Honey has been consumed by animals and humans alike for centuries. And besides tasting wonderfully sweet, it has many unique properties that make it particularly beneficial to health and wellness.
If you like a bit of honey drizzled on your morning yogurt or swirled in your afternoon cup of tea, you are well on your way to reaping some of the benefits of one of nature’s sweetest substances. Here are eleven of the reasons why it’s a good idea to incorporate honey into your daily diet.
11 Health Benefits Of Honey
1. To balance blood sugar
Despite being notoriously sweet, honey cannot be categorized with white sugar or artificial sweeteners. The fructose and glucose ratios in honey actually help regulate blood sugar in humans, rather than causing an unpleasant spike.
2. To relieve acid reflux
The highly viscous quality of honey, especially compared to other liquids, makes it a good candidate for swallowing to relieve Gastroesophageal reflux. Similarly, anyone with a sore throat knows that a spoonful of honey can coat the throat in an incredibly soothing way. The antimicrobial aspects of honey help kill bacteria at the same time.
3. To treat allergies
Allergy sufferers everywhere often turn to alternative medicine in search of relief for their uncomfortable symptoms. Some have found success by ingesting a tablespoon of honey each day. In fact, one study looked at people with ocular allergies and discovered that honey outperformed a placebo when it came to positive patient response.
4. To remedy infant diarrhea
Interestingly, a clinical study reported in the British Medical Journal indicates that honey can actually lessen the duration of bacterial diarrhea in little ones. What’s more, taking it orally can help rehydrate infants as a powerful substitute for glucose and electrolyte drinks. That being said, honey should never be given to babies under 1 year old because they don’t yet have immunity to botulism—bacteria in dust and soil that can be found in honey—which can cause a paralytic disorder.
5. As an antiseptic
In the care and management of wounds, honey has often been used as an antiseptic. Its slightly acidic properties, combined with an enzyme that makes hydrogen peroxide, make it ideal for natural antibacterial purposes. The effectiveness of honey in these matters has been widely reported; however, there still isn’t robust evidence to suggest that people should start using it in place of other prescribed substances such as oral antibiotics.
6. To strengthen immunity
For similar reasons to being used as an antiseptic, honey is considered a boon to the human immune system. The antioxidants and antibacterial components of the substance aid in digestion and disease-fighting processes. A daily dose of honey is a good way to sustain health and keep your immunity at its peak performance.
7. For extra energy
Honey is packed with carbohydrates and natural sugars, which promote muscle endurance and fight off fatigue. Glucose is immediately absorbed by the body, providing for an instant boost of energy. Meanwhile, fructose is gradually absorbed, keeping energy levels steady over time. This is important for athletes and non-athletes alike as honey may act as a substitute for caffeine and processed sugar-laden foods.
8. For better sleep
On the flip side, honey can also promote a good night’s rest thanks to releasing insulin and serotonin in the body. What’s more, honey is known to have tryptophan, which can be converted into serotonin and then melatonin—a popular sleep aid.
9. As a moisturizer
There’s no shortage of beauty products on the market with honey in the ingredients list. Although honey alone wouldn’t do as a skin moisturizer, when combined with other ingredients, it can be deeply hydrating to soften and condition the skin.
10. For dandruff relief
Studies have shown that leaving diluted honey on the scalp can help with the itching and scaling associated with dandruff. Its antibacterial and antifungal elements can mitigate the skin lesions and redness that result as well.
11. To boost memory
This is one of the lesser-known benefits of honey. A recent study found a link between consuming Malaysian honey and memory retention in postmenopausal women. Experts think it has to do with the nectar’s antioxidants guarding against cellular damage in the brain.