Article credit from –> Medicine Net
Honey contains vital nutrients
Honey is a brown, sticky, sugar-saturated solution made by bees. Honey bees or forage bees collect nectar from flowers and add some enzymes to the nectar. They then place it in wax cells to ripen into honey. The enzymes convert the sucrose (sugar) in the nectar into glucose and fructose.
Taking one spoonful of honey every day can have numerous benefits to your health. Honey has been used for its nutritional value since ancient times. It has also been found to be beneficial in the treatment of many clinical conditions.
The main nutrients in honey are carbohydrates in the form of glucose and fructose. It also contains small amounts of necessary vitamins, proteins, minerals, and enzymes. The exact composition of the nutrients in honey varies based on the:
- Type of flowers that provided nectar
- Processing method used
- Environmental conditions during harvesting.
The nutritional composition of a 20-gram serving of honey includes:
- Energy, 58 kilocalories/246 kilojoules
- Fats, 0 grams
- Carbohydrates, 15.3 grams
- fructose, 8.4 grams
- glucose, 6.9 grams
- Proteins, 0.08 grams
- Water, 3.5 grams
Studies have shown that honey is beneficial in treating and managing diabetes mellitus. It contains antioxidants that play a significant role in controlling diabetes mellitus. Honey can help lower the level of sugar (plasma glucose) in the blood of individuals with diabetes. Honey also reduces blood lipid and reactive protein content in most people and those living with hyperlipidemia (excess lipids in the blood).
Recent studies suggest that honey helps fight cancer by interfering with cell signal pathways. Honey induces an immune response against cancer cells, preventing them from proliferating. This action prevents lung cancer cells, skin cancer cells, colon cancer, prostate cancer, mouth cancer cells, breast cancer, leukemia, bladder cancer, and bone cancer cells from developing.
Promoting heart health
Antioxidants present in honey help improve heart health by reducing the risk of heart failure. They lower the risk of heart failure by reducing the ability of platelets in the blood to clot and preventing low–density lipoproteins (a protein that carries cholesterol in bloodstreams) from oxidizing.
Asthma and cold management
Folk-traditional doctors included honey in medicine to treat cough, fever, and asthma. Honey can help prevent and reduce asthma, common cough, and fever symptoms. Some studies show that honey treatment successfully manages asthma by preventing airway inflammation. Such properties also make honey helpful in the management of chronic bronchitis.
Honey is the oldest wound treatment and healing agent known to humankind. It activates an immune response that fights infection, stimulating white blood cells (which help fight infection and disease) to begin tissue repair. Honey is effective in the treatment of acute and mild wounds and surface and partial burns.
Source of antioxidants
Your body contains free radicals responsible for aging, impairing cell function, and causing heart and blood vessel disorders. Honey and other antioxidant-rich foods can protect you against such and other chronic conditions.
Dark honey usually contains more significant amounts of antioxidants compared to lighter honey. The quantity and quality of oxidizing agents in honey depend on the type of honey and the flower that provides the nectar. A study on healthy adults showed increased plasma–antioxidants in their bodies. Thus proving that antioxidants improve the immune defense system of the human body.
For every teaspoon of honey you consume, you get 17 grams of carbohydrates. That shows that honey can be helpful as a substitute for energy enhancement during exercises. Studies on athletes showed that taking low amounts of honey during physical activity caused an increase in performance. The effects produced by honey were much better than those of glucose. That proves that honey can work as a performance enhancer during physical activity.
Honey is an excellent source of glucose for athletes. During physical exercise, slow-burning sugar is better for sustaining energy. Honey is one of the best options since it releases sugar slowly into the bloodstream.
Healthy development in kids
Feeding babies honey has been found to improve memory and growth. It also helps to reduce anxiety and enhance a child’s performance later in life. Giving honey to kids reduces the crying phase in babies more efficiently than sterile water. Children also tolerate honey better. A study on honey-fed kids found that they tend to gain weight steadily, produce lighter and thinner bowel movements, have no digestive issues, have better calcium intake, and have a better skin color. Honey can be an excellent replacement for sweets for kids.
However, it is not recommended to give your child honey until they’re one year old. Honey may contain clostridium bacteria that can cause infant botulism, which causes constipation, a weak cry, and muscle weakness, with signs like poor sucking and decreased muscle tone (floppiness). To avoid this, do not give honey to infants.
Promoting food digestion and absorption
Enzymes contained in honey increase digestion and absorption of nutrients like carbohydrates. Honey contains simple sugar that is pre-digested. Unlike refined sugar, it can be absorbed directly into the bloodstream without needing to be digested. That makes honey a faster and more efficient source of energy.
Honey is rich in prebiotics. Prebiotics promote the health of beneficial bacteria found in the digestive system. Consuming food like honey will increase the population of these bacteria, thus maintaining good gut health.
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