Honey has, since ancient times, been used as both a food source and medicine by various cultures across the globe. More recently, research into the health aspects of honey, when taken both internally or used topically, shows that honey has numerous benefits.
The Health Benefits of Honey
Did you know that a single tablespoon of honey contains no fiber, fat or protein? Yet it contains trace amounts of various vitamins and minerals, contains 64 calories, and about 17 grams of sugar. This sugar is broken up into fructose, maltose, sucrose, and glucose. It is also a potent antioxidant. Antioxidants have been linked to a reduced risk of some types of cancer, stroke, heart disease, and eye disease.
Honey and Blood Pressure Control
Antioxidants have the ability to reduce blood pressure. According to research, the antioxidant compounds in honey have this ability. High blood pressure increases your risk of heart disease.
Honey and Cholesterol
You get two types of cholesterol. LDL cholesterol is considered a bad cholesterol because it is responsible for the fatty buildup in your arteries that could cause heart attacks or even strokes.
Studies on honey have found that it reduces your bad LDL cholesterol while increasing the good HDL cholesterol. Studies also indicate that in doing so, honey may help with weight loss if used in moderation.
Honey and Triglycerides
High levels of triglycerides in your blood is associated with insulin resistance while at the same time being a heart disease risk factor. People on a high sugar and refined carbohydrate diet tend to have higher triglyceride levels in their blood than is normal. Insulin resistance is one of the factors leading to type-2 diabetes.
Studies on honey and triglyceride levels found that consuming honey lowers triglyceride levels in your blood when it is used instead of sugar.
Honey and Heart Health
Besides lowering bad cholesterol and triglyceride levels in your blood, the antioxidants in honey may reduce your risk of heart disease by preventing blood clod formation and dilating arteries. The latter two are commonly associated with heart disease. It may also protect your heart from oxidative stress, according to one study, but the findings are not yet conclusive.
Honey and Children
While being a better, healthier sweetening agent than sugar, honey is also an effective cough treatment with no side effects. It may also improve sleep. Honey should not, however, be given to children under the age of one because of the risk for botulism.
Topical Applications of Honey
Honey has numerous beneficial topical applications. It is good for:
- Healing burns
- Healing wounds
- Healing diabetic foot ulcers
- Healing mouth ulcers
- Treating skin conditions like dry skin, psoriasis, eczema, and herpes lesions
Honey has had many medical applications since ancient times. While it may be a safer sweetening choice for people with diabetes, diabetics still need to be considerate in their use of honey due to their blood sugar issues. Also, it is best not to give children under the age of one year honey, although it could still be used for topical treatments. To find out more about the products, please click on honey products