10 Surprising Health Benefits of Honey
Since ancient times, honey has been used as both a food and a medicine. It's very high in beneficial plant compounds and offers several health benefits. Honey is particularly healthy when used instead of refined sugar, which adds empty calories to your food.
Here are the top 10 health benefits of honey:
Honey Contains Nutrients
Honey is a sweet compound made by honey bees. These bees collect sugar — mainly the sugar-rich nectar of flowers — from their environment and once they are inside their hive, the bees will repeatedly consume, digest, and regurgitate the nectar. The end product is honey, a liquid that serves as a stored food source for bees. The smell, color, and taste all depend on the types of flowers the bees visited to collect nectar.
Nutritionally, 1 tablespoon of honey (about 21 grams) will contain 64 calories and 17 grams of sugar, including fructose, glucose, maltose, and sucrose, and it contains virtually no fiber, fat or protein. Honey also contains trace amounts — under 1% of the RDI — of several vitamins and minerals, but you would have to eat many pounds to fulfill any daily requirements. Where honey shines is in its content of bioactive plant compounds and antioxidants. Darker types of honey tend to be even higher in these compounds than lighter types.
High-Quality Honey Is Rich in Antioxidants
High-quality honey contains many important antioxidants. These include organic acids and phenolic compounds like flavonoids. Scientists believe that the combination of these compounds gives honey its antioxidant power. Interestingly, two studies have shown that buckwheat honey increases the antioxidant value in your blood. Antioxidants have been linked to reduced risk of heart attacks, strokes, and some types of cancer, and they may also promote eye health.
Honey Is A More Beneficial Sweetener Than Sugar for Diabetics
The evidence on honey and diabetes is mixed. On one hand, it can reduce several risk factors for heart diseases that are common in people with type 2 diabetes. For example, it may lower “bad” LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, and inflammation while raising “good” HDL cholesterol. However, because it is still sugary, it can also increase blood sugar levels — just not as much as refined sugar would, so while honey may be slightly better than refined sugar for people with diabetes, it should still be consumed with caution. Keep in mind, too, that certain types of honey may contain plain syrup. Although commercially adding syrup to honey is illegal in most countries, it remains a widespread problem to be aware of if you are negatively affected by high blood sugar.
The Antioxidants In Honey Can Help Lower Blood Pressure
Blood pressure is an important risk factor for heart disease, and honey may help lower it. This is because honey contains antioxidant compounds that have been linked to lower blood pressure. Studies in both rats and humans have shown modest reductions in blood pressure from consuming honey. Add honey to supplement your diet by shopping our online natural products today!
Honey Also Helps Improve Cholesterol
High LDL cholesterol levels create a strong risk for heart disease. This type of cholesterol plays a major role in atherosclerosis, the fatty buildup in your arteries that can lead to heart attacks or strokes. However, several studies show that honey may improve your cholesterol levels. Honey can help reduce total and “bad” LDL cholesterol levels while significantly raising “good” HDL cholesterol. For example, one study in 55 patients compared honey to table sugar and found that honey caused a 5.8% reduction in LDL and a 3.3% increase in HDL cholesterol and this supplemental addition also led to modest weight loss of 1.3% in these patients.
Honey Can Lower Triglycerides
Elevated blood triglycerides are another risk factor for heart disease, and are also associated with insulin resistance, a major driver of type 2 diabetes. Triglyceride levels tend to increase on a diet high in sugar and refined carbs. Interestingly, multiple studies have linked regular honey consumption with lower triglyceride levels, especially when used to replace sugar. For example, one study comparing honey and sugar found 11–19% lower triglyceride levels in the group taking
The Antioxidants in It Are Linked to Other Beneficial Effects on Heart Health
Honey is a rich source of phenols and other antioxidant compounds, and many of these have been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease. These vitamins may help the arteries in your heart dilate, increasing blood flow to your heart. They may also help prevent blood clot formation, which can lead to heart attacks and strokes. Furthermore, one study in rats showed that honey protected the heart from oxidative stress.
Honey Promotes Burn and Wound Healing
Topical honey treatment has been used to heal wounds and burns since ancient Egypt and is still common today. A review of 26 studies on honey and wound care found honey most effective at healing partial-thickness burns and wounds that have become infected after surgery. Honey is also an effective treatment for diabetic foot ulcers, which are serious complications that can lead to amputation. One study reported a 43.3% success rate with honey as a wound treatment, while in another study, topical honey healed a whopping 97% of patients’ diabetic ulcers. Researchers believe that honey’s healing powers come from its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects as well as its ability to nourish surrounding tissue. What's more, it can help treat other skin conditions, including psoriasis and herpes lesions. Manuka honey is considered especially effective for treating burn wounds. Add honey dietary supplements to your daily routine with our Immune Booster!
Honey Can Help Suppress Coughs in Children
Coughing is a common problem for children with upper respiratory infections. These infections can affect sleep and quality of life for both children and parents. However, mainstream medications for cough are not always effective and can have side effects. Interestingly, honey may be a better choice, and evidence indicates it can be very effective. One study found that honey worked better than two common cough medications, while another study found that honey reduced cough symptoms and improved sleep more than cough medication. Our Immune Booster uses these properties from honey to help you stay healthier and reduce coughing!
It's Delicious, But Still High in Calories and Sugar
Honey is a delicious, healthier alternative to sugar. Make sure to choose a high-quality brand, because some lower-quality ones may be mixed with syrup for flavor, and keep in mind that honey should only be consumed in moderation, as it is still high in calories and sugar. The benefits of honey are most pronounced when it is replacing another, more unhealthy sweetener.
Shop for products with the powerful benefits of honey today!