Honey has always been one of those foods that go beyond its sweet taste. Considered the golden nectar due to its amazing health benefits, honey has been found to be more effective than over-the-counter cough remedies, ideal for healing wounds, treating acne among many other uses.
In traditional Indian Ayurvedic medicine, it is used as a digestive remedy, and Ancient Egyptians applied it as an ointment for skin ulcers. Today, worldwide sales are worth £7.58billion and honey is cropping up in everything from cosmetics to pharmaceuticals.
Below are some benefits of honey
Honey is a natural alterative to refined sugar. With presence of fructose and glucose are both simple carbohydrates, making honey a natural energy booster. But because it contains a higher proportion of fructose than refined sugar, honey is slightly lower on the glycaemic index, which means it makes blood sugar levels rise and fall more slowly. This makes it a great fitness food. Honey has small amounts of B vitamins, vitamin C and antioxidants including polyphenols. And it contains minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium and potassium.”
Easing Upper Respiratory Tract Infections
In the course of our lives, many of us have had an encounter with sore throat at one point or the other. While sipping warm water and honey is helpful, a 2020 British Medical Journal review backed honey’s effectiveness at relieving upper respiratory tract infections, concluding it was “a widely available and cheap alternative to antibiotics.”
Honey is well-established as a wound healer. A 2020 review found it had anti-inflammatory effects, decreased pain and shortened healing time for wounds. All honey is antibacterial to some extent, with manuka most effective, this is partly due to the chemical hydrogen peroxide. Honey also draws liquid out of wounds and stops dressings from sticking. If you don’t mind the stickiness, you can also apply manuka honey to spots, due to its antibacterial properties.
Many people swear eating honey helps their hay fever. No strong science supports this yet – any positive effects would come from the pollen that your stomach acid would destroy. If you’re suffering after a night out, honey might help. The fructose speeds up the oxidation of alcohol by the liver. That’s endorsed by the Royal Society of Chemists, who recommend honey on toast the morning after.
Honey is believed to ease digestive complaints. Research suggests honey may help stop acid reflux, and aid with reducing diarrhoea. One 2013 study showed manuka killed bacteria associated with food poisoning. That’s because this thick, dark, New Zealand honey has potent antibacterial properties, thanks to a substance called methylglyoxal (MGO). The higher the MGO number, the more powerful.