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Do you have any idea? Why are honey bees not as sweet as honey! Despite the fact that they produce it.
When people notice a bee, they either flee or destroy it before it stings them. Their sting is quite terrible, but the honey they produce is far sweeter. Isn’t it an odd pairing?
However, honey is very common all around the world. People use honey for a lot of purposes, like skin, for weight loss, for good hair, as a sweetener, etc. Like every coin has two faces, same is with Honey. The way raw honey offers various health benefits, the packed ones holds dark sides too.
Raw honey is hard to find, so people rely on packed one, which is nothing but full of sugar.
The below article is all about honey benefits and its dark side. Let dive into.
What Is Honey?
Although, Honey does not require any introduction. But just for the information, it is sweet, gummy, liquid, and dark golden in colour, produced in the honey sacs of various bees from the nectar of flowers. Its flavour and colour are determined by the flowers from which the nectar is gathered. Honey, therefore, has several benefits that can improve your heart function and health. The best part is that you can use it as a sweetener, in your hot or cold beverages, or enjoy it with a hot toast.
Nutritional Value Of Raw Honey (1 tbsp = 21g)
- Energy – 60.1 kcal
- Carbohydrate – 17 g
- Sugar – 16 g
How Is Honey Made?
- You will be surprised to know about 60,000 bees, travel up to 55,000 miles and visit more than 2 million flowers, to gather nectar to make one pound of honey.
- Interestingly then, once the nectar is gathered, the bee stores it in its extra space stomach where it mixes with enzymes, and passes it to another bee’s mouth, via regurgitation.
- This process continues until the nectar becomes partially digested and is then deposited into a honeycomb.
- Then the honey bees fan the liquid nectar with their wings, which helps the water to evaporate and create the thick substance called ‘honey.’
Honey Benefits For Health
Apart from satisfying the taste buds, there are many honey benefits when we combine it to other ingredients. Following are:
1. Warm Water With Lemon And Honey Benefits: Boosts Immunity
- The natural sugar in honey prevents fatigue during exercise and also improves athletic performance.
- Moreover, the glucose in honey is absorbed by the body quickly, giving an immediate energy boost. You should know that fructose provides sustained energy as it is absorbed slowly.
- It also keeps levels of blood sugar satisfactory constant in comparison to other types of sugar. Well, you can ditch energy drinks and forget your coffee fix and use honey instead.
- You can use honey as a sweetener in your drinks like tea, or baked goodies, or use it as a spread.
- The health benefits of honey besides boosting immunity also boost memory.
- Honey is rich in antioxidants and antibacterial properties that help improve the digestive system and boost immunity.
- Moreover, antioxidants in honey are very effective for the removal of free radicals from the body.
- Drinking a spoonful of honey and half lemon juice to a cup of warm water first in the morning acts as an amazing cleansing tonic. Therefore, warm water with lemon and honey benefits are well known.
2. Ginger With Honey Benefits: Treats Cough
- According to the studies, This is one of the effective health benefits of honey. Consuming just two teaspoons of honey with ginger can help cure a persistent cough.
- It is because it has antimicrobial properties, that also kill certain bacteria which cause the infection.
- Therefore, you can have honey by mixing it in warm water, if you don’t like eating raw.
3. Milk With Honey Benefits: Better Sleep
- However, honey also helps you sleep better. It releases serotonin which is a neurotransmitter that improves your mood.
- The body then converts serotonin into melatonin which is a chemical compound that regulates the length and quality of sleep.
- So you can, therefore, in warm milk mix a spoon of honey and fall asleep quickly. Also, you can also add a teaspoon or two of honey to a cup of chamomile tea for a better sleep.
4. Warm Water With Honey Benefits: Weight Loss
- This is one of the best benefits of honey, that it helps in weight loss. Well, drinking warm water with honey benefits weight loss and works as an effective anti-cellulite treatment, as it helps increase the metabolism of your body.
- Therefore, according to a study, honey helps control your appetite. Also, if you consume honey before bed, the body begins to burn more fat during those early hours of sleep.
- Moreover, you can replace all refined sugar in your diet with honey to rebalance the brain signal that compels you to consume more sweet stuff.
Other benefits of Honey are:
5. Honey Benefits For Skin
- Honey works as a natural exfoliator and gives your skin the benefit of honey’s powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and ultra-moisturising properties.
- However, honey is a fantastic moisturiser and works wonders on patches of dry skin. You can also use it to soften up your knees, elbows and even chapped lips.
- Moreover, you can create a moisturising scrub of honey by adding some sugar and see it work as a natural exfoliator. In this way, there are many uses of honey for face.
6. Honey Benefits For Hair: Promotes Growth
- Well, honey can bring temporary relief to the scalp by targeting dandruff.
- According, to the study, if you apply honey diluted with 10 per cent warm water to problem areas and leave it on for three hours before rinsing, it leads to itching relief and no scaling within a week.
- Moreover, honey acts as a natural agent for moisturising hair and cleansing the scalp, leaving you silky and smooth without stripping away any natural oils.
- Also, you can add a teaspoon of honey to your usual shampoo or mix it with olive oil for a deep conditioning treatment for 20 minutes, before washing your hair with shampoo.
7. Heal Wounds And Burns
- As a fact, honey acts as a natural first aid cure for wounds, burns, and cuts and helps promote healing.
- Honey is made up of mostly glucose and fructose that absorb water if applied to wounds.
- Moreover, the antiseptic properties of honey inhibit the growth of certain bacteria and help keep external wounds free from infection.
- Honey also works as an inflammatory and helps reduce swelling, pain and even scarring.
8. Prevents Heart Disease
- Consumption of natural honey helps prevent heart diseases as it increases polyphonic antioxidants in the blood. Moreover, it helps lower cholesterol levels.
- Also, according to, to the studies, honey may help lower blood pressure, improve blood fat levels, regulate your heartbeat, and prevent the death of healthy.
- Additionally, raw honey contains propolis which is a type of resin which helps improve cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Side Effects Of Honey
Yes, there is a darker side to honey that you should know before consuming it. Below are the disadvantaged of honey.
1. Stomach Problems And Bloating
- Consumption of too much honey can harm our digestive system and lead to gas, bloating and stomach problems.
- While stomach crampings and bloating are not good for our health, they occur due to problems in the digestive system.
- Therefore, eating too much honey can also cause diarrhoea and constipation.
2. Increases Blood Sugar Levels
- However, honey in higher amounts is not at all recommended for diabetic patients or people who possess a risk of developing diabetes.
- As honey has a high amount of sugar, thus, it increases your blood sugar level.
- Moreover, honey does not contain any fibre and this also further, increases your blood sugar levels as the absorption of the sugar into the bloodstream becomes quicker.
3. Leads To Overweight
- Most people who are on their weight loss journey prefer eating honey. But even they should always eat honey with warm water or lemon juice to achieve weight loss.
- Therefore, eating too much honey or without combining it with water or lemon juice will lead to weight gain. This further could even lead to obesity.
4. Increases The Problem Of Gastrointestinal Tract
- Excess consumption of honey may lead to an increase in problems in the gastrointestinal tract.
- However, honey is high in fructose hinders our small intestine’s ability to absorb nutrients.
- Hence, this might lead to malfunctioning of our gastrointestinal tracts which in turn may lead to digestive disorders, gastric ulcers, haemorrhoids and even GERD.
5. Leads To Botulism
- Botulism is not a very common disease. But is a serious illness that’s caused by a toxin that attacks the body’s nerves.
- Well, some honey contains spores of the bacteria clostridium botulism which is not at all supported by the digestive system.
- Hence, this leads to botulism poisoning in infants and even adults. This can trigger symptoms such as constipation, decreased appetite, weakness and even vomiting.
6. Increases Allergy
- As a fact, honey is not at all suitable for people allergic to pollen or celery. They might immediately start sneezing or coughing as soon as they come in contact with honey.
- Therefore, honey can be toxic for people who are allergic to it.
7. Increase Risk Of Bleeding
- For people with a risk of bleeding internally or externally, for hem honey is not advisable.
- This, therefore, means people with bleeding disorders should be very careful about the dosage of honey.
8. Causes Insulin Insensitivity
- Honey is acidic, which might erode the enamel of teeth and the lining of the stomach, intestines and oesophagus. This in turn may lead to acid reflux disease.
- Therefore, excess intake of honey will lead to insulin insensitivity.
9. Causes Teeth Cavities
- Consumption of too much honey is not at all good for dental health. It makes your teeth weaker and erodes the enamel of the teeth.
- Moreover, also develops a stain on your teeth which may not look good.
Drinks Of Honey For Weight Loss
You can try the following easy recipes of honey water if you want to lose weight.
1. Honey And Cinnamon Water
- Boil 1 glass of water and add half table spoon of cinnamon
- Then once the water is boiled remove it from the flame. Allow it to cool at room temperature.
- When it is cooled, add 1 table spoon of honey. Stir well and drink it.
2. Honey Detox Water:
- Black salt
- First boil 1 glass of water and allow it to cool
- Then when it is cooled at room temperature, add half lemon, black salt(to taste), grated ginger and 1 spoon of honey.
- Your detox drink is ready.
How Much Honey Should You Consume Per Day?
Well, raw honey can be a good option, if you are replacing it with sugar, but in restrictive manner. Research says that, men should not consume more than nine teaspoons per day. While, women and children should not eat honey more than six teaspoons daily. As a fact, a teaspoon of honey contains almost 6g of sugars.
Does Honey Expire?
If the honey has been contaminated by moisture, then your honey might expire. Therefore, make sure to never get water into your honey pot as it might get granulated.
Can You Keep Honey In Refrigerator?
Keeping honey in refrigerator is generally not recommended. It is because the cool temperatures causes your honey to form a semi-solid mass, which will make it difficult to consume or use.
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It is true that honey is far more better than the refined sugar. But it does not mean you over eat it. Along with benefits it also has side effects as discussed above. Honey although is best in management of disease as well. Moreover, it is composed of sugar, small amounts of several vitamins and minerals, and is rich in health-promoting plant compounds.
Don’t forget that only raw honey is beneficial, all the benefits in this article just belong to raw honey.