Honey is a gift from nature. It is a highly versatile food substance that has been used for nutritional and medical purposes for thousands of years, even as an energy source, a natural sweetener, and a key ingredient in many skin-care and beauty products. As opposed to refined sugar with no nutritional value and consists of only empty calories, honey is particularly beneficial and healthy. Honey, especially in its raw state, is considered a superfood. Read this article to find out how honey can benefit and nourish your body.
High Antioxidant Content
High-quality, raw honey includes a wide array of highly beneficial antioxidants, such as flavonoids, which are phenolic compounds, and organic acids. According to field experts, the fusion of these compounds is what gives honey its antioxidant capacity. Antioxidants are quite important because they can help protect your body from free radicals, which are harmful molecules that can severely damage your cells.
When accumulated in great amounts, free radicals can cause oxidative stress and damage your DNA, alongside other vital cell structures. Unfortunately, chronic oxidative stress can increase the risk of developing cancer, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.
When LDL cholesterol levels are high in one’s body, this may pose a strong risk for the development of heart disease. This is because the presence of this type of cholesterol in the body typically leads to atherosclerosis development, which refers to fatty buildups in one’s arteries that may eventually result in strokes and heart attacks. Heart disease is a dangerous and common condition in several parts of the world. In fact, 1 in 6 Australians struggling with cardiovascular disease, which accounts for over 4 million individuals.
Surprisingly, according to Healthline, numerous studies show a strong correlation between the consumption of honey and the improvement of cholesterol levels. The health authorities in Australia suggest that cholesterol levels shouldn’t exceed 5.5 mmol per liter, given that there are no other health concerns. PubMed Center explains that the individuals who incorporate products made of honey in their diets led to the decrease of harmful LDL cholesterol levels. There is also an increase in the level of beneficial HDL cholesterol. One study, which consisted of 55 participants or patients, compared refined sugar to honey. Researchers discovered that those who consumed honey exhibited a 3.3% increase in their HDL cholesterol levels, a 5.8% decrease in LDL, and a moderate weight loss of 1.3% compared to individuals who consumed table sugar.
Improved Healing of Burns and Wounds
Ancient Egyptians used honey as a topical treatment for wounds and burns. This use of raw honey is still popular today. A 26-study review, which explored the connection between wound care and its use on PubMed, found honey to be exceptionally effective at treating partial-thickness wounds and burns after being infected due to surgery. The source also claims that it is beneficial for individuals who suffer from diabetic foot ulcers, which may lead to amputation, and serves as an effective treatment. One study that assessed honey as a topical treatment for wounds recorded a 43.3% success rate. Another study that evaluated its effects on diabetic ulcers reported a 97% success rate.
Field experts suggest that its healing abilities come from the fact that it is an anti-inflammatory and an antibacterial substance. Additionally, it is stimulated with the power to nourish skin tissue. Other studies found that it can also treat other skin conditions, such as herpes lesions and psoriasis. Manuka honey was found to be particularly effective when it came to treating burn wounds.
Who doesn’t get the occasional sweet tooth? When we want something sweet, we usually reach out for something sugary to satisfy our cravings. Unfortunately, people who struggle with health conditions, such as diabetes, can’t always do the same. There is a lot of mixed evidence when it comes to honey and diabetes. However, it’s guaranteed that this substance is always a better alternative to refined sugar. Since it can raise blood sugar levels, diabetic patients should still consume it with great caution. For those who don’t suffer from diabetes or similar health conditions, switching out table sugar for smaller amounts of honey can be beneficial for their health.
Honey is a much healthier and a lot more delicious alternative to table sugar. However, you should still consume it with caution, as it’s still high in calories and sugar content. When purchasing honey, ensure to find a high-quality brand and not one that mixes this substance with syrup.