Do you know the benefits of honey? This natural delight provided by bees is used in making mouth-watering recipes, but it’s also an ingredient in a slew of natural home remedies. Here you will discover all about the medicinal uses and healthy benefits of bee honey.
Firstly, honey has been used since antiquity in food and natural medicine. Therefore, it is estimated that honey is the ingredient that generated the first method of sweetening foods and recipes, but that, since the beginning of its use, health benefits were already observed.
In traditional natural medicine, it is very common to use honey for the production of syrups and mixtures with other medicinal foods. Who has never heard of combinations of lemon with honey or honey with garlic , right? Here you will find out why honey is used in these traditional blends.
Also, do you know what honey is? See throughout this article the main information about this food of unparalleled flavor.
What are the benefits of honey? Know the medicinal properties
Honey is rich in medicinal properties that help improve health and prevent disease, but only if it is used well.
Thus, see below the list with the main health benefits of honey already proven by science:
- It is a source of important minerals and vitamins
- Eliminates microbes, viruses and parasites
- Protects the brain and heart
- It’s anti-inflammatory
- It has antioxidant action
- prevents cancer
- good for the skin
- It’s expectorant.
Did you just see the great amount of benefits of bee honey? And, first of all, it is worth noting that there are many other benefits (proven and under study). We have separated those that have been listed, as they are the main benefits already proven to be true by science.
A little more about each benefit
In this topic, you will learn a little more about each of the benefits listed above. Also, this is where we will explain to you how science came to the conclusion that they are true. Check out our scientific references at the end of the article for more information.
It is a source of important minerals and vitamins
First, let’s start by talking about the rich composition of honey, rich in minerals and vitamins that improve health and prevent various diseases ( 1 ). Analyzes and scientific studies have proven, for many years, that honey is a source of minerals such as calcium, iron , magnesium, among others.
Furthermore, it has also been observed for a long time that honey is a source of several B-complex vitamins, in addition to vitamins C , D and E. This whole set is a great combo for boosting the body’s immunity and defenses.
Eliminates microbes, viruses and parasites
Another great healthy advantage of bee honey consumption is its antimicrobial, antiviral and antiparasitic action ( 1 ). In some cultures, even a spoonful of honey is offered daily to children as a method of preventing illnesses.
In fact, honey alone is not a substitute for treatment against these harmful agents that cause diseases and problems of varying severity. It acts more as an auxiliary, enhancing treatments and preventing the development of viruses, microbes and parasites in the body.
Good for the brain and heart
Another important component of honey is choline, a protective substance for the brain and heart ( 1 ). Experts point out, in science, that bee honey is rich in choline and, therefore, helps maintain healthy brain and cardiovascular functions .
Bee honey is also anti-inflammatory , which is very good for the body and health in general ( 1 , 2 , 3 ). As mentioned above, in this case honey is also an aid and may not be the best option to fight inflammation alone.
A tip is to consume honey routinely, in small amounts, to reduce or combat small common inflammations in the human body. After all, these minor inflammations are known to cause pain in the shoulders, lower back and joints, which are common everyday pains.
It has antioxidant action
Antioxidant foods prevent the action of free radicals, substances that hinder the healthy life cycle of cells, and thus open the door to the emergence of various diseases.
Among the diseases that can be prevented by antioxidant action are Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, cancer, premature aging and several degenerative diseases.
good for the skin
On the other hand, an Italian research scientifically proved that honey has several dermatological benefits ( 4 ). This is the result of the union between glucose, amino acids and honey proteins.
In short, honey applied to the skin has an emollient, moisturizing, calming, conditioning (on hair) action. It also keeps the skin young and slows down the formation of freckles and blemishes . Honey also helps regulate skin pH and prevents pathogenic infections.
it is expectorant
Last but not least, honey is an expectorant ( 2 ). That is, it helps to reduce and eliminate the mucosa present in the airways. It is an excellent natural remedy to lessen cough and flu phlegm.
Honey is healthier than any type of sugar
Without a shadow of a doubt, honey is the best option for sweetening recipes. Refined and white sugar, as everyone already knows, are great health villains. Therefore, brown and demerara sugars appear as healthier alternatives. But even so, none of them are as healthy as honey.
In addition to bringing vitamins, minerals and the benefits mentioned in this article, honey has 18% fewer calories than refined sugar and sweetens twice as much ( 1 ). So, if you choose a healthy diet, a good option is to use more honey and less sugar.
How to consume
In short, you can use honey as a sugar substitute in drinks such as teas, coffee and juices. You can also consume a tablespoon of honey every day after lunch as a dessert. This makes you get the benefits of that food.
What is honey?
Honey is a sweet substance with a viscous liquid consistency produced by bees. These small insects collect pollen from flowers and sources of sugar/glucose from the environment, then process them by digestive enzymes, producing honey. Then they store the substance in the hives to serve as food later.
Its composition, in general, comes down to simple sugars such as glucose and fructose, for example. This first one, in fact, is the most prevalent. Furthermore, honey is made up of water, minerals and vitamins. So we should be grateful to the bees for providing us with such a rich and healthy food.
But those who think that honey is made only from pollen from flowers and plants are wrong. In fact, bees have natural autonomy to seek alternative sources of glucose in their environment.
For example, they are attracted to soft drinks as they are rich sources of sugars. In addition, they can look for sugars in fruits, saps and even other animals.
Honey care and contraindications
Despite the great contributions of honey, it can also do a lot of harm if used in the wrong way. Therefore, we are going to show you here some important precautions and contraindications. Check out:
- Honey is not recommended for people with diabetes as it is a rich source of glucose.
- Children under 1 year of age should not consume bee honey, as it has little immunity to possible harmful agents
- Honey is not suitable for those who want to lose weight, as it is a caloric option
- The delicious aroma of honey can attract bees, so keep it well stored in closed jars. This prevents attacks.
With these tips in mind, you can use honey as a great ally, not an enemy. Enjoy the delicious taste and medicinal benefits of honey, this rich and complex food.