Honey is a natural sweetener, a sweet food produced by the bees using nectar of flowers. Honey is very good for our health because of the compounds ( around 600) present in it. Ayurveda which is also known as the medical science of ancient times gives a lot of importance to honey because of various health benefits of honey. In this article, we will know about all the major health benefits of honey in detail.
Health Benefits of Honey
(1) Honey And Weight Loss
If you are suffering from obesity and wants to lose weight naturally then you should start taking warm honey lemon water first in the morning or on an empty stomach. This is because honey is very effective in weight loss.Although honey is higher in calories in comparison to sugar but it is still good for weight loss when it is taken along with warm water as it helps in the digestion of stored fat of our body and breaks it down and thus helps in weight loss.
Honey is also a natural sweetener and taking honey doesn’t show any increase in blood sugar level which also contributes to weight loss.
(2) Honey For Reducing Cough and Throat Irritation:
Honey is very effective in providing relief from a cough and throat irritation, especially in children. This benefit of honey was confirmed by a 2007 study done by the Penn State college of medicine.
The study involved 139 children and it was found that children who were given buckwheat honey showed more improvement and were able to sleep more effectively at night without getting troubled by the night time cough in comparison to the rest of the group who given cough suppressant dextromethorphan ( DM).
As per a different study ( involving 270 children ) published in Pediatrics, it was found that children who received two teaspoons of honey 30 minutes prior to bed were less likely to lose sleep due to a cough in comparison to rest of the group who was not given any honey.
(3) Honey Boost Memory
Consuming honey on a regular basis is very effective in increasing memorizing power of our brain. This memory boosting benefit of honey was confirmed by a research reported by the Reuters. As per this research, 102 healthy women who were in the menopausal stage of their life were asked to consume 20 grams of honey every day, take hormone replacement therapy containing estrogen or progesterone or 20 nothings.
After four months, results were compared and it was found that women who took honey or hormone pills were able to recall one extra word out of the 15 presented on a short-term memory test. This may not sound big but it still shows that honey is as effective as hormone pills when it comes to boosting memory.
(4) Heal Wounds & Burns
Honey is very effective in healing wounds and burns and this benefit of honey is confirmed by numerous studies. Some of the notable studies are- Norwegian study, in which it was found that Norwegian honey and the medihoney were able to kill strains of bacteria in a wound.
In an another study, 59 patients suffering from wounds and leg ulcers were treated with unprocessed honey and all (except one) showed remarkable improvement. The interesting fact about this study that 80 percent of the patients who had gone for this treatment had failed to health with the conventional treatment.
WebMD recommends applying honey directly or in a dressing ( that usually gets changed every 24 to 48 hours) for using honey for the treatment of burns and wounds. In the case of applying honey directly, it is better to cover it with sterile gauze and bandages or polyurethane dressing.
(5) Provides Nutrients
Honey is very effective in providing most of the nutrients required by our body. As per National Honey Board, some of the major vitamins and minerals present in honey are Niacin, Riboflavin, Pantothenic acid, Calcium, Copper, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Phosphorus, Zinc, and Potassium. As there are so many vitamins and minerals so it is better to replace our conventional sugar with honey which is more beneficial for our health and doesn’t even lead to an increase in blood sugar.
(6) Potentially Prevents Low White Blood Cell count And Increase Red Blood cells
Honey is very effective in preventing the lowering of white blood cells counts. This was confirmed by a small trial, in which 40 percent of cancer patients with a risk of Neutropenia ( risk of low blood count) showed great improvement ( in regard to Neutropenia ) when they were given two teaspoons of therapeutic honey during their chemotherapy session.
This benefit of honey is not just limited to white blood cells and it has been found to be very effective in taking care of anemic conditions too because of the ability of honey to increase red blood cells and raising the hemoglobin levels in the blood when it is mixed and drunk with tepid water.
Because of these benefits of honey, honey is also found to be effective in providing relief from the conditions like fatigue, breathlessness etc. associated with the low red blood count level.
Suggested Read-17 Wonderful Beauty Benefits of Honey For Skin And Hair
(7) May Relieve Seasonal Allergies
Honey is believed to provide relief from seasonal allergies but this is yet not proved in clinical studies. However, some experts believe that honey contains traces of flower pollen and exposure to small amounts of allergens helps in combating the reactions seasonal allergic reactions.
Honey is also anti-inflammatory in nature and this benefit of honey make it very effective in providing relief from a cough and throat infections ( which is many times caused by allergens) so it is quite possibility that honey plays an important role in treating seasonal allergies.
(8) Kills Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria
As per some clinical studies, medical grade honey has been found to very effective in killing the foodborne illness pathogens like E. coli and salmonella, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
(9) May Help Metabolize Alcohol
If you are an alcohol consumer then you can take advantage of this benefit of honey. As per the NYU Langone Medical Centre, it was found that consuming honey might increase the ability of our body to metabolize alcohol more effectively and thereby limiting the intoxication and in dropping the level of alcohol in blood vessels more rapidly.
(10) Makes Great Workout Fuel
Honey contains about 17 grams of carbohydrates per tablespoon and this make honey an excellent source of energy and consuming honey for energy purpose for sports activity is better than relying on sugar-laden energy drinks because honey not only provides energy but is also good in providing essential nutrients to our body.
Because of this benefit of honey, The National Honey board recommends adding honey to our water bottle for getting the required energy boost during workouts. Honey can also be taken with snacks before and after a workout session and honey sticks can be eaten for endurance.
(11) Increase Athletic Performance
A single tablespoon of honey contains about 17 grams of carbohydrates and this makes honey a very effective source of energy. Because of this benefit of honey, honey has been found to be very effective in increasing the athletic performance as they help in maintaining glycogen levels in our body and also helps in recovering ( after the event).
Maybe this is the reason why ancient Olympic athletes used to eat honey and dried figs to enhance their performance during the Olympic event. Honey not only provides energy but also provides essential vitamins and minerals which are an added advantage.
(12) May Prevents Cancer
Regular consumption of honey has been found to be very effective in reducing the risk of several types of cancer like liver cancer, colorectal cancer, prostate cancer, skin cancer and mouth cancer etc. This cancer preventing benefit of honey is because of the presence of compounds like flavonoids and antioxidants in honey. Antioxidants present in honey fights with the free radicals of our body and stabilize them and thus reduces the risk of development of cancer.
(13) Reduce Ulcers And Other Gastrointestinal Disorders
Regular consumption of honey has been found to be very effective in reducing the risk of ulcers and other gastrointestinal disorders like bacterial gastroenteritis. This benefit of honey is because of the antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral nature of honey.
Suggested Read-10 Risks And Side Effects of Eating Too much Honey
(14) Antibacterial, Antifungal, and Antiviral
Honey is antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal in nature and this benefit of honey makes it very effective in fighting against various diseases and conditions caused by the development of bacteria and viruses.
(15) Balance The 5 Elements
Honey is one of the most widely used ingredients in ayurvedic medicine in India and is believed to have a positive effect on all of the three primitive materials ( vaat, Pitt, Kaff ) of our body. Because of this, honey plays a very important role in maintaining good health and some of the major health benefits of honey in terms of Ayurveda are improved eyesight, helps in losing weight, cures impotence, and premature ejaculation, provides relief from urinary tract infection, relief from bronchial asthma, nausea, and diarrhea.
(16) Blood Sugar Regulation
Regular consumption of honey has found to be very effective in reducing the blood sugar level of our body and this benefit of honey makes it a wonderful substitute for white sugar that we use in our everyday life ( but which is harming us ). Just like white sugar or artificial sweeteners, honey also contains simple sugar but still, honey is beneficial when it comes to reducing blood sugar levels.
This benefit of honey is because of the sugars present in honey. It contains about 30 percent glucose, 40 percent fructose, and 20 percent other complex sugar. Along with this, honey also includes a starchy fiber known as Dextrin. All these substances combined together helps in regulating the blood sugar level of our body and also reduces the risk of diabetes.
(17) Probiotic In Nature
Regular consumption of honey is good for our gut health because of a large number of friendly bacteria like lactobacilli and bifidobacteria in it.
(18)Honey As Energy Source
Another benefit of honey is in terms of energy. A tablespoon of honey contains about 17 grams of carbohydrates and provides about 64 calories which are way more than 15 calories that we get from one tablespoon of sugar. Other than this, the carbohydrates found in honey can be easily converted into glucose and that makes honey good even for those with a sensitive stomach and can’t digest things easily.
(19) Honey is Good for Yoga Practitioners
Taking honey on a regular basis is good for people who practices Yoga because honey balances the chemistry of blood and also makes our system more vibrant. Taking honey with tepid water first in the morning on an empty stomach before you start doing yoga practice has been found to be very good for our health and is also effective in weight loss.
(20) Honey helps with digestion
Regular consumption of honey has been found to be very effective in providing relief from stomach problems like constipation, gas and bloating stomach because of the presence of friendly bacteria like lactobacilli and bifidobacteria in it. The presence of these friendly bacteria in honey helps in the digestion process and also keep our immune system healthy and reduces energy.
Consumption of honey has also found to be very effective in reducing the toxic effects of mycotoxins produced by fungi. Honey is also a mild laxative and helps in keeping constipation at bay and for proper removal of waste materials out of our system.
(21) Acid Reflux
Regular consumption of honey has been found to be very effective in providing relief from acid reflux, as reported by Professor Mahantayya V Math, from MGM Medical college, India. Consuming honey may also help in preventing Gastroesophageal reflux because of the higher viscosity of honey in comparison to distilled water at room temperature.
(22) Infantile gastroenteritis
As per a report published in British Medical Journal, E. Hajjee and A. Moosa reported that using honey in oral rehydration solution in children is found to be very effective in providing relief from gastroenteritis.
(23) Immunity System Builder
Regular consumption of honey has been found to be very effective in making our immune system stronger and thus reducing the risk of development of various diseases and health problems. This amazing immune-boosting benefit of honey is because of the antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal nature of honey. Honey is also rich in friendly bacterias and antioxidants which help in improving our digestive system and keeps us healthy.
The information contained in the post is for general purpose only and shouldn’t be considered as a medical advice or as an alternative to medical advice. Although I’ve tried my best to keep the information contained in this post as accurate and updated as possible, but I make no guarantee of the accurateness of the same.
P.S- Consider sharing this post, if you find it useful and/or interesting