It’s funny how natural elements can do a lot of good to our health. Honey, for instance, has been used widely for thousands of years as a natural sweetener and remedy for different ailments.
Honey was not discovered by humans until the 16th century and was first produced largely in Sicily and ancient Greece. However, honey has been a part of nature ever since bees existed. Honey is also a large part of the food cycle for some animals like bears and badgers and even they would risk getting stung for a sweet and tasty treat.
What is honey and how is it made of?
Honey is one of the most fascinating organic product ever made by nature, and how it is made makes it even more fascinating. Honey is a succulent but sticky food substance that bees produce as a result of pollination.
Pollination is the process where plants reproduce through transfer of male pollen to a female plant. However, pollination takes place when plants rely on animals like bees to transfer the pollen. Bees are naturally drawn to the bright colors and sweet odor of flowers. Once a bee has enough nectar from the flowers that bees store in their stomach and mixes with their enzymes, and transferring to another bee through regurgitation.
This is then repeated until eventually it is digested partially and later placed inside a honeycomb. This makes bees very important as at least 60,000 bees need to repeat this process until it is enough to produce a pound of honey.
Why do we need honey?
There are so many reasons why we need to incorporate honey into our daily lives. From supplying more energy to controlling blood sugar levels and helping with skin problems, there are a multitude of benefits we can get from honey.
However, it is important to note that the healthier type of honey is raw. It means that it is pure, unheated and unfiltered. Most of the honey that are commercially available are usually processed and do not always contain the benefits that raw honey provides.
Here are some reasons why raw honey is good for us:
- It boosts our energy levels
As mentioned, honey is the perfect source of our natural energy. Raw honey contains natural properties like sugar, water, pollen, protein, minerals and vitamins that are needed by the body. One sports study claims that honey is the ideal substance to be taken before any physical activity because of the healthy carbohydrates it contains. Similarly, it is also good for post-workout recovery. This is why most pre-workout or fitness bar contains honey than artificial sugar.
- Rich in essential antioxidants
There are studies that show taking a dose of honey daily can protect our bodies from invading viruses and bacteria. It also increases our antioxidant levels therefore strengthening our immune system significantly. Its antioxidant property polyphenols are said to contain antioxidants that are powerful enough to lower the potential risk of cancer and other heart illnesses. Other than that, honey also contains antioxidants that fight diseases. These elements are chrysin, pinocembrin, pinostrobin.
- Reduces the risk of diabetes and pre-diabetes
Diabetes is a common ailment for many individuals. This is because of the amount of sugar that we take from our food. However, there are studies claiming a daily dose of honey can aid in lowering the risk of diabetes. It is because of the natural sugar contained in raw honey that boosts the insulin as well as the low glycemic content. Which is why honey is a healthier alternative for people suffering from diabetes.
- Speeds up healing of wounds and ulcers
Honey is known for centuries its effectivity in rapid healing of ulcers and lacerations. Several studies have shown that honey has antibacterial properties and that it reacts with the fluids in our body creating hydrogen peroxide. This then makes it a difficult environment for bacteria to grow and multiply.
- Effective natural syrup for cough
Honey has also been known to treat cough naturally as well as over-the-counter cough syrups available. Just half or two teaspoons of honey before bed is enough to reduce secretion of mucus as well as cough.
- Aids in healthy weight loss and management
Several studies have associated effective healthy weight loss and honey consumption. This is because honey contains natural sugars that activates hormones to suppress cravings. This then lessens the chances of gaining more weight because the body’s appetite is constantly sated.
7 Ways to Use Honey for the body
It is seen that honey does a lot of good for the health once it is incorporated into your diet. Here are five ways to use honey as a home remedy.
- Solution for upset stomach and indigestion
Just take one or two tablespoons of honey to help with indigestion since honey does not ferment inside the stomach.
- Acne remover
Honey is gentle for all skin types and is an effective and affordable skin and face cleanser. Use half a teaspoon of honey and warm hands, then spread evenly on the face. Leave on for at least ten minutes before rinsing and use daily to effectively remove acne.
- Gentle hair cleanser and mask
Honey is also known to promote healthy and shiny hair. Simply add a few cups of warm water with a teaspoon of honey and apply directly on scalp and hair. Rinse well and dry normally.
- Effective cough drops
You can use honey as natural cough drops by adding it into your tea along with essential oils like peppermint and lemon essence for faster relief.
- Sleep inducer
Using honey is ideal to boost quality sleep. Add one tablespoon of honey into a warm glass of milk and drink an hour before bedtime.
- Natural supplement rich in vitamins and minerals
Honey helps lower the risk diseases caused by viruses and infections from bacteria from the essential nutrients it contains. Just take a few spoonfuls of honey any time before and after meals.
- Gentle and natural skin exfoliator
As honey is gentle on all types of skin, it is also packed with antioxidants and nutrients that can hydrate and keep skin healthy. Make a paste using one tablespoon of baking soda and honey and apply on to the skin gently. Rub in a circular motion and rinse thoroughly.
You can find different types of raw honey available in stores. There are also options you can find online that are highly recommended.
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