For thousands of years, honey has been used both as a food and as a medicine. However, what does honey do for the body when taken medicinally? Continue reading to learn more about the health benefits of honey.
What Is Honey?
Honey is a sweet, thick food substance that is made by bees. It has been used for thousands of years and has many health benefits. It is made when flower nectar, collected by honeybees is broken down and stored inside of honeycombs. Due to the shape of the honeycombs, and fanning of the bee’s wings, evaporation is caused and the honey is created. The flavor and color is dependant on the nectar that is collected.
Honey comes with a wide variety of nutrients to those who consume it. Some of the prominent nutrients are:
- Niacin: This nutrient also goes by vitamin B3 and it helps with the development and function of cells.
- Riboflavin: This vitamin (B2) helps turn the foods you eat into energy.
- Pantothenic Acid: This is also vitamin B5 and it helps make and break down fats.
- Calcium: This mineral is needed to maintain strong bones and carry out important functions.
- Magnesium: A mineral that regulates muscle and nerve function, blood sugar levels, and blood pressure.
- Potassium: Used for proper kidney and heart function, muscle contraction, and nerve transmission.
- Zinc: Zinc is used to do many things. These include fighting off invading viruses, making DNA, and helps young children grow and develop properly.
Honey also comes with other nutrients such as manganese and phosphorus too. However, you cannot get these nutrients from honey alone because of the amount of sugar in it.
Honey also contains a plethora of antioxidants. These are substances that protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are compounds that are formed when the body converts food into energy. Other ways the body is exposed to them is from cigarette smoke, pollution in the air, and ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun.
Many studies have been done on the healing properties of honey. One study, published in the Cochrane Library showed that honey could be able to help with burn wounds.
Another study showed that honey is beneficial in wound healing due to its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. You can apply raw honey onto minor cuts or burns and then place a bandage or gauze over that.
Many people add honey to their tea to help them when they are sick. That is because honey can also be an effective cough suppressant. This can really come in handy if you have a sore throat as coughing only adds to the pain. One study, performed back in 2007 showed that honey was more effective at taming a nighttime cough than the common cough suppressants. As previously mentioned too, honey is an effective wound healer. This means that it may be able to help speed the healing process for a sore throat.
There are many health benefits of honey. To recap, it contains a wide variety of nutrients and antioxidants, it is an effective wound healer and it has the ability to be a cough suppressant and help with a sore throat.
Be sure to check out one of our previous posts to learn about the Health Benefits of Avocados too.