We all grew up with raw honey around us, being somewhat of a sweet delicacy with a strong history of use behind it. However, the consumption of honey keeps continuously dropping, in place of sweeteners such as sugar, but to our chagrin.
Honey, consumed raw without preservatives or additives, is the best sweetener you can make use of, as it can heal what ails us. For comparison on average people eat less than one pound of honey yearly, while the average table sugar and glucose intake stands at more than 100 pounds per year. Staggering right? It should be alarming, as one of the causes of our poor health slaps us in the face daily, but yet we don’t realize it. Make a goal of increasing honey consumption today, and gradually phasing out table sugar.
Looking at the nutrition data of honey, it looks quite unimpressive. However, as it has proven, its utility stems from the presence of its numerous bio-active compounds and not actual nutrition data as you will see.
Does it have other assorted vitamins and minerals? Absolutely- their levels are just extremely low and do not warrant inclusion in the list below.
Nutrition Facts Per 100g Serving Size
- Total Carbohydrates-81g
So what are the health benefits of raw honey? Here are the list.
1. Honey Can Help You Lose Weight
If you’re serious about losing weight and keeping it off, table sugar won’t help get you there. For a number of reasons, honey should be your preferred sugar, since among many other things it does not cause a harsh blood sugar spike. When blood sugar levels increase, insulin is recruited in an effort to transport the glucose out of the blood stream. Once insulin is present in the blood, fat burning is shut down. Raw honey also helps retain the sensitivity of the hormones ghrelin and leptin, keep to regulating normal appetite.
2. Honey Can Help Manage Allergies
Seasonal allergies are a major pain for many people, especially since no real cures exist. However, good old raw honey can probably help rid you of these allergies for good. The way how honey does this is by stimulating your body’s own immune system. Initially, consuming the honey will result in in mild allergies itself, as it contains traces of bee pollen, a frequent cause of allergies. However, by consistently consuming it despite the minor effects, you build desensitization to the pollen and effects disappear altogether. This makes honey an important food to consume in the fight against allergies and asthma
3. Honey Promotes Restful Sleep
If you’re having a hard time getting to sleep, honey could be just what the doctor ordered. As it turns out, hunger is a major cause of sleeplessness, which can be overcome by saturating your liver with glycogen. This relays to the body that you are well fed and facilitates sleep. Honey also stimulates the release of melatonin, which enhances sleep and recovery. Low melatonin secretion impairs restorative sleep and hampers repair of tissues and explains why you can feel tired after getting a full night’s sleep.
4. Raw Honey Speeds Up Recovery
Honey has been used since time immemorial for treating wounds and speeding healing as it is known to have anti-bacterial effects. Honey dressings are now a common treatment used for managing open wounds and diabetic ulcers which are notoriously difficult to treat. While the exact mechanisms could be related to its immune promoting effect, it is more likely due to the fact that honey and body fluids produce hydrogen peroxide from the reaction between them. This makes the wound inhospitable to bacteria and trigger their death.
5. Raw Honey Can Help Manage Diabetes
Even though it may sound strange to hear of a seemingly sugary food which helps diabetes, honey is not your typical carbohydrate. For one, honey results in a much lower elevation of blood glucose levels, which requires less insulin to facilitate its uptake. Plus, if insulin secretion itself is a problem, honey can also help out, as it increases insulin secretion mildly. Better yet? Try combining honey with cinnamon, as this spice possesses unique blood sugar lowering abilities as well. Cinnamon helps offset the slight elevation in blood sugar that honey brings about, making it a truly low impact sugar.
6. Honey Can Provide An Efficient High Energy Fuel
Honey consists primarily of simple sugars, along with numerous vitamins and minerals. This put it at least on par with pure glucose as an energy source, and possibly even better as the vitamins and minerals could further performance. Energy gels which are frequently consumed by cyclists and other endurance athletes are basically pure glucose, but honey performs just as well. In fact, honey is the preferred food when it comes to replenishing liver glycogen after your workout, so make full use of it.
7. Raw Honey Suppresses Coughs
Is it a mere coincidence that many cough syrups contain honey as an ingredient? Absolutely not, as it is well documented to be able to suppress coughs with high efficiency. Honey is able to soothe irritated throats, reducing the likelihood of a dry cough, but also thins mucus and promotes its expulsion. That is the definition of an expectorant and something honey does very well.
8. Raw Honey Promotes Gut Health
Raw honey is actually a probiotic, as there are strains of bacteria such as lactobacillus present in it. These probiotic bacteria are absolutely essential for our good health, as well as proper digestion of various foods we eat. This also decreases the likelihood of developing stomach ulcers as well by reducing colonies of Pylori bacteria.
9. Raw Honey Helps Combat Cancer
Cancer cells feed on glucose, which I what honey contains, but it is not a particular problem. Why? Because honey is also loaded with phenol like compounds, along with flavonols and other compounds that have a suppressing effect on cells that have cancerous potential. Plus, honey is rich in many other anti-oxidants that prevent free radicals from causing excessive damage to healthy cells.
10. Raw Honey Prevents Candidiasis
Honey has anti-microbial properties, which inhibits both bacteria and fungi. Fungi are opportunistic organisms that attack and rapidly reproduce when the conditions are right; in this case when the immune system is suppressed. These fungi such as candida, are known for causing adverse effects ranging from vaginal yeast infections, to skin rashes, thrush in the mouth and more. Though honey doesn’t eliminate these fungi, they do prevent their overgrowth and boost the body’s natural probiotic cultures.
11. Raw Honey Can Prevent Heart Disease
Honey possesses natural anti-oxidants that reduce the development of atherosclerosis, but that is not the primary way it prevents heart disease. No, actually it is through its protective anti-bacterial effect in the mouth. Poor oral health has been associated with increased incidence of heart disease as all sorts of bacteria can easily enter the blood stream from open lesions in the mouth. However, honey has an enzyme that enables the production of hydrogen peroxide when it comes into contact with bodily fluids, giving it an antiseptic effect when it encounters bacteria. You can either try enhanced toothpastes made with Manuka honey, or simply rub some on the gum line after brushing. It is a delicious win-win that you should take advantage of every chance you get!