Honey is unique because it is a natural product that is derived from insects! It is formed from the nectar of flowers by honeybees in an amazingly complex process. There are over 300 varieties of honey that exist (that we know about!) due to the many different types of nectar that honeybees collect it. Another interesting fact about honey is that it does not go bad. It may crystallize over time, but this is a natural process for honey.
Honey has a tradition of therapeutic uses and plenty of nutritional benefits that you may not have known about! This treat is a form of sugar – it is high in fructose, and should be used in moderation. However, it is a natural energy enhancer and adding even just a little to your morning tea can give you a natural boost!
Natural Energy Source
Honey is a natural source of carbohydrates, which are the primary source of fuel for our body. Carbohydrates are the main components of honey, but it also contains proteins, amino acids, minerals, vitamins, antioxidants and beneficial polyphenols. Honey actually contains all nine essential amino acids. Honey is also unique in that it acts as a time-released fuel providing you with steadier blood glucose and insulin levels over a longer period of time.
Fights Disease and Common Coughs
Honey is full of antioxidants, which scavenge harmful free radicals and are an important component of how our immune system fights off disease. It has a number of other medicinal uses, as well, including making a great substitute for traditional cough syrup. The World Health Organization has classified honey as a demulcent, which is defined as a substance that can relieve mouth and throat irritation by forming a protecting film. Studies even show that honey works just as well as dextromethorphan, which is a common ingredient in over-the-counter cough medicines, in soothing cough and cough related sleep troubles in children.
Honey has antibacterial and antifungal properties in addition to its antioxidant activities, making it perfect for use in treating wounds and preventing skin infections. Honey releases hydrogen peroxide through the process of enzymes, which explains its antiseptic properties. Manuka honey is a variety of honey made from pollen gathered from the medicinal Manuka plant. This honey has been clinically shown to combat over 250 strains of bacteria – even resistant strains such as MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aurus), which can be deadly.
Protects Your Brain
Oxidative stress is thought to be a huge factor in problems with cognitive function associated with aging. Oxidative stress is basically a disparity between the production of free radicals and the body’s capacity to counteract their harmful effects with antioxidants. The brain is very susceptive to oxidative damage because it has a high demand for oxygen and a large amount of polyunsaturated fatty acids in neuronal membranes. Honey contains several different compounds that are associated with scavenging free radicals and activating antioxidant enzymes in the brain. Some research suggests that polyphenols in honey, including apigenin and catechin, have a neuroprotective effect against oxidation and inflammation; as well as memory, learning, and cognitive-promoting effects. More brain health.
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Rahman, Mohammed Mijanur, Et Al. “Neurological Effects of Honey: Current and Future Prospects.” Neurological Effects of Honey: Current and Future Prospects. Hindawi Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 27 Apr. 2014. Web. 07 Jan. 2016.