HONEY: WHERE IT COMES FROM, NUTRITIONAL VALUE, HEALTH BENEFITS AND RISKS
Honey is one of the most loved and treasured foods since humans discovered it over 10,000 years ago. Besides giving us a natural kick of sweetness minus the unhealthiness of sugar, it is used for everything from healing wounds to creating novel therapeutic medicine for cancer!
Flavonoid and polyphenol are the two major bioactive compounds in raw honey, both of which have antioxidant properties. More interestingly, honey also has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory characteristics, which explains why it’s a natural remedy for a variety of ailments.
Don’t all these facts make you want to get your hands on some pure honey right away?
We describe how honey reaches your local supermarket, its nutritional value, some of the best
BENEFITS OF HONEYand also some circumstantial risks below before you head out the door or online to purchase honey.
How Honey Reaches Your Local Supermarket
Raw honey is extracted from the beehives directly. To remove unwanted substances such as beeswax, pollen, and honeybee residue, raw honey is filtered.
The overwhelming bulk of honey you find in supermarkets is pasteurised (heated) and filtered, and the former may reduce the nutrition in the honey. However, pasteurisation eliminates any yeast cells which might result in unfavourable fermentation, and makes honey a little less sticky as well as easier to filter. The resultant honey is called processed honey.
Essentially, honey is sugar. In comparison to normal sugar, natural honey has higher calories. Due to its low fat and high sweetness, it is perfect for replacing sugar in a variety of dishes and beverages.
Raw honey also has a lower glycemic index than that of sugar, making it significantly healthier to consume. Compared to sugar, pure honey stands out to be sweeter. Hence, you should use lesser quantities if you substitute it with sugar.
Natural honey is approximately 18 percent water. A tablespoon of honey contains 64 calories, 17 gm carbohydrates, 17 gm natural sugar and zero fats, protein and fibre. Honey is also rich in micros such as vitamin C, sodium, potassium, calcium, zinc, and iron.
BENEFITS OF HONEY
The only naturally occurring insect-derived substance with therapeutic, medical, industrial, cosmetic, and nutritional benefits is pure honey. It's beyond a superfood!
The benefits of honey include:
Cancer, immune disorders, and cardiovascular disease can all be brought on by inflammation. A few of honey's health advantages can be attributed to its antioxidant content. Antioxidant ingredients are present in pure and organic honey in various forms.
Some of these include vitamin C, flavonoids and phytochemicals. These antioxidants assist in eliminating free radicals and protect the body against oxidative stress.
Numerous health problems are linked to oxidative strain. Thus, ingesting foods like pure honey that are high in antioxidants can lower your likelihood of developing terrible diseases like cancer.
- Cough Remedy
Pure and organic honey is known to help battle cough just as effectively as typical over-the-counter medication.
Experts suggest that children between one and five years old having upper respiratory tract infections sleep better and cough less when given one to two teaspoons of natural honey at bedtime. However, they advise against giving honey to infants younger than a year old.
- Immunity Booster
Organic honey is known to increase the number of eosinophils, antibodies, monocytes, neutrophils and T and B lymphocytes in the body, strengthening immunity.
- Prevents Cardiovascular Diseases
Studies found that organic honey helps decrease blood pressure, manage heartbeat, and stop the destruction of healthy tissues. These are all benefits that enhance heart health.
- Heals Injuries
In the list of benefits of honey, we can add that wounds can also be treated with raw honey. This characteristic results from honey's antimicrobial properties.
Honey is a highly effective treatment for burns, wounds, and skin conditions. Additionally, a study reveals using raw honey can treat ulcers caused by diabetes.
Risks Related To Honey
People who are on a low carb and sugar diet due to medical reasons should monitor their honey intake as it can raise glucose levels in the blood. Also, there are several benefits of honey for infants but raw honey can be a carrier of harmful bacteria which can be harmful to babies aged less than two.
Overconsumption of pure honey in adults can lead to vomiting, indigestion and diarrhoea. It can also cause muscle weakness and blurry vision.
Allergies caused by honey are rare. But if your GP suggests that you are allergic, it’s best to avoid eating any kind of pure or organic honey.
Honey has a number of industrial uses, including the production of lotions and moisturisers in the cosmetic sector. When consumed with ginger and lemon in lukewarm water, it promotes weight loss.
But these are only two more of several benefits of natural honey. In truth, honey has too many benefits to count!