Honey is the nectar collected by the bees from the flowers. They store this in the beehive, and we collect this for our use. It is a thick, golden liquid that never spoils.
Honey Nutrition Content
Most of the honey is carbohydrate (80%). About 18% is water, and the rest 2% is minerals, pollen, protein, and vitamins. The vitamins and minerals present in honey are these:
Vitamins: Pantothenic acid, riboflavin, niacin, thiamine, Vitamin B6, and amino acids.
Minerals: Copper, calcium, zinc, sodium, potassium, phosphorus, manganese, magnesium, and iron.
The individual amounts in 1 cup (339 grams) are as follows:
- Magnesium: 6.7 mg
- Iron: 1.4 mg
- Calcium: 20.2 mg
- Manganese: 0.3 mg
- Copper: 0.1 mg
- Zinc: 0.6 mg
- Sodium: 13.9 mg
- Potassium: 178 mg
- Phosphorus: 13.7mg
- Selenium: 2.7 mcg
- Fluoride: 23.7 mcg
Honey has 18 amino acids, and this makes about 0.1%. The most important amino acid is proline. Organic acid content is less than 1.18%. The most prevalent one is gluconic acid. Among the enzymes, the noteworthy ones are invertase and diastase.
The amount of fructose is 38.2% on an average. Honey has 31.1% glucose, maltose 7.1%, and sucrose 1.3%.
Honey Health Benefits
Source of energy
Each tablespoon of honey contains 65 calories. People often use this as a source of energy. On a comparative scale, the same amount of sugar will give only 15 calories. Most of the people can easily digest this source of energy, even those with a sensitive stomach. You can perk yourself up with a shot of honey in the middle of a tiring morning. Or, you could add it to your evening tea and have an extra dose of energy.
The taste of honey is so good that people use it in the preparation of various condiments and baking. It has a nutty and refreshing flavor that is not congealing or repelling, no matter how much you eat it. Dishes prepared with honey is always special for everyone in the family. You can use it with your drink or over your toast. Honey combines well with all types of food items.
Honey is used along with sandal paste and milk as a skin care solution. This is used in combination of both the sandal and the milk or separately. The choice depends on the complexion of the person who uses it. The mineral and pollen act on the skin and add lustre to it. You can use it for exfoliation and for removing excess oil. People used honey as a beauty aid since the olden days.
Antibacterial and anti-fungal nature
The anti-fungal and antibacterial nature of honey makes it ideal for use in treating wounds and cuts. You can use honey to heal sores, many infections, and treat boils associated with many diseases and infections. Traditional medicine uses honey as an antiseptic. A mixture of tea tree oil, lavender essential oil, honey, and an infusion of golden seal is applied to the boil or carbuncle that is swollen with pus. You can also use bergamot or chamomile oil instead of lavender essential oil.
Improve athletic performance
Athletes will know that certain health tonics will boost the performance dramatically. One of their favourites is honey. Honey increases the stamina when used systematically. Honey gives performances comparable to when you use artificially made energy boosters such as dextrose gel. Being a natural food item and freely available, honey becomes the top favorite for all the performing athletes. You can use it as a supplement with your normal food or make special preparations with other ingredients such as Aloe Vera or Triphala. This will act to boost the metabolism greatly.
One of the popular methods of losing weight is with honey. This is simple and effective, and you can see the results within the fortnight. You can use one or more recipes given here. Even people with diabetes can take small amounts of honey as this is seen to decrease the weight and blood sugar.
- First one involves the use of hot water. Take the warm water in a cup and add two to three teaspoons of honey. Powder cinnamon and crush ginger and steep it in the cup. After 10 minutes, drink the water. Do this three times a week.
- The second one is for those who wake up early in the morning. Take the juice from two lemons in a glass. Add some warm water and then put two teaspoons of honey in this. Have it early in the morning for one week. You will lose weight fast.
Remember to protect honey from the direct cooking fire. This is because the heat will destroy some of the nutrients of the honey.
Also Read: Benefits of cinnamon
To effectively clean the debris and dead tissues in the wound, it is customary to use Manuka honey in traditional medicine. Apply honey directly to the wound and as this has the effect of improving the healing process. Use dressings soaked in honey or use honey below the dressing for wounds. This will enhance the healing process. You can use it for abscesses, burns, infections, and ulcers. It will reduce the pain and swelling if there is any.
Reduce mouth sores
Sometimes, patients develop mouth sores due to radiation treatment. Use of honey seems to make the chances of developing mouth sores lesser. Honey is applied using gauze. This helps improve the ease of swallowing.
Cough in children
Taking honey at bedtime helps reduce the incidence of a cough in children. You can give honey to children who are 2 years or older. It proves to be as effective as the cough suppressants used now. The reason some surmise is that the sweetness induces salivation. When the salivation occurs, the nasal passages are wetted and this will ease the cough.
The ease with which one can use the honey in our food makes it a versatile ingredient in every menu. Diabetics should take care to avoid this as it has a high sugar content. People with a weakened immune system must exercise caution when eating honey because of the risk of bacterial or fungal infection. The honey may contain endospores of the bacterium Clostridium botulinum that spreads botulism and is dangerous for babies.