Top 5 Health Benefits of Honey You Didn’t Know
Is honey healthy or just another popular sweetener? It is known as a household remedy for colds and coughs, but honey also unfolds its healing powers for other ailments. In this article, we explain in detail what this liquid gold can do.
No 1. Honey: a healthy sugar alternative?
Before you can say that honey is healthy, you should look at what’s in the sweetener in the first place.
Bee honey is a natural food, free of fat and risky substances such as cholesterol or purines, but it also contains no fiber or protein. At around 320 kilocalories per 100 grams, honey is not exactly a slimming agent, and the fructose it contains even has the additional effect of stimulating the appetite. Good for the teeth are foods that require a lot of chewing and do not stick to the tooth, i.e., which can be an advantage for people who want to put on weight.
Like sugar, honey contains mainly glucose and fructose: 80 percent of honey consists of these sugars, and the remaining 20 percent is water.
This is why honey also has a caries-promoting effect and is even more harmful to teeth than white or brown sugar because its sticky nature means it sticks to them longer. It should therefore be used sparingly, just like sugar.
The German Nutrition Society (DGE) and the World Health Organization (WHO) recommend limiting consumption of free sugars to less than ten percent of total energy intake, and this includes honey.
So what foods are good for teeth anyway?
Foods that require a lot of chewing and don’t attach to the teeth, like hard candies, are good for the teeth. whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Raw foods have a cleansing effect and stimulate saliva flow. Saliva, in turn, cleans the teeth,” says dentist Dr. Katy Düsterhöft.
Although it contains few vitamins and minerals, honey is healthy because it contains several bioactive substances and antioxidants. Especially the inhibins, a group of anti-inflammatory active substances (enzymes, resins, and flavonoids), are said to have a beneficial effect. However, these healthy active ingredients become ineffective above 40 degrees.
Experts can tell how fresh and natural honey is by its so-called HMF value. The less of the degradation product hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) they can detect in honey, the better the quality and the higher the content of healing active ingredients.
Honey contains fewer calories than household sugar, but it also promotes caries and can stimulate appetite. Nevertheless, honey is healthy because it contains anti-inflammatory enzymes.
No 2. Honey contains important antioxidants
Phytochemicals, enzymes, and plant compounds, including flavonoids and organic acids, are just a few of the powerful antioxidants found in honey. The mixture of ingredients in honey makes it healthy. In addition to improving vision, antioxidants help lower the risk of strokes, heart attacks, and various cancers.
High blood pressure can promote heart disease. The antioxidants contained in honey can lower blood pressure, and through them, the arteries can dilate better. Thus, the blood flow to the heart is increased. In addition, antioxidants prevent blood clots that can lead to heart attacks and strokes.
In one study, antioxidants were able to protect the heart from oxidative stress. However, there are no long-term human studies yet that adequately investigate whether honey is healthy for the heart.
The antioxidants found in honey may have a positive effect on heart health and lower blood pressure. However, long-term studies on this are not yet available.
No 3. Is honey healthy for diabetes?
Honey can strengthen the heart because it has a positive effect on cholesterol levels. Too much LDL cholesterol can lead to arteriosclerosis, a hardening of the arteries, in which blood fats are deposited in the arteries. In the worst case, this can lead to a heart attack or stroke.
Honey can lower the portion of “bad” LDL cholesterol and increase the portion of “good” HDL cholesterol substantially. Compared with sugar, honey actually resulted in 1.3 percent more weight loss and was able to lower LDL levels by 5.8 percent while increasing HDL levels by 3.3 percent.
However, other studies also show that honey can raise blood sugar levels, but less so than refined sugar. Therefore, just like sugar, diabetics should use honey with caution.
Poor blood lipid levels can increase the risk of heart disease and are a sign of insulin resistance, a phenomenon in type 2 diabetes and a major factor in the disease.
Poor blood lipid levels are common in people who eat a diet high in sugar and refined carbohydrates. Some studies linked eating honey to good blood lipid levels, especially when honey was consumed as a sugar substitute.
For example, triglyceride levels were 11 to 19 percent lower in the honey subjects than in the sugar group.
Honey can have a positive effect on cholesterol levels as well as improve blood lipid levels, thus reducing the risk of heart disease or type 2 diabetes. However, diabetics should enjoy it only in moderation.
No 4. Honey: a healthy wound remedy?
Externally, fresh bee honey from a good beekeeper sometimes heals wounds better than modern antibiotics. According to one study, treatment with honey for second-degree burns and inflamed wounds after surgery had a faster response than conventional types of treatment.
One study showed that honey was successfully used as a wound-healing agent in 43 percent of cases. This effect is attributed to honey’s antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Honey can also help with conditions such as psoriasis, hemorrhoids, and herpes blisters.
Honey is also healthy for diabetic foot ulcers, which, in the worst cases, can lead to amputation. In 97 percent of the cases studied, honey was able to heal these foot ulcers.
For the skin, honey is healthy because it can cure skin conditions such as psoriasis, hemorrhoids, and herpes blisters. In addition, honey has antibacterial as well as anti-inflammatory effects.
No 5. Honey against cough
Honey tastes good not only in tea but is also a real virus killer, strengthens the immune system, and helps with an acutely irritating cough and a budding cold. If you add honey to your tea or hot milk, the drink should cool down a bit beforehand, because, already at a temperature of 40 degrees, the healing enzymes in honey are destroyed.
In some studies, honey was shown to be very effective against sore throats and coughs in children, in some cases, it was even more effective than conventional cough medicines. In this case, symptoms as well as sleep were improved by honey.
However, children under twelve months of age should not be given honey yet, as it may contain Clostridium botulinum germs that can lead to botulism (food poisoning).
Honey has been shown to be an effective remedy for coughs, especially in children. However, children under one year of age should not be given honey, as it can lead to botulism.
Tips for buying honey: What makes an organic honey?
Just like the usual organic products in supermarkets, organic honey must meet special requirements in order to carry this special label. However, it is impossible to control which flower the bee flies to.
Therefore, the environment of the bees and, of course, the location of the hive are important. For organic honey, the hives must be located within a radius of about three kilometers in an area where mainly organically grown plants and crops are located.
The hives and the hives themselves, as well as the partitions made of wax, must be made of organic or natural materials. In addition, only certain methods are allowed in the supplementary feeding of bees as well as in their treatment of diseases.
Knowledge to go
Although honey has fewer calories than table sugar, it can increase appetite and induce tooth decay. It has beneficial bioactive compounds, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory enzymes. The antioxidants can have a positive effect on heart health and lower blood pressure.
Honey can lower LDL cholesterol and increase HDL cholesterol, as well as improve blood lipid levels, reducing the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. However, diabetics should use honey with caution, as it can increase blood sugar levels.
For the skin, honey is healthy as it can cure skin diseases such as psoriasis, hemorrhoids, and herpes blisters. In addition, honey has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects and can provide relief from burns and wounds.
Especially in children, honey has been shown to be an effective remedy for coughs. However, children under one year of age should not be given honey, as this can lead to botulism.