Everything You Need To Know About Honey: Benefits

Honey is a sweet liquid made by bees using the nectar from flowers. It is graded by color, with the clear, golden amber honey often fetching a higher retail price than the darker varieties.

The flavor of a particular type of honey will vary based on the types of flower from which the nectar was harvested.

Honey has high levels of monosaccharides, fructose, and glucose, and it contains about 70 to 80 percent sugar, which provides its sweetness. Honey also has antiseptic and antibacterial properties. Modern medical science has managed to find uses for honey in chronic wound management and combating infection.

Fast facts on honey

  • Honey is linked to wound-healing properties and antibacterial action.
  • It has been used in medicine for over 5,000 years.
  • Honey can replace sugar in meals, providing a healthier option. However, they can also add browning and excess moisture to a dish.
  • Do not give honey to children under 12 months old.

Benefits

Healing wounds and burnsHealing wounds and burns

There have been some cases in which people have reported positive effects of using honey in treating wounds.

Honey might be able to help heal burns. The lead author of the study said that “topical honey is cheaper than other interventions, notably oral antibiotics, which are often used and may have other deleterious side effects.”

However, there is a lack of evidence to fully support this claim. In fact, a study published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases concluded that applying medical-grade honey to the wounds of patients has no advantage over normal antibiotics among patients undergoing dialysis.

Honey should never be given to young infants as it can cause botulism, a rare but severe type of food poisoning.

Reducing the duration of diarrheaReducing the duration of diarrhea

According to research-based reviews on honey, it has been shown to decrease the severity and duration of diarrhea. Honey also promotes increased potassium and water intake, which is particularly helpful when experiencing diarrhea.

Research that took place in Lagos, Nigeria suggests that honey has also shown the ability to block the actions of pathogens that commonly cause diarrhea.

Preventing acid refluxPreventing acid reflux

Recent research has shown that honey can reduce the upward flow of stomach acid and undigested food by lining the esophagus and stomach.

This has helped to reduce the risk of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). GERD can cause inflammation, acid reflux, and heartburn.

Fighting infectionspain-in-wound-healing

In 2010, scientists from the Academic Medical Center at the University of Amsterdam reported in FASEB Journal that honey’s ability to kill bacteria lies in a protein called defensin-1.

A more recent study in the European Journal of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases showed that a certain type of honey, called Manuka honey, can help prevent the bacteria Clostridium difficile from settling in the body. C. difficile is known for causing severe diarrhea and sickness.

Some studies have revealed that Manuka honey may even be effective for the treatment of MRSA infections.

Relieving cold and cough symptomsRelieving cold and cough

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends honey as a natural cough remedy.

The American Academy of Pediatrics also recognizes honey as a treatment for a cough.

Replacing added sugar in the dietHoney_vs_Sugar

Honey’s sweet flavor makes it an ideal substitute for sugar in the diet.

Added sugar in the diet provides excess calories with no nutritional benefit. This can lead to increased body weight, which comes with an increased risk of high blood pressure and diabetes.

Honey can be added to food and beverages to sweeten the taste without the negative health impact of added sugars. However, since honey is still a sweetener, it is important to remain mindful of how much honey being is used.

So what do you think?

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