Have you ever wondered what honey really is and why it’s so good for you?
According to Live Science, bees make honey from flower nectar, using tube-shaped tongues to extract the nectar and store it in second stomachs. The nectar mixes with enzymes in these extra stomachs. Bees then pass the substance on to other bees in a digestive assembly line until the last bee deposits the honey into the honeycomb. Bees fan the honeycomb with their wings until all the extra water is evaporated. The honeycomb is then sealed with a substance that hardens into what we know as beeswax.
But why do bees make honey? Because it’s their food source! So what makes honey so nutritious? According to Benefits of Honey, honey is approximately 80 percent natural sugar and 18 percent water. The remaining 2 percent is vitamins and minerals, as well as pollen and protein. Though honey is high in sugar, it is not bad for you when consumed in moderate amounts. In fact, the vitamins and minerals make honey really quite healthy. Continue reading to learn how regularly consuming and otherwise using honey can benefit your health!
1. More energy. Nutra Ingredients reports a study by the University of Memphis Exercise and Sport Nutrition Laboratory found honey to be an effective pre- and postworkout energy source for athletes. This is because, unlike other carbohydrates, honey does not cause blood sugar to drop after the initial spike. Honey has also been found to improve power and speed in endurance athletes.
This is good news for everyone, not just athletes. Instead of drinking a sugary soda for a mid-day pick-me-up, try eating a piece of toast with a tablespoon of honey.
2. Burn fat. Not only does honey give you more energy, it also helps you burn fat! Mike McInnes, founder of the “Hibernation Diet,” says that consuming a spoonful of honey before bedtime can help burn fat. This is because honey can speed up your metabolism and reduce stress hormones as you sleep. Try a detox drink made from cinnamon tea and honey, as recommended by Natural News.
3. Heal cuts and burns. According to Dr. Axe, manuka and linden honey are particularly good for healing cuts and wounds. This is because they have strong antibiotic properties. Rub honey directly on the affected area. You can also use these types of honey to heal acne.
4. Treat cough. WebMD says that just 2 teaspoons of honey 30 minutes before going to bed can suppress a nighttime cough. This method is safe and effective for adults and children above the age of 1.
5. Relieve nausea. Honey, when combined with lemon, is a wondrous treatment for nausea. Many pregnant women suffering from morning sickness know this, but Blessed Herbs explains the science. The astringency of lemon clears toxins from an agitated stomach. But it needs the delivery system of honey to slowly release the lemon’s cleansing power.
6. Lower high blood pressure. LiveStrong reports honey contains a special type of carbohydrate known as oligosaccharide. This carbohydrate doubles as an antioxidant and an amazing blood-pressure-lowering mechanism. If you suffer from high blood pressure, it may be a good idea to add a tablespoon of honey to your daily diet.
7. Treat dandruff. A study from Dubai says the antibacterial, antifungal and antioxidant properties in honey make it an effective treatment for even the most severe symptoms of dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis, like hair loss and scaling. To use this home remedy, gently rub honey diluted with warm water onto your scalp. Let the honey sit for three hours and then gently rinse with warm water. Do this every day until your symptoms subside. Maintain a healthy scalp by applying honey once weekly.
8. Better sleep. David Wolfe swears that eating a bit of honey and Himalayan salt results in a restful night’s sleep. He explains this works because Himalayan salt contains magnesium, which reduces the stress hormone cortisol and makes it easier to fall asleep. Honey on the other hand, supports the body by healing the liver and other organs as you sleep. Wolfe recommends mixing 5 teaspoons honey and 1 teaspoon Himalayan salt and storing in a jar. Every night, dissolve 1 teaspoon of the mixture under your tongue.
Honey is one of the sweetest, most delicious naturally occurring foods on the planet. It’s amazing that it has so many health benefits! So what are you waiting for? Add a teaspoon to your morning tea. Try it in coffee or slather it on a piece of whole-grain toast. Mix it in with yogurt or add it to your favorite vinaigrette. The possibilities, like its benefits, are endless!
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