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Honey is a delicious, sweet, and thick liquid naturally made by honeybees that is a much healthier alternative to white sugar. But, aside from being a food sweetener, it can also be used as a medicine. In fact, it has been used since ancient times because of its health benefits.
◆ Rich in Antioxidants ◆
Honey contains powerful antioxidants which include enzymes, phenols, and compounds such as organic acids and flavonoids. Scientists are convinced that the combination of these compounds is what makes honey such an antioxidant powerhouse. Antioxidants are known to reduce the risk of some types of cancer and heart disease as it helps block the free radicals that cause various diseases in the body. A daily dose of honey can elevate your body's levels of health-promoting antioxidants. Surprisingly, they also help promote better eye health.
◆ Blood Sugar Management ◆
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Ever since my husband was diagnosed with a type 2 diabetes, we've lessened our use of white sugar and replaced it with honey instead. This is because honey actually helps lower LDL cholesterol, inflammation, and triglycerides while raising HDL cholesterol, also known as the "good" cholesterol.
High levels of blood triglycerides is another symptom of insulin resistance and a major cause of type 2 diabetes. Diets that are high in refined carbs and sugar causes the triglycerides levels to elevate. Several studies have shown that consumption of honey can actually lower this, especially when white sugar is avoided. However, honey still contains sugar. Overconsumption can still increase blood sugar levels so diabetics should still consume it in moderation.
◆ Reduces Heart Health Risks ◆
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Elevated levels of blood triglycerides and LDL cholesterol are major risk factors for cardiovascular diseases. Fortunately, honey, a delicious gift from mother nature, helps lower your blood triglycerides and LDL cholesterol to a safe level. It is also packed with antioxidant compounds that can lower blood pressure which, consequently, lowers heart disease risk factors.
◆ Helps Facilitate Weight Loss ◆
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Some studies also suggest that honey can help you lose weight in a healthy manner. In fact, a study conducted in the San Diego State University found out that consumption of honey in place of white sugar may actually help prevent you from packing on extra pounds while lowering your blood sugar. Additionally, if you need help in reducing your sugar cravings, you can consume a spoonful of honey mixed with warm water.
◆ Can Be Used to Treat Wounds ◆
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Using honey as a topical solution for treating wounds dates back to ancient Egypt. Thanks to the antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties of honey, it is an effective treatment for wounds and diabetic foot ulcers, a very serious complication in diabetics which can lead to amputation. More studies also suggest that honey can treat other skin conditions such as psoriasis, herpes lesions, and even hemorrhoids.
◆ Helps Soothe Coughs and Throat Irritation ◆
Honey, particularly buckwheat honey, is a natural cough syrup which may even be more effective than over-the-counter cough syrups. A single dose of buckwheat honey is just as effective as a single dose of dextromethorphan which helps soothe nocturnal coughs and reduce mucus secretion in children, allowing better sleep. However, you should avoid giving honey to children who are less than 12 months old.
◆ Natural Energy Booster ◆
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During ancient times, Olympic athletes would often eat dried figs and honey to help enhance their athletic performance. Modern science has finally made sense of this practice. Honey contains 80% natural sugar and 18% water, as well as various vitamins, minerals, pollen, and protein. It is considered to be the "perfect running fuel" as it helps the body maintain glycogen levels, an easily absorbed source of energy. Adding honey to your breakfast will give you the energy boost you need, especially if you're going for an early morning exercise.
◆ Promotes Better Sleep ◆
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Consuming honey before bedtime restocks the glycogen supply in your liver which prevents the brain from "searching for fuel" in the middle of the night which can wake you up. Additionally, eating honey causes the brain to create a small spike in insulin levels that triggers it to release tryptophan which is then converted to serotonin which is again converted to melatonin. I know! So many conversions! But, anyway, Let's get back on the topic.
Melatonin boosts the immune system which helps the body rebuild tissue while resting. Poor sleep has been linked to several medical conditions such as obesity, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, stroke, arthritis, and heart disease. With a better immune system, you get to avoid such conditions so you can enjoy better sleep at night.
◆ Relieves Gastrointestinal Disorder Symptoms ◆
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Gastrointestinal problems are quite common in adults and even children. Did you know that consumption of honey can help relieve you from the painful symptoms of gastric problems? Yes, it's true. This is mainly due to the fact that honey contains antioxidant and antimicrobial properties. It also contains methylglyoxal which is another antibacterial property that fights bad bacteria and germs in the digestive tract. You can either eat it raw or dilute it with warm water. Additionally, some varieties of honey also contain up to 4 species of bifidobacteria and 6 species of lactobacilli which are all good bacteria found in the gut.
◆ Prevents the Occurrence of Dandruff and Itching of the Scalp ◆
People with seborrheic dermatitis, a scalp condition that causes itching and dandruff, may find some benefits with the use of honey. You can dilute honey with a small amount of warm water then apply on the scalp every other day for four weeks.
◆ Reduces Allergy Symptoms ◆
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The bees pick up pollens when they go from flower to flower so honey contains small amounts of various pollen spores. When you consume honey, a small amount of allergens is introduced into your system which can activate your immune system. Over time, your body will build up a natural immunity to it which can help those with pollen allergies become less sensitive to it. Of course, in order for this to work, you need to consume the same pollen you are allergic with.
Thanks for reading! Have a wonderful day ahead of you and keep smiling. :)
Written by Chineyes for Bitlanders
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