What is one food that was eaten thousands of years ago, is still eaten today in probably the exact same form, and is just as good for you today as it was then? Honey! Some refer to honey as liquid gold because in the good old days honey was the only opportunity many people had to eat something sweet, so it was considered a great and rare treat.
General Health BenefitsHoney offers benefits to the entire body. A tablespoon of honey only has a little more than 60 calories. Honey is fat-free, sodium-free, and cholesterol-free. No wonder health conscious people add honey to their tea rather than sugar or a sweetener substitute. Honey is comprised of 80% carbohydrates, 18% water, and a 2% mix of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids, so honey adds a mighty health wallop.
Help Ditch the CoughHoney is a cough suppressant. In a 2012 study, the journal Pediatrics recommended that when children between the ages of one and five years take two teaspoons of honey 30 minutes before bed, they coughed less, which made falling asleep easier. Although the exact reason honey helps is unknown, most believe that honey coats and soothes the throat, especially the nerve endings that might cause the “itch” creating the cough. Honey can also be used to treat upper respiratory tract infections.
SleepHoney can also help people who have trouble falling asleep. Honey can help create a release of serotonin. Serotonin helps improve a person’s mood, which in turn makes sleep come easier, and honey even improves the quality of sleep a person gets. Another sleep benefit of honey is that some of the amino acids in honey include tryptophan, which is the same amino acid in turkey that tends to make it harder to stay awake after the big Thanksgiving meal.
Allergy ReliefHoney has anti-inflammatory properties that sooth coughs and other allergy symptoms. Although the scientific evidence is harder to prove, the anecdotal proof is evident. Additionally, naturopathic doctors have been prescribing honey for people with allergies for years. One belief is that the pollen has antibodies that when introduced to the body helps decrease, over time, the body’s reaction to pollen.
Energy DrinksWith only 17 grams of carbohydrates in a tablespoon, and because it offers unprocessed sugar, honey can be a benefit as an energy drink. The fructose and glucose of honey enters the blood stream directly, which means drinking a honey-based energy drink right before a workout pays dividends immediately, and it continues to offer an assist during longer, more involved workouts.
Cancer FighterSome of the properties found in honey are also found in anti-carcinogen meds and other foods. Yearly, there are more and more studies that indicate that honey has a role to play in the prevention of cancer, and in the prevention of the formation of tumors.
Cuts and BurnsWho knows why the first Egyptian found this out, but honey is beneficial for people who are suffering from cuts and burns. Honey has antiseptic properties that keep wounds clean and free from infections. It is believed that honey is able to take moisture from the air and to promote healing while keeping bacteria away. Honey has even been recognized as a successful treatment for athlete’s foot, yeast infections, and arthritis pain.
HangoversIn the unlikely event that a person would drink too much and wake up with a hangover, honey has been found to be one of the more effective and reliable home remedies. Honey helps sooth the stomach, and it even allows the liver to expel remnants of alcohol faster. A simple recipe for a hangover cure is to take eight parts orange juice, seven parts natural yogurt, and 1.5 parts honey and blend them together.
Honey is one of the best natural remedies and natural preventatives a person can find. Like most foods, it is most effective when taken in moderation. Whether you’re suffering from a cold or allergies, or if you want to ensure that you’re doing all you can to fend off cancer, honey offers many benefits.
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