Honey has been valued and revered since ancient times. It is mentioned multiple times throughout the Bible, including in Psalm 19:10, where it says that "honeycomb dropping" (dew) from a honey tree is "pure", and in Exodus where it states that the Promised Land contains "a land flowing with milk and honey".
The ancient Egyptians used honey for embalming mummies, considering it to be a preservative, and used beeswax in the process of making their masks. The ancient Greeks also valued honey highly, using it to sweeten cakes and wine.
Honey has been used as a sweetener and source of energy but is a nutritious powerhouse that provides antioxidants, and increases immunity as an antibiotic. Honey contains hydrogen peroxide and other enzymes which makes it effective against bacteria such as Staphylococcus Aureus which are resistant to antibiotics and causes skin redness, swelling, infected throat and even fever.
Honey also inhibits the growths in wounds, cuts, burns and ulcers by providing a moist healing environment with low oxygen levels which prevents the proliferation of bacteria. It has been shown to decrease inflammation in the gut by decreasing inflammation-causing cytokines (chemical messengers that regulate the immune system) such as IL-8 and TNF-alpha. This may help protect against heart disease or cancer.
Honey Is Loaded With Antioxidants
One of the reasons honey has so many positive effects, both inside and out, is because it's full of antioxidants! Most people know that antioxidants are great for your health because they protect us from oxidative stress, but did you know that oxidative damage to cells contributes not only to cancer, but also to arthritis, Alzheimer's disease, cardiovascular diseases, and even the visible signs of aging?
The best way to get antioxidants is through your diet. Antioxidant-rich foods include blueberries, strawberries, green tea, turmeric, flaxseed oil and many more! The highest concentration of antioxidants are found in dark chocolate, but most dark chocolates contain more than 300 calories per ounce – so if you're looking for a health boost and don't mind an occasional sweet treat, then honey is where it's at.
Honey also contains flavonoids such as apigenin, quercetin, and luteolin. Flavonoids are another type of antioxidant that has been shown to have beneficial effects on the immune system, lower inflammation and fight cancer. Flavonoids are hard for the body to process on its own, but when they're consumed in honey form, they're easily absorbed into the bloodstream.
1. Honey Is Great as a "Diet" Food
Many people know that it's a good idea to eat a piece of fruit or some vegetables before a meal because these foods will help fill you up. This is actually due to the high fiber content found in fruit and vegetables, but did you know that the same principle applies to honey?
Honey has anti-hyperglycemic effects, which means it can regulate blood sugar levels. When taken before meals, it reduces cravings by making those meals taste sweeter, and since it's digested more slowly than sugar, the body only receives a small amount of glucose at once. This means that your blood sugar levels stay more stable throughout the course of the day, making you feel fuller for longer periods of time.
As mentioned earlier, honey is high in antioxidants which can help fight oxidative stress. This is important for your health because oxidative stress contributes to weight gain!
Honey is also high in prebiotic fiber, which can help promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut and regulate bowel movements. On top of that, it contains oligosaccharides which promote probiotics and keep bad bacteria away from your colon! This is incredibly important because having an imbalance of good to bad bacteria in the gut has been linked to a whole host of health problems.
2. Honey Is Great for Detoxing and Internal Cleansing
One of the most powerful things about honey is that it actually acts like a natural antibiotic inside your body, preventing harmful microorganisms from multiplying and causing problems. This makes it great for detoxing your kidneys, liver, stomach and even your skin! Additionally, honey is great at dissolving mucus build-up that causes sinus infections.
Honey is a great product for detoxing because it contains high levels of antioxidants, which helps the body get rid of toxins. Antioxidants are natural substances that help protect cells from being damaged by free radicals. Free radicals can be created in the body or come from outside sources such as cigarette smoke and pollutants. Antioxidants work to counteract these effects and prevent damage to cells, tissues, and organs throughout the body.
Honey can also reduce inflammation within the body by promoting healthy levels of gut bacteria. Having a balance of good to bad bacteria in the gut reduces inflammation in the body, which is great for preventing heart disease, arthritis and diabetes.
Honey is also great for internal cleansing because it helps remove toxic waste from your body. It does this by increasing the production of saliva and stomach acid, improving bowel movements.
3. Honey Is Great for Skin
In addition to being a natural antibacterial, honey is also high in antioxidants which fight the free radicals that contribute to skin aging . This means that it's a powerful anti-aging agent when applied topically.
Honey can also be used for acne treatment. It does this by killing bad bacteria and preventing the formation of comedones, which are the key cause of acne. Since it has antibacterial properties, it's also great for preventing infection.
Also a natural humectant - which means it draws moisture from the surroundings into your skin - honey is great for keeping your skin well hydrated. Use honey in a DIY face mask by mixing honey with cinnamon powder and leave it on for 30 minutes - wash off and check out your glowing skin!
4. Honey Is Great for Hair Health
Because honey promotes good bacteria in the body, it can prevent hair loss when used topically. Honey is also high in antioxidants which help strengthen the connection between your cells. This reduces breakage and is great for preventing hair thinning and balding!
Honey has been used for centuries as an ingredient in different beauty products because of its moisturizing properties. It can be applied directly onto wet or dry hair to condition it. You can use honey mixed with other ingredients like olive oil or yogurt for a mask that will deep condition your tresses while being gentle on the strands at the same time.
5. Honey Is Great for Tooth Health
Yes indeed, honey can also help prevent tooth decay. It does this by killing harmful bacteria in the mouth and slowing down the production of plaque acid. This limits your risk of dental cavities and gum disease.
Honey is a natural way to keep your teeth healthy. First, brush your teeth with toothpaste and water every morning and night. Then, rinse with mouthwash or baking soda mixed in water. After you have done this for at least two weeks, add honey to the mix when brushing your teeth before bedtime each night. This will help keep bacteria from sticking to the surface of the tooth enamel in order to prevent plaque buildup on the teeth.
6. Honey Is Great as an Energy Booster
Many athletes use honey as an energy boost before they exercise because it contains glucose, which is absorbed into the body quickly. Honey also contains lots of vitamins and minerals that have been proven to improve your athletic performance.
In addition, honey has anti-inflammatory properties which can reduce muscle pain in both athletes and regular people. Great for relieving sore muscles!
7. Honey aids in getting a good night’s sleep
Honey can help you get some deep sleep in two ways. First honey helps to restock glycogen to your liver, and as such avoids telling your brain that you need to eat - causing you to wake up. Honey also helps your brain to release melatonin so that you can get deeper sleep.
Researchers at the University of Surrey found that people who ate honey before bedtime slept better than those who didn't. Try a tablespoon of honey on its own or with milk or caffeine-free tea.
8. Honey Can Be Used for External Healing
Honey is also incredibly effective at treating wounds because it's an antiseptic that prevents infection. For this reason, raw honey is great for wound care because it kills bad bacteria and helps heal open wounds faster. It's also great for treating acne because it stops the growth of bacteria which causes pimples. Even better, it can reduce scarring too!
Additionally, honey can be used topically to relieve dry, chapped skin caused by psoriasis or eczema. Psoriasis is a skin condition that causes itchy, raised patches of red skin and honey is great at treating this.
For wound care, make sure you use raw honey (not processed) because it has the highest amount of antibacterial properties!
Honey is truly magical stuff! It's little wonder that humans have been using it medicinally since before recorded history. Be mindful though that not all honey are made equal. It is unfortunately one of the most adulterated food in the world. Check out our expose on fake foods here.
When shopping for honey, look for raw honey. Raw honey is a great substitute for processed sugar and artificial sweeteners. Nonetheless, it's still high in calories, so it should ideally be used as an occasional treat or sweetener. Alternatively, try Anaya Raw Trigona Honey which has the lowest sugar of any honey but high in antibacterial properties. Read more here.