Nutrition

Honey: 4 Super Health Effects You Didn’t Know About

Honey is often touted as a healthy alternative to regular sugar. This is largely due to the many health benefits associated with it and its antioxidant content. However, while some claim that honey can be a delicious and nutritious way to satisfy your sweet tooth, others see it as just a sugar-heavy treat.

What is honey?

Honey is a sweet, syrup-like substance that bees produce from the nectar of flowering plants. The bees collect the nectar, then consume it, digest it and regurgitate it inside the hive to produce honey. Honey is stored in wax-like structures called honeycombs, which are harvested by humans through the practice of beekeeping. There are many types of honey, which differ in plant source, extraction method, and whether it is raw or pasteurized.

Although the nutrient profile varies by type of honey, a single tablespoon (21 grams) of honey typically contains 64 calories and 17 grams of carbohydrates, with little to no fat, fiber, and protein. It also contains several micronutrients, such as potassium, iron and zinc, but in trace amounts, less than 1% of the daily reference intake.

4 health benefits of email

1 Rich in antioxidants

High-quality honey is rich in several important antioxidants, like phenolic acids and flavonoids, which may contribute to better health. Antioxidants are compounds that help fight pathogenic free radicals, thereby reducing the risk of oxidative damage to cells. These compounds play a central role in health and disease. Some research suggests they may protect against chronic diseases, such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Additionally, several studies have shown that consuming certain types of honey can increase the antioxidant status of your blood.

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2 May Improve Heart Health

Replacing regular sugar with high-quality honey in your diet can improve different aspects of heart health, as honey has been shown to reduce several risk factors for heart disease. For example, a 30-day study comparing the effects of table sugar and honey in 55 people found that honey helped lower total and “bad” LDL cholesterol levels while increasing “good” HDL cholesterol. . It was also able to reduce triglyceride levels by up to 19%. Additionally, animal studies have shown that taking honey can reduce systolic blood pressure (the highest number in a reading), another major risk factor for heart disease.

3 Promotes wound healing

In some forms of traditional medicine, such as Ayurveda, honey is applied directly to the skin to promote wound healing. This is believed to be due to the antibacterial properties of honey and its ability to decrease the growth of microorganisms that can cause infection. In a small study, applying manuka honey directly to diabetic foot ulcers was as effective as conventional dressings and helped heal 97% of ulcers. Similarly, another study in 30 people showed that adding honey to dressings improved the healing of about 43% of diabetic foot ulcers after three months. Meanwhile, other research suggests that it could also be a useful treatment for skin conditions, such as psoriasis, dermatitis and herpes.

4 Better than refined sugar

Although honey is high in sugar and calories, it is still a better choice than refined sugar. While refined sugar doesn’t add much in terms of nutrition, honey does provide antioxidants, including phenolic acids and flavonoids. Additionally, a study in 48 people with type 2 diabetes showed that while honey raises blood sugar levels, it is not to the same extent as sugar. Studies also suggest that using honey in place of table sugar can lower triglycerides, as well as total cholesterol and “bad” LDL cholesterol to support heart health. However, while honey may be a better option than refined sugar, it should be consumed in moderation to avoid adverse effects on your health.

Be careful, honey is high in sugar

Despite the health benefits that may be associated with honey, it is high in sugar, which can be detrimental to your health. In fact, studies show that high-sugar diets may be linked to obesity, inflammation, insulin resistance, liver problems, and heart disease.
Excessive sugar consumption may also be linked to a higher risk of depression, dementia, and even certain types of cancer. Therefore, the best way to reap the potential benefits of honey is to opt for a high-quality brand and use it to replace unhealthy sweeteners, like high-fructose corn syrup or refined sugar.

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Be sure to moderate your intake, however, and use it sparingly to minimize the risk of health side effects.

How to choose the right honey

Not all honeys are created equal. In fact, some lower quality brands are often mixed with syrup in an effort to cut costs and maximize profits. Although slightly more expensive, opting for a high-quality brand of raw honey is an easy and effective way to ensure you get what you pay for.
Unlike regular honey, the raw versions are not pasteurized, filtered, or processed, allowing them to retain their potential natural health properties. Additionally, choosing a raw variety ensures that your honey is free of added syrups or additional ingredients that may diminish possible benefits.

[HighProtein-Foods.com]

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