Honey is something that has been used in all our households for the longest time. It is one of the most used things for home remedies and there’s a good reason for that. It has many health benefits, from cough relief to its antioxidant properties. Honey can also be used as a good substitute for sugar as honey has various benefits and sugar only gives empty calories.
What Is Honey?
Honey bees obtain honey in the form of plant nectar. Even though it is produced for and by bees, we humans have always relished it mainly because of its natural sweetness and the health benefits it provides. Raw honey is obtained directly from beehives. However, the honey sold in supermarkets is subject to a lot of processing before being sold to eliminate any undesirable particles.
Types Of Honey
This is the best honey in terms of the benefits it provides. It does not undergo pasteurization or filtration and it has a complete set of nutrients. If you’re buying raw honey, make sure you get it from a reliable source.
Natural Honey / Pure Honey
This is pasteurized and filtered as well. However, there is a small difference between natural and pure honey.
Natural honey should ideally signify no natural ingredients but this may contain corn syrup, sugar or natural flavoring.
Pure honey does not contain any of these additives.
Processed honey undergoes pasteurization and filtration. Therefore it is called processed honey.
Pasteurization is the process of heating honey in high temperatures. It prolongs it’s shelf life and prevents its crystallization. Thi may destroy some minerals and live enzymes naturally present in the golden liquid.
Filtering contributes to a smooth, longer lasting consistency. It eliminates any unwanted residue like honeybee residue, beeswax, solids or pollen that may cause the liquid to solidify faster.
Benefits Of Honey
Many studies indicate that the medicinal effect of honey may be due to its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, apoptotic and antioxidant properties.
#1 – It Is Anti Inflammatory
Inflammation can cause heart disease, autoimmune disorders and cancers. Natural honey has a variety of antioxidant components like phytochemicals, flavonoids and Vitamin C that protect us from oxidative stress and help us get rid of free radicals. Oxidative stress can cause many health issues and honey can reduce the risk of these diseases.
#2 – Immunity Booster
Honey boosts immunity by increasing the count of T and B lymphocytes, antibodies, neutrophils, monocytes etc. A type of sugar named niger oligosaccharides in honey has immunopotentiation effects which means it enhances the immune response by increasing the speed and extent of its development and by prolonging it’s duration.
#3 – Cough Relief
Traditional remedies for cough and cold are sure to include honey. Some studies say that 1-2 teaspoons of honey may help reduce nightly cough in children and help them sleep. However, this is not recommended by doctors for infants under one year.
#4 – Aids In Asthma Relief
Honey is commonly used in folk medicine to treat inflammation, cough and fever. It has a relieving effect on asthmatic patients. It increases saliva production and this saliva lubricates the airways and reduces irritation in the throat. Also, it’s anti-inflammatory properties may decrease the swelling of airways that accompanies asthma.
Honey is a natural sweetener which has an array of benefits. Even though honey may be a better alternative when compared to sugar, keep in mind that they both are dense in calories and must be consumed in controlled amounts. Only when consumed in controlled amounts are they good for your body and provide you the nutrition you need from them.