Over the last several thousand years honey has been used in all different facets of life. Initially used as a sweetener due to its sweet taste, it is now used in other fields besides cooking and baking. In some eastern cultures honey is considered a natural healer and has been used in treating several different ailments. With so many different ways to use honey, it’s no wonder why it is still being consistently used in everyday life. Here are ten different ways that honey can be used to increase energy, improve your immune system, treat ailments and so much more!
- Sweetener: With honeys naturally sweet taste and its main ingredients being fructose (fruit sugar) and glucose, honey can be added to almost anything to enhance the flavor. Honey has been known to be mixed with milk, lemon, and cinnamon to create delicious and healthy concoctions. Not only can it replace sugar but its also better for you than sugar is. Fructose and glucose are more readily broken down and used within the body rather than being stored as fat. Honey can be added in cooking, and baking or to beverages such as tea.
- Natural Energy Booster: Honey is a great source for natural energy. As a carbohydrate, honey is easily used within the body to create ATP= Adenosine Triphosphate also known as energy. One tablespoon of honey will provide the body with approximately 17 grams of carbohydrates.
- Enhance Athletic Performance: Due to its easy conversion into energy, honey has been known as a great source of fuel not only for long workouts but also for muscle recuperation after workouts. Honey can be taken before a workout to boost energy, during a workout to limit fatigue and nourish muscles and after a workout to restore muscle glycogen and muscle recovery.
- Increasing Weight Loss: Although honey is a carbohydrate and is comparable to sugar in regards to calories, honey has some alternate ingredients that weight gain. Sugar lacks the additional vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and antioxidants that honey possesses therefore confirming the adage “empty calories”. However it is these extra ingredients that enhance honeys ability to reduce weight. Either taking it by itself or mixing it with other ingredients, honey can increase metabolism and improve digestion of fat stored within the body. Mixtures of honey with warm water, lemon juice and cinnamon have all be used to support increased weight loss.
- Vitamins & Minerals: Honey contains small amounts of vitamins and minerals, which enhance its natural healing capabilities and its nutritional value. Depending upon the flower from which the nectar was obtained will determine the amount and the variety of vitamins and minerals present in the honey. However some of the most frequent vitamins include niacin, riboflavin and pantothenic acid; and minerals include calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium and zinc.
- Antioxidants: In addition to vitamins and minerals, honey contains antioxidants also known as nutraceuticals. Phytochemicals, a form of nutraceuticals are found in plants and have been found to improve health throughout the body. These phytochemicals also known as antioxidants have been known to reduce the oxidation of free radicals within the body which can lead to disease, illness and aging.
- Antibacterial, antifungal and antiseptic properties: Honey is a natural antiseptic which has been known to inhibit microbial growth therefore decreasing the risk of infection and reducing inflammation and pain. It can be used in cleansing and sterilization as well as increasing the healing process.
- Wound and Scar Management: Honey has been used as a topical gel on cuts, and wounds for thousands of years. However, it has been more recently that its ability to decrease infection and aid in the healing process has been proven. It not only cleans wounds, it acts as an anti-inflammatory, reduces the risk of infection and heals the skin as well. Internally ulcers, and gastro-intestinal problems have also been healed through the use of honey.
- Skin care: Honey is a great natural resource for skin care. Not only can it honey be used for various types of skin conditions and problems but it can be used topically, internally or as an ingredient in several skin care products. Honey is a natural moisturizer because it locates moisture and locks it in therefore it is great for not only oily skin by reducing excess oil but it is also good for dry or combination skin because it adds moisture to the skin. In addition honey has several antioxidants, which reduce wrinkles and the signs of aging. Drinking milk with honey daily has been known to smooth skin, and give it a natural, healthy, youthful appearance.
- Cold & Flu fighter: Honey boosts the bodies the immune system to naturally fight off colds and flu symptoms. However, if you start to notice those symptoms creeping up on you, start by taking a tablespoon of honey a day. Not only does honey inhibit the growth of infections but also it can ease the symptoms of a sore throat and cough. Honey lines the throat reducing the irritation and the urge to cough. Also drinking warm water or tea with lemon and honey can flush out the toxins and congestion from the body, and also prevents dehydration.
Sarah Labdar, “The Many Uses of Honey in Everyday Life”, Everyday Health