One of the most widely known facts about honey is about its eternal shelf life: archaeologists are said to have come across honey while excavating ancient Egyptian tombs. And that discovery also speaks volumes about the thick golden liquid’s history. Honey is said to date back over 8,000 years with the first remains found around 2700 BC. Derived from the medieval English word, hunig, honey has seen multiple uses ranging from medicinal to even form of currency. That’s not all, ancient Egyptians husbands even mentioned it in their marriage vows, in which they promised to provide their new wife with honey. Benefits of Honey
However, while honey may no longer be used to heal cuts and burns, thanks to the advancement of medical science, it serves as an important part of a healthy, well-rounded diet. Read on to find out some key benefits of honey and how you can best utilize it to improve your well-being:
Honey is an excellent source of energy due to its high carbohydrate content and especially useful for health/fitness enthusiasts and sportsmen. A tablespoon of honey provides 17 grams of carbs, which aid in building muscles. Since carbohydrates are the primary fuel the body uses, honey can help maintain muscle glycogen, also known as stored carbohydrates, which gives you the boost when you need it most, according to the USDA affiliated National Honey Board.
Since glycogen is ingested quickly, having a spoonful of honey or a snack with honey right after a workout is an easy way to accomplish this refuelling. Honey can also be has a pre- workout food it helps to bolster performance by maintaining normal blood sugar levels during exercise.
The easiest way to unlock the benefits of honey in your day to day life is to use it to replace unhealthy sweeteners or products containing unhealthy sweeteners, such as high-fructose corn syrup or refined sugar. Refined sugar not only aggravates obesity and diabetes but it also has a serious impact on heart health. Honey, on the other hand, possesses numerous nutritional and biological benefits and is said to have antimicrobial, antioxidant, and prebiotic properties. But all said, while honey is more nutritious and less hazardous to health, it’s important to have it in moderation.
British pharmacist Mike McInnes conducted long research into the fat-burning mechanism of the body and surmised that honey can help in losing weight while you sleep. He developed a Hibernation Diet which prescribed eating one or two spoons of honey before bed at night. As a result, the fructose and glucose in honey will keep your blood sugar levels balanced, release stress hormones, and speed up the fat-burning metabolism by fuelling your liver and activating the fat-burning hormones, according to glycemic-index.org. But for this diet to work, it is important to make the right food choices and eat well.
Honey has a variety of positive nutritional and health properties, albeit in small amounts. It is composed primarily of fructose and glucose but also contains many amino acids, vitamins, minerals and enzymes, according to the US National Library of Medicine. While this composition varies depending on the plants on which the bee feeds, nearly all types of honey are said to contain flavonoids and other compounds that work together lend an antioxidant effect. That apart, it helps in maintaining gut health and digestion by nourishing the good bacteria that live in the intestines and are an age-old remedy for easing sore throat (simply add it to hot tea with lemon when a cold virus hits you!)
While honey can be enjoyed straight from the jar (as Winnie-the-Pooh or Jungle Book’s Baloo would agree), it offers a huge amount of versatility in its uses. You can drizzle a bit of honey over toast, oatmeal, pancakes, or fresh fruit or add it to your smoothie mix. Want more options? You could even stir honey into a quick breakfast energy snack containing nuts, oats, banana, and dry fruits (or simply try out Oatopia’s nourishing range of protein bars and energy bars made with completely natural ingredients). Not only is honey a healthy alternative to other sweeteners, but it also has a unique flavor profile that adds to the dish.
Hence it works well in dressings and over yogurt too!
So there you have it, some benefits of the sweet golden nectar. For best health benefits, try to use organic raw honey (pro tip: darker honey is usually higher in antioxidants and true honey will be thick, non-syrupy and have a distinct, floral smell).
Allow us to leave you with a fun fact: Before it took on its English form, the original word for “honey” was melit, which gave Greek its melis, Latin its mel, Sanskrit its madhu, and us, eventually, words like “mellifluous” and “Melissa.” (Source: bonappetit.com)
Thanks for buzzing in!