9 Health Benefits of Honey
You’ve Never Heard Before
“The food of the gods,” Greek philosopher Porphyry called it. Early human cultures began harvesting honey as early as 10,000 years ago. The sweet golden liquid has become synonymous with good things and times of prosperity.
But there’s more to honey than its incredible taste. In fact, in terms of good health, it’s something your pantry should never be without.
Surprising Health Benefits
from One of Nature’s First Foods
Ease Digestion: Many people find that a mug of warm tea with a teaspoon of honey stirred in soothes upset stomachs and calms the nerves. We like to stir in a little cream, too.
Promote Weight Loss: Even though honey is calorically dense, it may help make weight loss easier. Some research shows that drinking a tablespoon of honey mixed with warm water every morning may trigger your body to burn its fat stores more efficiently.
Natural Antiseptic: Smear honey on cleaned cuts and abrasions before applying a bandage. The honey contains compounds that will prevent infection and speed healing. It’s an excellent choice for people with sensitive skin. Darker honeys work better for wound treatment – they have more antibacterial agents.
Immune System Support: Honey is a rich source of antioxidants. Using it to sweeten your drinks – or even just taking a teaspoon a day by itself – can give your immune system a lift. Again, look for a darker honey to get the most antioxidant power.
Improve athletic performance: The balance of fructose and glucose in honey makes it a natural blood sugar stabilizer when you’re working out. Choosing snacks made with honey prior to or just after your workout can help you last longer and recover faster.
Soften Skin: Your skin is your body’s largest organ and also one of its hardest working. It protects you from impurities and toxins in the air and water. But, all that exposure can take a toll. Try adding honey to your next bath to soften and restore skin. Drink warm milk and honey to promote healthy skin from the inside out.
Treat the Common Cold: Some doctors swear by honey when it comes to relieving the symptoms of a cold. In more than one study, honey beat out the leading over-the-counter medicine in providing relief for the nighttime cough that comes with so many colds.
Protect Your Bones: In another animal study, researchers found that a specific type of honey known as Tualang honey worked better than calcium supplements at preventing bone deterioration associated with osteoporosis.
Allergy Protection: Some researchers believe that honey from your local area can lessen the effects of seasonal allergies.
Honey can benefit your body in so many ways, but we do want to caution you that if you’re diabetic, you should treat honey like any other source of sugar. Under those circumstances, you’re better off looking for similar health benefits from other foods.
Also, honey contains living bacteria that can be harmful to infants. Never give honey to a child younger than one year.
Getting the Most Bang for Your Buck
If you want to get the most benefit from the honey you buy, it’s important to know what to look for.
You can purchase honey derived from different kinds of flowers, of different grades and different colors, and either raw or pasteurized. Unless you’re looking for a very specific kind of honey, like the Tualang honey we mentioned above, then you really don’t need to worry about the type of flower that honey comes from.
But, you should consider the color and whether or not the honey has been pasteurized.
Choosing a darker honey will mean a honey richer in vitamins, minerals, natural antioxidants, and antibacterial compounds. In other words, a darker honey is better for you all the way around.
Whenever possible, you should also choose a raw honey over one that’s been pasteurized. Raw honey is a little harder to find, but it’s worth looking for. Raw honey hasn’t been heat-treated, so its natural enzymes are intact. That means you’ll enjoy more benefit in terms of how you metabolize the honey. The enzymes will also make the honey even more soothing on your stomach.
In fact, all the benefits we list here are better delivered through raw honey versus the pasteurized options. In my own experience, raw honey also tastes better.
For a special treat, consider driving out to a local orchard that also offers fresh honey. The honeys you get from local producers are often richer in color and taste. And, they’re often more distinctive, too.
If you don’t have any honey in your pantry, we encourage you to buy some today and rediscover the health benefits of one of nature’s oldest foods.