There are numerous health benefits of Honey as it has always been used as food and for its medicinal value also. Honey is an amazing plant compound that is beneficial for health. We can reap these health benefits of honey completely only if we use honey instead of refined sugar. Refined sugar is nothing but calories and so not good for our overall health.
In this article, we will discuss the top 8 health benefits of honey.
1. Helpful in lowering blood pressure
Honey is found to help lower blood pressure. Thus it can save from the potential risk of any heart-related problems. It is found that antioxidants found in honey can lower blood pressure
Some studies done on both rats and humans show that by consuming honey, blood pressure is reduced.
2. Decreases Triglycerides
When blood triglycerides increase, it leads to an increased risk of heart-related problems. They also cause insulin resistance which leads to type 2 diabetes.
When we consume foods that are rich in sugar or excessive refined sugar, triglyceride levels in the blood increase.
Multiple experiments have shown that consuming honey regularly instead of sugar, can lower triglyceride levels.
The experiments have shown that by consuming honey instead of refined sugar, triglyceride levels are reduced by 11 to 19% in people that consumed honey.
So when you use honey as a substitute for sugar, it will have a positive effect on lowering blood triglycerides and thus reducing the risk of heart problems.
3. Reduces Bad Cholesterol
LDL or bad cholesterol is responsible for many heart-related problems. When the concentration of LDL increases, it leads to atherosclerosis. There is a deposition of fat in the arteries that causes strokes and heart attacks.
Some studies are done to prove that honey can improve cholesterol levels. It raises the good cholesterol or HDL and reduces the bad cholesterol or LDL. Thus honey keeps the overall cholesterol in check and prevents the risk of heart-related problems.
A study was done on 55 patients where they consumed honey instead of table sugar. It was found that there was a reduction of 5.8% in LDL where their HDL increased by 3.3%. Not only this, these people saw a weight loss of about 1.3%.
We can say that consuming honey to table sugar can have a good effect on cholesterol levels. It decreases the total cholesterol and LDL and increases HDL cholesterol.
4. Honey or Sugar for diabetics?
When it comes to diabetes, there is mixed evidence available. In people suffering from type 2 diabetes, honey is seen to reduce the risk of heart diseases. It helps to reduce the bad cholesterol and triglycerides and improves the good cholesterol in the blood.
Other studies have seen that honey is also responsible to raise blood sugar levels. Though this rise is lesser as compared due to refined sugar. Diabetic people can consume honey, but it has to be done with caution. Ideally, Diabetic people should reduce the consumption of any high-carb foods. It is important to check that honey does not contain any kind of sugar syrup.
5. Honey contains nutrients
Honey is a viscous fluid, sweet to taste, and produced by honeybees. Bees collect the nectar from flowers, which is rich in sugar. This nectar is collected inside the hive, where the bees feed on this nectar, digest it, and again unassimilates nectar. The result of this process is honey, which the bees store in the hives as their food. Bees collect the nectar from various flowers and hence the smell, color, and taste of honey depend on the flowers.
In nutritional terms, you will find 66 calories, 15g of sugar. This sugar component comprises fructose, sucrose, glucose, and maltose. Honey does not contain any protein, fat, and fiber. It contains less than 1% of RDI of minerals and vitamins.
Honey is a rich source of active plant compounds and antioxidants. The darker the color of honey, the richer it is in these compounds and antioxidants.
6. Heals burns and wounds
Since ancients times honey is being used to treat and heal wounds and burns. This treatment is still common in the present time. A study was done to check the effects of honey on wounds stated that honey can effectively heal partial-thickness burns. It is also beneficial for wounds that get any infection after surgery.
Diabetic foot ulcers can be effectively treated with honey and show good results. Many times these ulcers under serious complications can result in amputation.
Studies report that when wounds are treated with honey, there is a success rate of almost 43%. In the treatment of diabetic foot ulcers, treatment with honey showed a 97% success rate.
Many scientists are of the view that the healing powers of honey are due to its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Due to these properties, honey can nourish the affected tissues. Treatment with honey has also shown good results in skin conditions like psoriasis and herpes lesions. Manuka honey is recognized for its effective treatment of burn wounds.
So honey has many skin benefits and it also gives effective treatment for burns and wounds. Honey is also found to be very effective for psoriasis and diabetic foot ulcers.
7. Rich source of Antioxidants
Good quality honey is a rich source of many essential antioxidants. These antioxidants comprise phenolic compounds and organic acids. It is due to the presence of these compounds that honey is a great source of antioxidants.
Some related studies show that buckwheat honey can increase the antioxidants in the blood. Antioxidants are known to reduce the risk of heart-related diseases and some cancers too. They are beneficial for the eyes and have anti-aging properties also.
8. Beneficial for the heart
Honey contains many phenols and antioxidants. Many antioxidants are known to lower the risk of heart problems. These compounds in honey help the arteries to dilate and keep them wider thus increasing the flow of blood towards the heart. These antioxidants also prevent any formation of blood clots in the bloodstream thus saving from strokes and heart attacks.
A study done on rats concluded that consumption of honey also saves the heart from the danger of oxidative stress. But there are still no long terms studies and results available that show positive effects on honey on the human heart. But honey is considered to be a heart-healthy food that is beneficial for good heart health. It keeps the blood flow to the heart clear and reduces the risk for clot formation.
Honey is a wonderful food as you can see and has many health benefits. These health benefits of honey include taking care of heart health and skin thereby saving from many heart-related problems.
Some people drink one teaspoon of honey with warm water in the morning for weight loss. Although, there are no evidence to prove it.
Part of the Diet for Weight Loss Editorial Team 2021