Honey benefits for health

Contents

Everything you need to know about honey

Modern science is finding evidence for many of the historical uses of honey.

1) Healing wounds and burns

Share on PinterestPeople have consumed honey for thousands of years for its supposed health benefits.

There have been some cases in which people have reported positive effects of using honey in treating wounds.

A review published in The Cochrane Library indicated that honey might be able to help heal burns. The lead author of the study said that “topical honey is cheaper than other interventions, notably oral antibiotics, which are often used and may have other deleterious side effects.”

However, there is a lack of evidence to fully support this claim. In fact, a study published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases concluded that applying medical-grade honey to the wounds of patients has no advantage over normal antibiotics among patients undergoing dialysis.

Honey should never be given to young infants as it can cause botulism, a rare but severe type of food poisoning.

2) Reducing the duration of diarrhea

According to research-based reviews on honey, it has been shown to decrease the severity and duration of diarrhea. Honey also promotes increased potassium and water intake, which is particularly helpful when experiencing diarrhea.

Research that took place in Lagos, Nigeria suggests that honey has also shown the ability to block the actions of pathogens that commonly cause diarrhea.

3) Preventing acid reflux

Recent research has shown that honey can reduce the upward flow of stomach acid and undigested food by lining the esophagus and stomach.

This has helped to reduce the risk of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). GERD can cause inflammation, acid reflux, and heartburn.

4) Fighting infections

In 2010, scientists from the Academic Medical Center at the University of Amsterdam reported in FASEB Journal that honey’s ability to kill bacteria lies in a protein called defensin-1.

A more recent study in the European Journal of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases showed that a certain type of honey, called Manuka honey, can help prevent the bacteria Clostridium difficile from settling in the body. C. difficile is known for causing severe diarrhea and sickness.

Some studies have revealed that Manuka honey may even be effective for the treatment of MRSA infections.

Dr. Jenkins concluded:

“Manuka and other honeys have been known to have wound healing and anti-bacterial properties for some time. But the way in which they act is still not known. If we can discover exactly how Manuka honey inhibits MRSA, it could be used more frequently as a first-line treatment for infections with bacteria that are resistant to many currently available antibiotics.”

Manuka honey may even help reverse bacterial resistance to antibiotics, according to research presented in the journal Letters in Applied Microbiology. This type of honey showed action against Ureaplasma urealyticum, a bacteria that is resistant to many different antibiotics.

A study published in the journal Pediatrics, which compared honey to placebo in helping children with a cough during the night, found that honey was superior. The researchers concluded:

“Parents rated the honey products higher than the silan date extract for symptomatic relief of their children’s nocturnal cough and sleep difficulty due to URI (upper respiratory infection). Honey may be a preferable treatment for cough and sleep difficulty associated with childhood URI.”

In The Scientific World Journal, researchers provided data confirming that natural honey was as effective as a eusol antiseptic solution in reducing wound infections.

There is a great deal of evidence supporting the use of honey as a remedy for infection.

5) Relieving cold and cough symptoms

Share on PinterestHoney may prove beneficial in relieving symptoms of a cold or cough.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends honey as a natural cough remedy.

The American Academy of Pediatrics also recognizes honey as a treatment for a cough.

However, they advise that honey is not suitable for children under the age of one year.

A 2007 study by Penn State College of Medicine suggested that honey reduced night-time coughing and improved sleep quality in children with upper respiratory infection to a greater degree than the cough medicine dextromethorphan.

6) Replacing added sugar in the diet

Honey’s sweet flavor makes it an ideal substitute for sugar in the diet.

Added sugar in the diet provides excess calories with no nutritional benefit. This can lead to an increased body weight, which comes with an increased risk of high blood pressure and diabetes.

Honey can be added to food and beverages to sweeten the taste without the negative health impact of added sugars. However, since honey is still a sweetener, it is important to remain mindful of how much honey being is used.

“>Acacia
Acacia is known as one of the best variety of honey in the world. It mostly comes from the black locust tree, which is a native of Europe and North America. It is pale yellow in color and has a mild flavor which makes it a good choice for cooking. Acacia has very low sucrose content and a high fructose level and is said to be good for diabetics. It is also known for its curative properties as it cleanses the liver and intestines and clears the respiratory system.
Alfalfa
Alfalfa honey is extracted from the blue flowers of Sativa plant found mostly in the US. It is light amber in color with a mild flavor and has a variety of health benefits under its belt. It has various probiotic, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal, inflammatory assets that makes it a must have in most households. Alfalfa honey also maintains blood sugar and hypoglycemia.
Aster
Aster is another widely available variety of sweet honey in the United States. Aster is prone to quick crystallization but has a thick and smooth consistency and hence is widely used in foods. It is very aromatic as well because of the tulip plants it is extracted from, and hence very popular.
Avocado
Not only is avocado as a fruit popular but its honey is even more sought-after for its amazing health benefits. This honey, extracted by the bees from Avocado blossoms is dark in color and a little smoky in taste. Not only it is full of minerals and nutrients, Avocado honey abates skin moisturization and is a great antioxidant.
Basswood
Basswood honey, a native of Canada, is known for its distinct and sharp flavor. It is very light in color and is obtained from the blossoms of the Basswood tress in the forests. Also known as Lime honey, Basswood is great for health benefits that include curing sore throat, antibacterial infections and liver protection.
Beechwood
Beechwood or Honeydew honey is a native of dense forests of New Zealand and is extremely popular worldwide. The aromatic honey is a known probiotic, that helps keep digestion intact. Beechwood honey also has minerals and vitamins that help in keeping the skin glowing and smooth.
Blue Gum
Blue gum is a popular eucalyptus tree honey that has a rich flavor and lots of antioxidant properties. It is amber in color and has a dense and thick texture which makes it a popular bakery item as well. Blue gum honey is extracted from the floral emblem of the forests of Tasmania known as eucalyptus globules and has a minty flavor, which resembles that of a bubble gum.
Blueberry
Blueberry as a plant is cross sterile and self-sterile and hence it depends heavily on bees to transfer the pollen. The honey made from the flavor-rich fruit is heavy on taste and color. Blueberry honey is used mostly as syrup on pancakes even though it has several medicinal properties as well.
Buckwheat
Buckwheat honey is unusually dark in color and thick in consistency with a strong taste. It is used mostly for medicinal purpose like colds and coughs. It is a natural way to beat infections and viruses.
Clover
Clover honey is harvested from the nectar of Clover trees which is mild and frail in floral flavor and ranges in colors from dark to light amber. Clover honey is also high on antioxidants and helps in eliminating harmful bacteria and other cancer-causing radicals from the body. Clover is an antiseptic and helps in treating sore throats and external wounds.
Dandelion
Bees love dandelions and hence they produce a huge quantity of Dandelion honey annually. The honey is filled with the power of minerals, vitamins, iron and potassium. It also contains flavonoids that are health boosters. The honey works as a diuretic and mild laxative and also improves digestion.
Eucalyptus
Eucalyptus honey is both dark and light in consistency and has a strong, woody flavor which is very popular. Despite having low mineral content, Eucalyptus honey is high on enzymes, which help in digestion. Its major health benefits include fighting against infections of respiratory organs and urinary tract and boosts immunity.
Fireweed
Fireweed honey helps in boosting a strong immune system and heals many internal problems. It has excellent flavor and its color depends on the kind of flowers it is extracted from. It is said to be a major healer against skin diseases and infections by fighting against boils, blisters and other inflammations.
Heather
Having a great taste, Heather honey is very popular among the young population. One can top it up with an ice cream as well as with a strong flavored cheese. And apart from the taste, the honey is also known for its health profits. It is also an important ingredient in Scotland to make malts and whiskeys
Iron bark
Iron bark honey is warm, buttery and very sweet in taste. It has a beautiful, light golden color and a smooth, runny texture. Extracted from the Iron Bark tree, the honey is a native of Australia.
Jarrah
Jarrah honey is extracted from Australian native Eucalyptus Marginata tree and is hugely popular. It is a light amber color honey with a light, nutty flavor. Apart from its amazing flavor, Jarrah honey also boasts of various medicinal properties that include keeping diabetes at check.
Leatherwood
The yellowish Leatherwood honey, found exclusively in Tasmania region of Australia has a delicious, musky taste. It is low on acidity and is used mainly in Tasmania to cure hangovers. It also detoxifies liver and is used for treatment in cuts and burns. The Leatherwood is low on vitamins and hence is used mostly for external use.
Linden
Linden honey is extracted from Linden flowers that are very aromatic. The honey has a rich flavour and a number of health benefits that include antibacterial and antiviral properties and keeping the liver in a good position. Being a native of Europe, Linden honey is citrusy in taste and has a mild flavour.
Macadamia
Macadamia honey is a very popular, nutty tasting honey that has enormous health benefits as well. Extracted from Macadamia trees, the honey has a sublime flavor and is mild amber in color. It is also packed with antioxidants and flavonoids.
Manuka
Manuka honey is extracted from the Manuka tree, natives of New Zealand and Australia. It is mostly a raw, organic honey that helps mostly in the cure and treatment of Herpes. It is commonly sold as alternative medicine, mostly used for its antibacterial properties. It is dark brownish in color with strong and earthy flavor.
Orange Blossom
Orange blossom honey has a unique yet distinct flavor which makes it very popular. It is known for medicinal properties that increases and boosts the body’s immune system. It is full of anti-allergy, anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties as well.
Pine tree
Also known as fir tree honeydew honey, it is very beneficial for health both internally as well as externally. The honey is extracted from the Pine or fir trees in the United States as well as Europe. Insects that live on these trees secrete a sweet, sticky substance which is picked up by the bees and transformed into honey. Pine tree honey is also known for its healing and energizing properties.
Sage
Sage is among the most flavorful honey available today. It has a unique taste and color and is extracted from widely used Sage plant which is a well-known herb. It is widely used as an astringent and has both warming and cooling effects.
Sourwood
Sourwood honey comes from the widely-known Sourwood trees of Georgia. It is light amber in color and crystallizes very slowly. It is very aromatic and has a woody, spicy flavor resembling that of anise. Sourwood honey is widely used as an astringent and works magic to make skin look younger and softer.
Tulip Poplar
Tulip Poplar honey is dark amber in color and has a rich texture and smoky flavor. And because of its flavor it is used as a popular ingredient in many meat dishes across US and Europe. Extracted from the tall Tulip Poplar trees of North America, the honey is also a hit in baking recipes, as cheese accompaniments and vinaigrette dressings.
Tupelo
Tupelo honey is very fragrant, sweet-smelling honey with spicy flavor. It is produced by bees from the flowers of Tupelo trees. Used mostly as an astringent, the Tupelo honey is one of the sweetest varieties of honey because of its high fructose content. It is also known as “Champagne” or “Queen of Honey”.

Discover the health benefits of honey, one of the oldest sweeteners on earth. It is a delicious part of any dessert made with it; see some of my favourite recipes here too.

Bees swallow, digest and regurgitate nectar to make honey; this nectar contains almost 600 compounds. We need our bees, so let’s do everything we can to save them and keep them here on this earth.

Honey is so good for you that we have included it in our list of superfoods that should be in your kitchen right now.

Once you taste the sweet honey, you want more of that. ~ Garbine Muguruza

Health Benefits of Honey

1. Honey Prevents cancer and heart disease

Honey contains flavonoids, antioxidants which help reduce the risk of some cancers and heart disease.

2. Reduce ulcers and other gastrointestinal disorders

Recent research shows that honey treatment may help disorders such as ulcers and bacterial gastroenteritis. This may be related to the 3rd benefit.

3. Anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-fungal

“All honey is antibacterial because the bees add an enzyme that makes hydrogen peroxide,” said Peter Molan, director of the Honey Research Unit at the University of Waikato in New Zealand.

4. Increase athletic performance

Ancient Olympic athletes would eat honey and dried figs to enhance their performance. This has now been verified with modern studies, showing that it is superior in maintaining glycogen levels and improving recovery time than other sweeteners.

5. Reduces a cough and throat irritation

It helps with coughs, particularly buckwheat honey. In a study of 105 children, a single dose of buckwheat honey was just as effective as a single dose of dextromethorphan in relieving nocturnal cough and allowing proper sleep.

6. Balance the 5 Elements

It has been used in Ayurvedic medicine in India for at least 4000 years and is considered to affect all three of the body’s primitive material imbalances positively. A few of the health benefits of honey are that it is useful in improving eyesight, weight loss, curing impotence and premature ejaculation, urinary tract disorders, bronchial asthma, diarrhea, and nausea.

Honey is referred to as “Yogavahi” since it has a quality of penetrating the deepest tissues of the body. When honey is used with other herbal preparations, it enhances the medicinal qualities of those preparations and also helps them to reach the deeper tissues.

Top 10 Health Benefits of Honey

7. Blood sugar regulation

Even though it contains simple sugars, it is NOT the same as white sugar or artificial sweeteners. Its exact combination of fructose and glucose actually helps the body regulate blood sugar levels. Some kinds of honey do have a low hypoglycemic index, so they don’t jolt your blood sugar. Watch this video Sweetener Comparison where I compare stevia, brown rice syrup, honey, molasses, and agave, and discuss the strengths and weaknesses of each.

8. Heal wounds and burns

Health benefits of honey extend even to external applications. Applied to the skin, honey has been shown to be as effective as conventional treatment with silver sulfadiazine. It is speculated that the drying effect of the simple sugars and honey’s antibacterial nature combine to create this effect. Studies have shown it to be very successful in healing wounds.

9. Probiotic

Some varieties possess large amounts of friendly bacteria. This includes up to 6 species of lactobacilli and 4 species of bifidobacteria. This may explain many of the “mysterious therapeutic properties of honey.”

10. Strengthen the Immune System

Manuka Honey has been found to stimulate the production of immune cells according to a study at the School of Medicine, Cardiff University, UK. Manuka is a favourite of mine.

“Buckwheat honey should be a part of every winter medicine cabinet and here is why—it’s high in antioxidants and it really has a lot of immune boosting properties. Ideally, the buckwheat honey has a darker, richer flavor, it’s a little bit like molasses…this particular honey can keep you healthy throughout the winter.” says Dr. Bhatia.

Different kinds of honey have different flavonoid profiles, depending on the floral source of the nectar. The most beneficial kinds of honey for the body are Manuka and buckwheat.

Types of Honey

  • Manuka honey strengthens the immune system. The Kiva Certified UMF 15+ – Raw Manuka Honey 15+ is lab-certified to UMF 15+ standard and is raw. This is a genuine Manuka Honey harvested from the remote hills, forest, and coastal areas of New Zealand.
  • Buckwheat is a healthier alternative to cough syrup and good for the immune system.
  • Wildflower – Topanga Quality Wildflower Honey is raw, unfiltered and unpasteurized. Kosher too.
  • Alfalfa – Stockin’s Unheated and Unfiltered Raw Alfalfa Honey is made in Saskatchewan, Canada from Alfalfa Blossoms.
  • Black Locust has the lowest glycemic index (32) of all of the kinds of honey.
    Raw Locust Honey by the Beekeeper’s Daughter is light, clean, and very aromatic and floral.
  • Blueberry
  • Orange Blossom
  • Clover: Uncle Henry’s Honey was voted best tasting by honey lovers and is from the purest wildflower fields of Canada.

There are at least 40 types – each one has a distinctive taste and unique properties. Darker types tend to have higher antioxidant levels, while Monofloral honey (from a single plant species) usually has the lowest glycemic index (GI).

For example, locust honey from the Black Locust tree has a GI of 32. Clover honey, which is used commercially, has the highest glycemic index at 69.

Benefits of Raw Honey

If you want to get the goodness from your honey, make sure it is pure, raw ands organic.

The benefits of raw honey outweigh conventional forms. Raw honey contains vitamins, minerals, and enzymes not present in refined honey.

Honey Cautions

  • Best not to feed to infants. Spores of Clostridium botulinum have been found in a small percentage of honey in North America. This is not dangerous to adults and older children, but infants can have a serious reaction of illness in the first year. Do not add honey to baby food or use as a soother to quiet a fussy or colicky baby. Most Canadian honey is not contaminated with the bacteria causing infant botulism, but it’s still best not to take the chance. “Do not let babies eat honey,” states foodsafety.gov, a website of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
  • It is a sugar, so do not eat jars full of it if you value your good health and want to maintain a healthy weight. It has a high caloric value and will put you on a sugar high and low.

Cook with it or use only raw honey?

There is some controversy about cooking with it, although I cannot substantiate it from all of my research.

When honey is heated above 108 degrees Fahrenheit, it becomes transformed into a glue-like substance that is extremely difficult to digest. This substance is considered a toxin (ama), since it adheres to the tissues of the body and is very difficult to remove.” Ayurveda Wellness Center

That said, I am not convinced that we should not cook with honey, although I am not using it in most of my cooked recipes until I get to the bottom of this.

If it comes to it, maybe consider blackstrap molasses instead. It’s equally nutritious and can be a substitute where applicable.

Extra!

Health benefits of honey extend to youthful-looking skin.

For Beautiful Skin

Its anti-bacterial qualities are particularly useful for the skin, and, when used with the other ingredients, can also be moisturizing and nourishing! For a powerful home beauty treatment for which you probably have all the ingredients in your kitchen already, read Carrot Face Mask.

I love my homemade dandelion flower pancakes topped with these healthy syrups (below).

Delicious Honey Recipes for You

Orange Honey Syrup

Orange Syrup: This syrup is a much healthier syrup then the usual syrups on your pancakes or waffles. It has less honey in it because of the orange juice which makes it delicious. The zing of the orange make is very tasty.

Dandelion Flower Syrup: This syrup is a great treat from your weeds and it is so easy to make. See why I am mad about dandelions – and their amazing health benefits.

Honey Syrup: the goodness and taste of both honey and molasses.

Delicious Sweet Recipes with Honey

Oatmeal Cinnamon Porridge & Sultanas

Peanut Butter Bliss Balls: This is one of those recipes that originated in my hippy days in the Kootenays of British Columbia, Canada. We had a variety of flavours of ‘Bliss Balls’; this was a favorite. It did have lots of honey in it though which I reduced the quantity. Also, it had wheat germ in it which I replaced to make it gluten-free.

Oatmeal Cinnamon Porridge & Sultanas: This porridge makes a great start to your day. I like the old fashioned oats as they have a fuller flavour and are healthier. You can eat this as a raw meal or make it into regular porridge. As they take longer to cook; I often soak them overnight but you do not have to.

Dandelion Tea: for any time with a dash of honey. You can easily make a dandelion with dried leaves from the plants which are full of nutrition. Find out some of the great reasons to love dandelions.

Sugarless Date Squares: Most date squares are just way too sweet in my opinion. So when I developed this recipe; my own version is less sweet and tastes even better. You will find it hard to stop at only one.

Mango Squares: mmmmangos yum!

Check out 19 Different Sugars but Which Are Healthy?

7 Tips to Avoid Sugar Cravings

Eating honey is a more healthy choice than white sugar but that doesn’t mean you can eat all you want. Learn how to reduce your sugar cravings at 7 Tips to Avoid Sugar Craving

100+ Superfoods

Learn more about some of the healthiest vegetables and fruits for vegans and vegetarians that you will always want to have in your fridge or pantry

READ: Superfoods – Over 100 of the Healthiest Foods You Should Have in Your Diet and learn more about the variety of Superfoods like honey we think you should use in your recipes.

Honey contains a treasure chest of hidden nutritional and medicinal value for centuries. The sweet golden liquid from the beehive is a popular kitchen staple loaded with antibacterial and antifungal properties that has been used since the early days of Egyptian tombs.

Honey’s scientific super powers contribute to its vastly touted health benefits for the whole body. The healthy natural sweetener offers many nutritional benefits depending on its variety. Raw honey is the unpasteurized version of commonly used honey and only differs in its filtration, which helps extend its shelf life. A tablespoon of raw honey contains 64 calories, is fat-free, cholesterol-free, and sodium-free, says the National Honey Board. Its composition is roughly 80 percent carbohydrates, 18 percent water, and two percent vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.

Naturally heal your body back to health with the benefits of honey, from treating a pesky cold to itchy dandruff. Photo courtesy of

Typically, honey is sweet but can be cruel to infants. Spores of Clostridium botulinum bacteria — found in dirt and dust, which can contaminate honey — may lead to infant botulism and produce a toxin inside the body that can cause muscle weakness and breathing problems. The Mayo Clinic recommends waiting until after 12 months of age to give infants honey; consumption is safe for older adults and kids, since they have a mature digestive system that can handle the spores.

Consume honey responsibly and reap the numerous health benefits of this liquid gold.

1. Alleviates Allergies

Honey’s anti-inflammatory effects and ability to soothe coughs has led to the belief it can also reduce seasonal allergy symptoms. Although there are no clinical studies proving its efficacy, Dr. Matthew Brennecke, a board certified naturopathic doctor practicing at the Rocky Mountain Wellness Center in Fort Collins, Colo., told Medical Daily in an email, “A common theory is that honey acts like a natural vaccine.” It contains small amounts of pollen, which if the body is exposed to small amounts of it, it can trigger an immune response that produces antibodies to the pollen. “After repeated exposure, you should build up these antibodies and the body should become accustomed to their presence so that less histamine is released, resulting in a lesser allergic response.”

2. All-Natural Energy Drink

Honey is an excellent source of all-natural energy at just 17 grams of carbohydrates per tablespoon. This natural unprocessed sugar — fructose and glucose — directly enter the bloodstream and can deliver a quick boost of energy. The rise in blood sugar acts as a short-term energy source for your workout, especially in longer endurance exercises.

Brennecke said there is a con to adding honey to your workout. “If your goal in exercising is to increase muscle mass, working out on an empty stomach first thing in the morning is the way to go. When your body is in starvation mode (upon waking in morning), and you start exercising, you release insulin-like growthfactor-1 (IGF-1), which will help you build bulk,” he said. Brennecke does warn this only works when blood sugars are low.

3. Boosts Memory

The sweet nectar is loaded in antioxidants that may help prevent cellular damage and loss within the brain. A 2011 study published in Menopause found a daily spoonful of Malaysian honey may boost postmenopausal women’s memory, which can provide an alternative therapy for the hormone-related intellectual decline. After four months of taking 20 grams of honey a day, the women were more likely to have better short-term memory than their counterparts who took hormone pills.

Honey’s ability to help the body absorb calcium, according to Brennecke, helps aid brain health. The brain needs calcium in order to process thought and make decisions. “As our populations continue to get older and older, the likelihood of dementia setting in because of poor intake of vitamins and minerals continues to get higher and higher,” he said.

4. Cough Suppressant

Honey can be the all-natural cure when it comes to pesky colds. A persistent cough that won’t go away can easily be remedied with two teaspoons of honey, according to a 2012 study published in the journal Pediatrics. Children between the ages of 1 and 5 with nighttime cough due to colds coughed less frequently when they received two teaspoons of honey 30 minutes before bed.

The golden liquid’s thick consistency helps coat the throat while the sweet taste is believed to trigger nerve endings that protect the throat from incessant coughing. Honey is believed to be as effective as the common cough suppressant ingredient dextromethorphan. It can be used in treating upper respiratory tract infections.

5. Sleep Aid

Honey can be a health aid for sleepless nights. Similar to sugar, honey can cause a rise in insulin and release serotonin — a neurotransmitter that improves mood and happiness. “The body converts serotonin into melatonin, a chemical compound that regulates the length and the quality of sleep,” Rene Ficek, registered dietitian and lead dietitian nutritionist at Seattle Sutton’s Healthy Eating in Chicago, Ill., told Medical Daily in an email.

Moreover, honey also contains several amino acids, including tryptophan that is commonly associated with turkey. Honey’s steady rise in insulin, according to Brennecke, causes the tryptophan in honey to enter the brain, where it’s then converted into serotonin and then into melatonin, which is a sleep aid. This hormone is responsible for regulating sleep and wake cycles.

6. Treats Dandruff

Honey can bring temporary relief to the scalp by targeting dandruff. A 2001 study published in the European Journal of Medical Research found applying honey diluted with 10 percent warm water to problem areas and leaving it on for three hours before rinsing led to itch relief and no scaling within a week. Skin lesions healed within two weeks and patients even showed an improvement in hair loss. The patients did not relapse even after six months of use.

Thanks to honey’s antibacterial and antifungal properties, it can also treat seborrheic dermatitis and dandruff, which are often caused by an overgrowth of fungus. Moreover, “honey also has anti-inflammatory properties, which address the redness and itching on the scalp,” Brennecke said.

7. Treats Wounds And Burns

Honey is a natural antibiotic that can act both internally and externally. It can be used as a conventional treatment for wounds and burns by disinfecting wounds and sores from major species of bacteria such as methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). A 2005 study published in the British Journal of Surgery found all but one of patients who suffered from wounds and leg ulcers showed remarkable improvement after applying a topical application of honey.

Dr. Diane Radford, a breast surgical oncologist in St. Louis, Mo., told Medical Daily in an email, Manuka honey has antibacterial properties for wound healing. “The precursor for the active antibacterial agent methylglyoxal (MGO) comes from the nectar of mānuka trees. A specialized research unit at the University of Waikato is looking into the conversion to the active product,” she said.

Honey has been utilized for its medicinal properties for over 2,000 years and continues its legacy as a multipurpose health aid.

20 health benefits of honey you didn’t know

Loaded with therapeutic properties, honey has been used for skin care and well-being since ages. Its benefits vary from lowering blood sugar levels to aiding in weight-loss. This is the reason instead of sugar, weight-watchers foods that contain raw honey. A few others benefits include:

Honey is loaded with humectant compounds (a compound that helps in retaining moisture). It helps in retaining the moisture content in skin. It also helps in restoring elasticity of skin and makes it glowing and supple.

As a great product for skin, applying honey on your face helps in removing dead skin cells and prevent wrinkles. Enriched with antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, using honey prevents the growth of bacteria. Hence, applying honey on wounds, cuts, abrasions and burns can help in faster healing process.

Apart from healing wounds and cuts, honey helps in healing pus, lessens pain and promotes speedy recovery.

Honey helps in regenerating new skin cells. It is used to treat damaged skin and cure various skin problems such as eczema, dermatitis and other skin disorders.

As it has anti-fungal properties, it can also cure infections such as jock itch, athlete foot and fungal infection on foot.

Honey is loaded with natural anti-oxidants. Hence, it protects skin from UV rays and skin damage.

Also, over exposure to sun can cause premature aging and skin damage. So, applying honey on your face can protect you from these harmful radiations. Before sleeping, apply honey on your face for 15 minutes and then wash it off. Another way to prevent you skin from UV rays is applying a thin layer of raw honey for 15 minutes and then rinse your face thoroughly before you go out in sun.

The nutrients present in honey helps in deeply penetrating the skin’s top layer, unclogs pores and sloughs off impurities. Hence, it helps in fighting against skin infections and curb acne problems.

Honey effectively tones and firms up your skin.

Applying honey on chapped and wrinkled lips make them smooth and soft.

Honey contains glucose, fructose and minerals such as magnesium, potassium, calcium, sodium chlorine, sulphur, iron and phosphate. Thus, replacing it with sugar provide number of health benefits and keep blood sugar level under control.

Honey also contains vitamins B1, B2, C, B6, B5 and B3. These vitamins may vary according to the quality of nectar and pollen. Also, a small amount of copper, iodine, and zinc also exist in honey. And all these nutrients are essential for our well-being.

As honey contains glucose and fructose, carbohydrates in these forms supply energy to the body, boost endurance and reduce muscle fatigue.

Drinking honey in the morning helps relieving morning sickness.

Consumption honey regularly also increases our body’s calcium absorption power. It increases haemoglobin count which further helps in fighting anaemia.

Honey helps in lowering total cholesterol while increasing HDL (good) cholesterol.

Consuming honey helps in treating respiratory tract infections. It also prevents the recurrence of infections.

Honey helps in modulating our immune system.

Not known to many, but consuming honey plays a pivotal role in managing obesity. As it accelerates metabolism, honey helps in burning your body fat.

Raw Honey: Does it Offer Real Health Benefits?

Featured Guest June 6, 2016 Market to Plate , Nutrition , Raw honey Email Print Twitter Pinterest Facebook

This post was most recently updated on August 2nd, 2018

When a sore throat strikes, there’s nothing more soothing than sipping a mug of hot tea with a spoonful of raw honey stirred in. But does that mean this natural substance – technically, the sweet fluid created by honeybees from flower nectar – has healing powers? Not so fast! While it’s been used for centuries for a wide range of health-supporting properties, from battling bacteria to combatting coughs, more high-quality studies are needed to determine raw honey’s real benefits. Here’s what we know now about the nutrition of honey and how it can help you.

Sweet addition to your diet

Like most nutritive sweeteners, raw honey is easily absorbed and used by the body. It contains carbohydrates (fructose and glucose), providing 60 calories per tablespoon. Honey also contains trace enzymes, amino acids, antioxidants, B vitamins (riboflavin, pantothenic acid, niacin, thiamin and pyridoxine, and minerals (calcium, magnesium and potassium).

The amount and type of micronutrients, color and flavor of honey can vary depending on which flowers are providing nectar for the bees. When adding honey to foods like plain yogurt or tea, remember that a little goes a long way as honey is actually sweeter than refined sugar.

A topical treasure?

Several studies have looked at how honey may contribute to healthy skin and tissues. What’s interesting about how honey interacts with skin actually centers on the bees themselves. When making honey, bees add an enzyme to the honey that creates a small amount of hydrogen peroxide, which can contribute to skin’s function as a natural barrier against bacterial infection.*

Some types of honey, such as New Zealand Manuka honey, contain higher concentrations of additional components that have been studied in relation to wound healing. Specifically, Manuka honey has higher concentration of methylglyoxal (MG) due to a high concentration of dihydroxyacetone, a MG derivative, in the nectar of Manuka shrub flowers.

The Unique Manuka Factor (UMF) ranking on products is a tool to gauge the concentration of MG in Manuka honey. A rating of 10 UMF or higher is considered therapeutic and may be labeled “UMF Manuka Honey” or “Active Manuka Honey.” Remember, it’s always important to visit your doctor for skin conditions or injuries.

Choosing the best honey

Honey consumption may not be for everyone. Possible side effects include allergic reactions, especially in people who are allergic to bees, or a dramatic rise in blood sugar if eaten in large quantities. Children under the age of 12 months should not consume honey due to the risk of infant botulism, a rare but serious form of food poisoning.

Also, not all honey products are created equal. When shopping for honey, read the label. Pure honey only contains one ingredient: honey! Pure honey is sold in several forms without added ingredients or preservatives: from bee to hive to bottle. Pure honey forms include: comb, liquid, creamed/whipped or organic. A honey blend or honey syrup must always list the other ingredients or sweeteners.

Raw vs. the rest

Some people prefer the flavor and texture of raw honey when compared to “heat-treated” honey. Raw honey is defined by the National Honey Board as “honey as it exists in the beehive or as obtained by extraction, settling or straining without adding heat.” Heat may impact honey’s enzymatic activity, antimicrobial properties, microbial quality, color and chemical composition.

Many honey packers use a filtration method to remove extraneous solids and pollen grains in order to improve clarity, delay crystallization and create a consistent texture. Depending on the packer, some honey is warmed to help it flow through the filters to remove beehive residue. After filtration the honey is then bottled. Keep in mind, filtering alone does not impact the honey’s nutrient content.

Honey Hack: Honey in a crystallized form is safe to eat and is a natural process. If your honey crystallizes and you want a constant liquid texture again, simply place the honey jar in warm water and stir until the crystals dissolve.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

This article was contributed by Danelle Vallejos, RD, registered dietitian nutritionist with The Little Clinic (inside select Kroger locations). For more information about dietitian services, visit www.thelittleclinic.com/dietitians.

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It offers lots of health benefits, but is honey keto or low-carb friendly? And what is honey, anyway?

Honey is made from those busy little bees you probably shriek away from anytime one gets near. These small insects may seem like a summertime annoyance, but they’re one of the most valuable creatures on the planet. Bees pollinate plants, helping to fertilize over 30% of the world’s crops and 90% of wild plants.

Of all the foods you have bees to thank for, honey is the most widely known. Raw honey contains a host of nutritional benefits. It’s packed with antioxidants and is a healthier alternative to sugar.

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But is honey keto or suitable for a low-carb diet? And how many carbs are in honey? Find out with this guide to honey on the keto diet.

What Is Honey?

Honey has existed for 150 million years, with the first records of beekeeping dating back to 7,000 BC.

Raw honey is a thick, golden liquid. It’s a pure, unfiltered, natural sweetener produced by bees from the nectar of certain flowers.

Nectar is a sugary sweet juice that the bee takes from the flower and stores in its stomach. Bees have two stomachs — one for eating and one to carry nectar back to the hive.

How Is Honey Different From White Sugar?

When it comes to the comparison of raw honey to cane sugar, there are several factors to consider. Both contain two sugar molecules: glucose and fructose.

Honey and sugar are digested differently. The honey bee adds a special enzyme to raw honey. This breaks down the two sugar molecules so it can be immediately used for energy.

With table sugar, your body does the work — it must break apart the sugar molecules using enzymes before you can store them as energy.

How Many Calories Are in Honey?

One tablespoon of table sugar (sucrose) contains 46 total calories, while a tablespoon of raw honey contains 64 total calories. Honey is higher in total calories but typically sweeter than regular sugar since table sugar is stripped of much of its natural sweetness during processing.

Is Honey Keto or Low-Carb?

Unfortunately, honey is not a keto-friendly sweetener.

One tablespoon of raw honey contains 17 grams of net carbs — 16 of which come from sugar. It contains zero grams of fat, no dietary fiber, and only a tenth of a gram of protein. As you probably guessed from its nutrition facts, honey is a high-carb food and holds no place on the keto diet.

Will Honey Kick You Out of Ketosis?

Remember, ketosis is a metabolic state. The keto diet provides guidelines to help you enter ketosis. The average person can consume 25-50 grams of total carbs per day and remain in ketosis. Active people and endurance athletes report they can eat up to 100 grams of carbohydrates per day and stay in ketosis.

Technically, you could eat a high-carb food like honey and stay in ketosis. However, eating honey in large quantities will prevent you from entering ketosis and reverse your progress. That said, eating one tablespoon (one serving size) of honey probably won’t hinder your results.

Here are a few times when a small amount of honey is acceptable:

  • Targeted Ketogenic Diet (TKD): The TKD allows for 20-50 grams of extra carbs up to an hour before or after your workout window. If you’re an athlete, you could eat one tablespoon of raw honey pre- or-post workout.
  • Cyclical Ketogenic Diet (CKD): The CKD follows a traditional low-carb diet for five days, followed by two days of carb backloading. This means that for 24-48 hours of the week you replenish your glycogen stores with higher amounts of carbs. This is typically only recommended for endurance athletes who need higher amounts of carbs to perform.

If you’re able to stay in a state of ketosis with a higher carb intake, you may find honey to be a perfectly acceptable part of your diet — as long as you consume it in moderation. For keto diet beginners, it may be best to hold off.

Nutrients in Raw Honey

While honey is not suitable for the keto diet, it’s a healthy alternative to white sugar. Raw honey is abundant in different micronutrients, including vitamin B6, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and zinc.

There are key health benefits you gain when you replace traditional table sugar with raw honey. These can include weight loss, improved energy, an increase in antioxidants found and distributed throughout the body, a restful night’s sleep, wound healing, antibacterial effects, and lower chances of developing diabetes.

Low-Carb Sweeteners to Use Instead of Honey

Is honey keto? No, it isn’t keto-friendly. If you want to stay in ketosis, it’s best to find other ways to sweeten your food or beverages.

Instead of honey, choose a sweetener with zero calories that won’t spike your blood sugar. Like honey, these sweeteners are healthy alternatives to table sugar and rank low on the glycemic index. They won’t spike your blood sugar or insulin levels — two adverse side effects of honey.

Choose one of these keto-friendly sweeteners instead of honey:

  • Stevia: This natural sweetener contains no calories, ranks zero on the glycemic index, and is 200-300 times sweeter than regular sugar.
  • Monk Fruit: Monk fruit sweetener is typically preferred to stevia, as it doesn’t have a bitter aftertaste. It also ranks zero on the glycemic index and is 300 times sweeter than sugar.
  • Erythritol: This is a sugar-free sweetener made up of sugar alcohols. It’s just as sweet as honey so you can use a one-to-one ratio.

Avoid Artificial Sweeteners on Keto

It might be tempting to replace honey with artificial sweeteners since they all claim to have zero calories and are sugar-free. But some sweeteners could cause negative health effects.

Avoid artificial sweeteners like aspartame or Splenda. Even though they are free from sugar, they’re not good for your overall health. Splenda has been found to raise blood sugar and insulin.

Studies show aspartame and saccharin could disrupt healthy gut bacteria. There’s also a link between aspartame and cancer, so it’s best to stay away from it.

Xylitol is a sugar-free sweetener, but it’s not recommended to use all the time. One of the most signifcant drawbacks to it is that it could lead to difficulty losing weight.

Is Honey Keto? No, It’s Not

While raw honey beats most traditional sweeteners in terms of overall health benefits, it’s too high in carbohydrates and natural sugars to be a safe bet for the ketogenic diet. The only way to make raw honey a part of your diet on a low-carb or keto diet is if you are:

  • Following the TKD and eat honey pre- or post-workout
  • Following the CKD and eat honey during your carb backloading
  • Are at or under 50 grams of carbs for the day, including the honey

Since honey is not low-carb or keto-friendly, you’re better off choosing stevia or monk fruit as a keto-friendly sweetener.

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