Most people don’t realize what beneficial food honey can be, which is why it’s not a dietary staple for some. However, taking a closer look at the benefits honey provides may convince you to add a little honey to every meal. Here are a few things you should know about this natural food, so you can see why it should be added to anyone’s diet.
It’s a Healthy Sweetener
Honey comes from a variety of sources, including the honey we get from bumblebees, and you can learn more about these sources online. For example, you can find Tupelo honey explained in articles that detail how this type of honey is different in the way it’s harvested. Any type of honey you choose to add to your diet can be used to replace high-calorie sugar and sugar substitutes, providing a broad range of benefits that those other sweeteners would not provide.
It Contains Antioxidants
Our bodies have free radicals, which are highly reactive cells that contribute to heart disease, cancer, and other diseases. However, antioxidants are helpful in fighting these free radicals and preventing diseases. Honey contains a high amount of antioxidants, so adding more honey to your diet can help you protect against disease.
It’s Better Than Sugar
Following a healthy diet is especially challenging for diabetics, especially when it comes to eliminating sugar and other foods that cause blood sugar spikes. While honey will still affect the blood sugar levels, it doesn’t cause as high of a spike as refined sugar. Diabetics can use honey as a replacement for sugar in moderation.
It Helps Treat Hypertension
Another benefit of eating honey is that it can help you lower high blood pressure. Research on both laboratory rats and human subjects found that adding honey to the diet on a regular basis helped lower blood pressure levels. Researchers believe this to be another benefit from the antioxidants in the honey. As you eat more honey, you add the number of antioxidants running through your blood supply, making it harder for blockages to occur in your veins.
It Affects Cholesterol Levels
LDL, or bad cholesterol, causes plaque build-up in the arteries that lead to heart disease and failure. It can also cause people to suffer strokes. However, a recent study looked at the effects that eating honey had on 55 subjects with high cholesterol. The researchers noted that the subjects exhibited a 5.8% decrease in LDL cholesterol, while also showing a 3.3% increase in HDL or good cholesterol. They also noted a 1.3% loss in body fat, suggesting that honey can also help people lose weight.
It Heals Wounds and Burns
As with many natural foods, honey has a long history as a treatment for medical conditions among ancient civilizations. In ancient Egypt, honey was used to partially heal burns and wounds. Even in modern times, 26 different studies found that honey helped the healing process for partial-thickness burns. It was also found effective in treating infected wounds, following surgical procedures. For diabetics, honey can also be effective in treating foot ulcers, so amputation won’t be necessary. The studies indicated a 43.3% success rate in treating infected wounds, while diabetic foot ulcers were successfully healed with honey at a 97% rate of success.
It May Be Better Than Cough Syrup
Upper respiratory infections cause congestion that affects sleep and the day to day life in both children and adults. While there are plenty of medications on the market, they all produce unwanted side effects and may not work very well depending on the severity of the infection. Honey has been found to be much more effective, and it doesn’t produce the side effects of traditional medications. Studies into its efficacy found that it helped improve sleep in addition to alleviating symptoms of respiratory infection. However, parents of infants should consult a doctor first, since honey can cause botulism in children who are one year old or younger.
These are just a few of the benefits that eating honey regularly will provide. When you add this food to your daily routine and use it to replace other sweeteners, you’ll find that you’re experiencing more of these benefits over time. Eating more honey can help you maintain good health throughout your life.