The Bee's Knees: Honey for Health
Nature's treat offers a fix for more than just your sweet tooth.
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Honey is a lot more than something to stir into your tea (although it’s great for that, too). Human use of honey is traced to some 8000 years ago as depicted by Stone Age paintings, and ancient Egyptians, Assyrians, Chinese, Greeks and Romans employed honey for wounds and diseases of the gut.
Turns out, those traditional medicine workers were onto something. In 1892, the antibacterial activity of honey was first recognized, and since then, studies have shown honey to have an inhibitory effect to around 60 species of bacteria including aerobes and anaerobes, gram-positives and gram-negatives.
Modern research has only expanded upon the previously understood health beenfits of honey. According to Diego Garzon, a clinical dietitian at UHealth, the University of Miami Health System, a recent study suggests that incorporating approximately 2 tablespoons of honey into a balanced diet can even have potential benefits for cholesterol levels. This includes a decrease in LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, as well as an increase in HDL cholesterol!
Go ahead, grab a spoonful. It’s for your health!
Above, a local beekeeper from Savannah, GA holding one of his honey combs. Photo by Tom Sanders
Here are the top 5 benefits of honey:
1. Nutritional Value: Honey is rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It contains small amounts of vitamins and minerals like iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc. It also has antioxidants like flavonoids and phenolic compounds that help protect the body against free radical damage and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
2. Boosts Energy Levels: Honey is a natural source of carbohydrates, which are the body's primary source of energy. It provides a quick energy boost and helps to improve athletic performance. The natural sugars in honey are easily digested and absorbed by the body, providing a sustainable source of energy.
3. Soothes Cough and Sore Throat: Honey has been used for centuries as a natural remedy for cough and sore throat. It has antimicrobial properties that help to soothe the throat and reduce coughing. Adding a spoonful of honey to warm water or herbal tea can help alleviate symptoms and provide relief.
4. Supports Digestive Health: Honey has prebiotic properties, meaning it promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut. These bacteria are essential for maintaining a healthy digestive system and improving overall gut health. Consuming honey regularly can help improve digestion, alleviate constipation, and reduce the risk of certain gastrointestinal disorders.
5. Wound Healing: Honey has been used for centuries to treat wounds and burns. It has antimicrobial and actibacterial properties, maintains a moist wound condition, and its high viscosity helps to provide a protective barrier to prevent infection.
Until next week, Age and Prosper!