the least processed. Raw honey is fresh and hasn’t gone through the heating process. Since raw honey is the least processed, it is thought to have the most antioxidants.
Pasteurized honey is processed and filtered to remove imperfections and to lengthen its shelf life.
Light Honey vs Dark Honey
Whether honey is light or dark depends on the plant the nectar comes from. Darker honey has less water, more antioxidants, and a stronger flavor. Buckwheat and Manuka Honey are both examples of dark honey. Manuka contains antibacterial and antifungal properties and is used topically to treat burns, sores, and cuts.
Light-colored honey tends to have more water, fewer antioxidants, and a milder flavor. Acacia and Clover Honey are both examples of light honey. Clover Honey is great for baking and is used as an ingredient in recipes.
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Health Benefits of Honey
Most people are familiar with honey’s association with food but there are also other ways humans benefit from honey. Honey has many health benefits, plays a role in home remedies, and can be used as an alternative in some medical treatments.
The following is a list of the health benefits of honey and how it can be added to your diet:
Honey is often used as a sweetener for food. It’s commonly used to sweeten yogurt, coffee, and tea. It’s also used as a natural sweetener in recipes. Cannabis and honey pair up well to form the base for many infused edible recipes.
While honey is a healthy addition to any diet, it still is considered pure sugar, and consuming too much sugar is not good for your health. You should always consume honey in moderation.
- Cardiovascular Disease
Antioxidants help protect the body from inflammation. Inflammation in the body can lead to heart disease. The antioxidants found in honey reduce the risk of heart disease since it protects the body from inflammation.
Honey is also thought to lower blood pressure, improve blood sugar levels, and regulate the heartbeat. In fact, honey manages blood sugar levels better than sugar. Honey, overall, improves the health of the heart.
- Cough Suppressant
Physicians don’t recommend giving young children over-the-counter medication for coughs. In this case, a home remedy is a safe alternative. Honey is an effective cough suppressant, especially for upper respiratory infections and nighttime cough. It’s important to note that doctors do not recommend giving honey to children under one year of age.
- Gastrointestinal Disease
Honey is thought to relieve gastrointestinal tract issues as well. One of these issues is diarrhea. While diarrhea can cause dehydration, honey can be used as a therapy for rehydration.
- Neurological Disease
Not only does honey protect the body from cardiovascular disease and gastrointestinal disease, but it also protects the body from neurological disease. There is some research that has proven that honey aids as an antidepressant, anti-convulsant, has anti-anxiety benefits, and helps prevent memory disorders.
- Wound Care
Honey is also used as a topical ointment. Honey promotes the healing of wounds, especially burns. It’s also been shown to promote the healing of foot ulcers caused by diabetes.
Honey contains nutrients that are rich in polyphenols and antioxidants. Polyphenols are compounds found in plants that enhance digestion & brain health and protect against heart disease, certain cancers, and diabetes.
Antioxidants contain flavonoids and phenolic acids that play a role in preventing premature aging, heart disease, and diabetes.
Collectively, honey is used as an anti-inflammatory, antibacterial agent, and antioxidant. It’s used to treat coughs, burns, and to promote the healing of wounds.