Finally enjoy taking your medicine
Brightening our breakfasts and sweetening our tea – we all know how delicious honey is. However, many of us may not be fully aware of the health benefits of honey, instead focusing on the delicious impact it has on our taste buds!
In this entry, we’ll take a look at how honey:
- regulates metabolic processes
- increases immunity
- improves blood composition
- helps to cope with insomnia
- gives energy to the body, restores strength
Honey Regulates Metabolic Processes
It might seem a little strange recommending honey to improve your metabolism, after all, each teaspoon of the sweet stuff contains around 64 calories. However, when used in moderation, honey can actually kick start a metabolic improvement and when combined with other natural ingredients, is a great way to consume necessary carbohydrates and cleanse the body.
For example, a 2010 study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition showed a clear link between honey and controlling your appetite. If you consume honey just before going to bed, your body begins to burn more fat during those early hours of sleep. Further reports also suggest that replacing all refined sugar in your diet with honey may help to re-balance the brain signal that compels you to crave and consume sweeter foods.
Honey Increases Immunity
Studies have shown the phytonutrients in raw honey have anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties, which can help to boost your immune system and fight sickness. Phytonutrients are compounds found in plants that help protect the plant from predators or natural threats. For example, some keep insects away or shield the plant from ultraviolet radiation.
The phytonutrients in honey are responsible for its antioxidant properties, as well as its antibacterial and antifungal power. They’re also thought to be the reason raw honey has shown immune-boosting and anticancer benefits. It’s important to remember that heavy processing destroys these valuable nutrients, so attention should – as always – be directed at the quality of both the producer and product.
There are plenty of recipes out there for super-charged honey immunity boosters – and we’ll be posting our own list of delicious offerings in the next week or so! In the meantime, we recommend a daily cup of herbal tea, with a few splashes of fresh lemon juice and one or two teaspoons of raw honey. This is best served in the morning and gives your body the best possible start to the day!
Honey Improves Blood Composition
Drinking water mixed with honey increases the body’s red blood cell count, which in turn oxygenates your blood. High levels of oxygen increase result in an uplift of the body’s productiveness, as well as its ability to stave off bacteria and disease. In fact, this report shows honey caused a 5.8 percent reduction in LDL (“bad cholesterol”) and a 3.3 percent increase in HDL (“good cholesterol”) in patients when compared to sugar.
Increased oxygen levels also have a positive effect on your energy levels, making aerobic exercise less taxing on the body. When a person’s body is more suited to physical activity, their mind is also more susceptible to positive thoughts and moods. Drinking honey water, therefore, can lead to increased productivity in a person’s body, as well as the mind.
Honey Helps to Cope with Insomnia
Have you ever wondered why you feel tired after eating a large roast dinner or consuming your entire body weight in cranberry Wensleydale (not a personal experience, honest!).
Whilst my unashamed love of cheese may seem irrelevant, it’s rich in a nutrient called tryptophan, which is also present in many other foods, including the poultry & veggies in your Sunday roast – and honey! Simply put, tryptophan helps you to relax by indicating to your body that “it’s time to sleep”.
For the biologists out there, your brain converts tryptophan into the hormone serotonin, which has many beneficial effects, including improved mood, appetite and sleep. That serotonin is then converted into melatonin in the pineal gland, which is important as melatonin is a well-known cure for sleeping disorders. It’s widely used for treating the symptoms of insomnia for elderly and depressive patients, but also enhances the quality of restorative sleep for the wider population.
Honey Gives Energy to the Body & Restores Strength
Multiple studies conducted at the University of Memphis Exercise and Sport Nutrition Laboratory found that honey allowed 39 weight-trained athletes to sustain their blood sugar levels for over two hours following exercise. Honey also significantly increased the power and speed of nine competitive cyclists when compared to glucose and placebos.
“We wanted to see if honey would be a good source of carbohydrate for athletes, in comparison to other forms of carbohydrate. Honey did as well or better in several areas,” stated Dr. Richard Kreider, who led the studies.
This is the first in a series looking at the numerous health benefits of Honey. There are many wonderful positive effects honey has on the body and we’ll be posting more over the coming months. Whilst many consider it to be a “cure-all” of sorts, we’d like to focus on the proven science behind the claims. We’ll also share any relevant news or updates regarding this topic, so be sure to check back regularly to stay in the know!
If you’ve experienced the health benefits of honey, we’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment or contact us through social media to share your story and help others around the world. You can also click here for more articles about all things beekeeping.
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