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 anti-fungal 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.
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.
- Helps prevent cancer and heart disease – Honey contains flavonoids, antioxidants which help reduce the risk of some cancers and heart disease.
- Reduces 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.
- Anti-bacterial and 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. This contributes to the incredibly long shelf-life of honey.
- Increases athletic performance – Ancient Olympic athletes ate 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.
- Reduces cough and throat irritation – Honey helps with coughs. A single dose of honey is just as effective as a single dose of dextromethorphan in relieving nocturnal cough and allowing proper sleep.
- Balances the 5 elements – Honey has been used in Ayurvedic medicine in India for at least 4,000 years and is considered to affect all three of the body’s primitive material imbalances positively. It is also said to be useful in improving eyesight, weight loss, curing impotence and premature ejaculation, urinary tract disorders, bronchial asthma, diarrhea and nausea. Honey is referred 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.
- Heals wounds and burns – External application of honey has been shown to be as effective as conventional treatment with silver sulfadiazene. It is speculated that the drying effect of the simple sugars and honey’s anti-bacterial nature combine to create this effect.
- Is probiotic – Some varieties of honey 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.
- Helps improve skin – Its anti-bacterial qualities are particularly useful for the skin, and, when used with the other ingredients, honey 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.
- Honey and Lemon: Weight Loss Diet Tip – A honey and lemon diet can relieve you of your weight problem.
Source: www.care2.com – Authored By: Diana Herrington
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