Health Benefits of Honey
THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF HONEY
Honey has been known since time immemorial to possess unique health benefits not found in any other natural food. We’ve put together a quick list of six of the best health benefits to be found in honey.
Antibacterial and Antiseptic. All raw honeys “glucose oxidase”, which breaks down over time to produce a mild hydrogen peroxide solution, released upon contact with moisture. This solution functions as a sort of mild bleach, destroying bacteria and fungus on contact. Honey also is “hygroscopic” – it naturally absorbs moisture from the air, so honey has long been used to treat wounds, as bacteria breed well in moist conditions, so honey draws moisture out of wounds, and the hydrogen peroxide agent prevents wounds from becoming infected.
Lower glycemic index - Honey is less refined than other sugars, such as white sugar from sugar cane, and as such it takes longer to be absorbed into the bloodstream, causing no dangerous glycemic index spikes, but rather a more prolonged, healthy increase in your blood sugar levels.
Dark honeys contain many healthful antioxidants and minerals. Dark honeys, like Oak honey, contain many antioxidants that help fight off free radicals, which are being explored as causes of various degenerative diseases. One antioxidant that’s particularly unique to honey is pinocembrin, an antioxidant that has been studied as potentially improving brain function.
Honey Is Easier To Digest - Honey is already partially digested! That’s how it’s created by bees – sugars and pollens are broken down by digestion by bees into honey. Because it’s partially digested already, honey is easier to digest than other refined sugars, making it easier on your digestive system, and helping to increase the development of friendly bacteria that reside in the digestive tract. (1.)
Honey is a natural sleep aid - A spoonful of honey is said to aid sleep, because it provides the body with enough glucose to help “feed” the brain during the night, which in turn decreases the production of cortisol and adrenalin, two “stress hormones” that can be released in the early morning when you’re inadequately fed, and prevent peaceful sleep. In addition, it can help stabilise your blood sugar and contribute to the release of melatonin, a natural hormone produced by your body which aids in the recovery and rebuilding of your body tissues while you rest. (According to recent Hershey, Penn USA study).
Honey is good for your skin - Many beauty products incorporate honey, and honey itself attracts moisture to your skin to help nourish it. In addition, honey’s antioxidative properties help protect skin against free radicals, which can damage it. It’s used by people around the world to soothe skin conditions such as sunburn, acne, and even eczema.
(1. Study by Dr.s Tobias Olofsson and Alejanrada Vasquez - Lund University, Sweden)
The Benefits of Different Kinds of Honey
- Heather, Oak, Thyme, and Chestnut contain tons of antioxidants which help support better health. These strongly-flavoured, usually darker honeys are delicious and rich, and boast plenty of healthful properties alongside their delicious flavors.
- Chestnut and Oak honey flavors also contain the highest amount of healthful minerals by volume, including tons of minerals usually found in smaller amounts in all honey, like copper, calcium, iron, manganese, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, sodium, and zinc.
- Thyme honey contains biocides known as Thymol and Carvacro which are extracted during the honeying process from thyme oil. These active ingredients have excellent antibacterial and antifungal properties. In 2011, thyme was shown to be the second highest antibacterial honey type, compared against a wide range of honey types in a study which measured the antibacterial properties of different honeys against a wide range of pathogenic bacteria (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21524711).
- Rosemary honey is milder, and is often a top choice for skin care, especially face masks and other facial care products, which require a mild and light honey type for the more sensitive skin of the face.
- Eucalyptol can be found in some honeys, and it’s the main ingredient in the oils of the Eucalyptus tree, which have been used therapeutically for centuries in traditional medicine to reduce inflammation and treat pain. In addition, Eucalyptol is reported to have healthful effects for the respiratory system, asthmatic conditions in particular.
- Orange blossom and lemon blossom honey are higher in vitamin C than other honeys, due to high-vitamin content pollen extracted from citrus trees.
- Wild lavender honey is said to have a relaxing and calming effect, helping aid relaxation and sleep.