The Health Benefits of Eating Honey
Are there actually some benefits of eating honey? After all, everyone knows that honey tastes good. But is honey good for you? Now, there’ll be no claims here that honey is some kind of a superfood, curing anything and everything that ails you.
But you might be a bit surprised…
Honey And Health
What’s one of the primary reasons that people take up backyard beekeeping? For the honey, of course!
Honey is the oldest natural sweet known to man. For many centuries, it was the only sweet available to most.
But even in this day and age of cheap, plentiful sugar and all kinds of chemically concocted artificial sweeteners, honey is still quite popular. The primary reason for honey’s popularity is its flavor. Nothing quite tastes like pure honey, and there are few who don’t love it.
But here’s a little secret: consumed in moderation, honey is actually good for you. There are some benefits of eating honey.
Honey Nutrition: There’s Some Good Stuff Mixed in With Those Calories!
Unlike honey’s primary competitor, white sugar, honey is a sweet treat that offers much more than just empty calories.
Vitamins, minerals, amino acids… I could reel off quite a long list of each of these, all of which are in honey. I won’t bore you with the whole long list, but here are a few of the biggies: vitamin C, vitamin B-6, niacin, calcium, magnesium, manganese, potassium, phosphorus, sulfur and zinc.
And here’s some you might not even have heard of: valine, lysine, aspartic acid and glycine. (I could go on, but I sense some eyeballs beginning to glaze over a bit!)
Now, I don’t want to give you the wrong idea. These nutrients exist in small quantities in honey; you’re not going to replace your multivitamin with a teaspoon of honey every day.
But whenever you treat yourself to honey, the benefits of eating honey extend way beyond just satisfying your sweet tooth.
And that’s a pretty sweet deal!
Honey vs Sugar
Honey blows sugar out of the water nutritionally, but are there other ways in which honey is superior to sugar?
In fact, yes – the benefits of eating honey encompass far more than just its nutritional value.
In the honey versus sugar debate, one point that’s often made is that honey is more calorically dense than sugar. And that’s true – a teaspoon of honey contains 22 calories, while a teaspoon of sugar contains only 16 calories.
But it’s not that simple.
Honey is actually much sweeter than sugar. So if you’re using honey to sweeten your tea, for example, to reach the level of sweetness that you crave, you’ll use less honey than you would sugar.
In fact, you’ll use enough less that you’ll actually consume fewer calories than if you were sweetening your tea with sugar.
And have you heard of the glycemic index?
It’s just a way of measuring how rapidly a food is absorbed into your bloodstream. The faster a food is absorbed, the more your blood sugar level swings. Large fluctuations of blood sugar may be linked to certain health risks, such as developing diabetes.
As it turns out, honey is ranked lower on the glycemic index than sugar. That means that consuming honey won’t cause as rapid an increase in your blood sugar level as would sugar.
Just another way in which honey is healthier for you than sugar.
There Are Many Benefits of Eating Honey, But What About NOT Eating It?
As we’ve seen, there are several benefits of eating honey, especially when compared to sugar.
But did you know that honey offers a number of health benefits without even eating it? It’s true, and particularly with a type of honey called Manuka honey.
Honey, in general, possesses strong antibiotic properties. But Manuka honey possesses particularly strong antibiotic properties. And this isn’t some folk medicine hokum-pokum – it’s for real.
There have been many legitimate, scientific studies proving the benefit of honey as an antibiotic.
One example is a 2009 study performed at the University of Sydney. In this study, honey was tested in its effectiveness against some particularly tough, antibiotic resistant bugs. The honey outperformed ALL of the modern antibiotic drugs that it was tested against.
Manuka honey is currently a front-line treatment in many hospitals for burns and other types of wounds.
There’s even an FDA-approved wound dressing made from Manuka honey. It’s called Medihoney, and it’s been shown to be more effective than traditional treatments for ailments such as diabetic leg ulcers and fungal infections.
Because of its antibiotic properties, honey – and in particular, Manuka honey – may be effective to varying degrees for all of these different ailments:
So Is Honey Good For You? You Bet!
Not only is honey good for your innards, it’s also good for your outtards.
But if you decide to take up the wonderful hobby of beekeeping and become a backyard beekeeper, a word of advice: Be cautious about using honey as a topical treatment before working with your bees.
That is, unless you REALLY want to get their attention!
Do You Have Comments or Experiences to Share About This Topic?
Do you have thoughts, comments, experiences with this topic? We’d love for you to share!
Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.