The Health Benefits of Honey

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“Eat thou honey for it is good”. Thus says the holy bible. but what exactly is honey and why is it good? Honey is a thick, sweet liquid made by Honeybees. The bees collect sugar-rich nectar from flowers. When inside their hives, they continously consume, digest and vomit the nectar (sounds disgusting but it is perfectly healthy and safe). When they are done, honey is what results.

What Does Honey Contain?

A tablespoon of honey contains about 64 Calories, 17 grams of sugar in the forms of fructose, glucose, maltose and sucrose. It is highly rich in antioxidants and flavonoids but lacks fiber, fat or protein.

What are The Health Benefits?

  1. Helps reduce blood pressure.
  2. Reduces risk of Heart attacks, strokes and some cancers.
  3. Helps increase good cholesterol while reducing bad cholesterol.
  4. Helps in healing wounds and burns including diabetic wound ulcers, when used as a wound dressing agent.
  5. Can treat other skin conditions like psoriasis, haemorrhoids and herpetic lesions.
  6. Can act as a skin moisturizer.
  7. It is a natural cough suppressant, more effective than cough syrups in soothing and alleviating coughs in children but use only in children older than one year.
  8. Helps in preventing  Gastrooesophageal reflux disease.
  9. Helps in treating seasonal allergies.

However, since it is high in sugar (though healthier sugars) it should be used in caution by diabetics though it  is a better and healthier alternative to sugar for those looking to reduce their sugar intake. It should also not be given to infants less than one year, as it is a potential source of botulism spores. Also, it should be eaten in moderation as taking too much has its own side effects. It can be used in place of sugar in tea, coffee, as a spread in toast and bread and as a natural sweetener.

Honey is indeed good for health and is a potent antioxidant, antibacterial and soothing agent. It is also a healthier, delicious alternative to sugar. Life is sweet as honey reminds us, indulge in the sweetness of life today with honey while still safeguarding health.

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The Health Benefits …

by Dr. Anire Chima-Oduko
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