Impressive health benefits of honey (and why taking raw honey is a bad idea)

Sharing is caring!

Delicious and filled with antioxidants, honey is a true gift made by bees, also known as busy pollinators responsible for “35 percent of the world’s total crop production, pollinating 87 of 115 leading food crops worldwide.” Sweet and sticky natural honey comes with numerous health benefits, so here is how it can help you improve your overall health.

Honey is sugar with superpowers

Honey has more calories than plain white sugar. However, it also contains iron, zinc, and potassium. Processing honey does not affect its benefits, including antioxidants. Antioxidants protect the body from inflammation, which is responsible for heart disease, cancer, and autoimmune disorders, among other things.

Apart from anti-inflammatory benefits, honey is good for your brain. Studies showed that it helps with depression, anxiety, and memory problems.

Call honey to beat the allergies

Kelly Morrow, MS, RDN, FAND, a registered dietitian and clinical affiliate of the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Washington, told USA TODAY, “Honey contains pollen, which, if taken over time, can help train the immune system to tolerate it.”

This is especially important if you have small children who struggle with allergies. Additionally, since over-the-counter medicine is not recommended for kids, honey can offer relief in treating children’s coughs and colds while boosting their immune systems. When it comes to allergies, it could help unless one has a bee pollen allergy.

Cholesterol reducer

While honey is not recommended for those with diabetes and children under the age of one, it is safe for others and comes with many medical perks. One of them is fighting the “bad” cholesterol. WebMD wrote that in a study, “levels of total cholesterol, LDL (or “bad”) cholesterol, and triglycerides went down in people who had 70 grams of honey (about 2.5 ounces) each day for four weeks. Their HDL (or “good”) cholesterol also increased.”

Honey should be used in moderation. It is an excellent replacement for sugar in coffee or cookies. However, due to dust particles that may carry spores of the bacteria, it is not safe for babies under 12 months. It may cause infant botulism, a rare disease that attacks a baby’s nerves.

It could lower blood pressure

Honey is not a replacement for medications, but it can be nature’s way of helping one cope with chronic diseases. High blood pressure is a common issue, affecting the whole body. Though it is not a miracle worker, several studies in rats and humans have shown that honey can modestly lower blood pressure.

The natural sweetener was included in numerous studies and showed it promotes cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, neurological, and wound care. Unlike many other natural remedies, including some fruits, it also does not interact with medications.

Why raw honey is a bad idea and how to choose the right one

The China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) reported that several people in some areas of the Mainland died after eating unprocessed raw honey. Raw honey can contain the spore-forming bacterium Clostridium botulinum, which causes intestinal botulism.

Buying honey can also be tricky. Finding a reliable source is challenging, but it is always best to check out farmer’s markets or contact bee farms nearby. Remember to use it in moderation since honey still has a lot of calories and is still packed with sugar despite its many good sides.