Many people tend to be unaware of the fact that honey – an all-natural and readily available health option – has a series of health benefits that are meant to improve upper respiratory tract infection symptoms. Many experts often refer to honey as liquid gold, in part because several studies have highlighted the major health benefits and health-protective powers that honey possesses.
If you are looking for that special honey that is rich in health benefits, a good option is manuka honey new zealand. The reasons for this recommendation extend beyond the fact that it is tasty to include:
- It is 100% traceable to a single origin
- It is gluten-free
- It is considered non-GMO (or otherwise put, genetically modified organisms)
- The hives that are used are free from environmental toxins and pesticides
- The bees that are used have diverse pollen sources as a result of the low hive numbers and the fact that there is no extreme hive transportation
If you are interested in learning more about why you should consume honey, we have got additional details on the four general health benefits of honey below:
1. Combats Metabolic Syndrome
Among honey’s many benefits is that it can actually be of great aid to those who have metabolic syndrome (MetS), which is a cluster of specific risk factors for diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. According to MedlinePlus, if you are diagnosed with MetS, this means that you have met at least three of five conditions as criteria. These include:
- A waistline that ranges between 35–40 inches
- High blood pressure and blood sugar
- High levels of triglycerides which is a type of fat located in the blood
- Low HDL cholesterol which doctors otherwise refer to as “good” cholesterol given that it helps to remove the bad cholesterol from your arteries
Thankfully, according to experts, if you take honey, this may actually help you improve these noted conditions. According to a 2018 article in the journal of Nutrients, experts reviewed the protective effects of honey for metabolic syndrome and found that honey actually helps people address the many problems associated with MetS.
Experts agree that because honey has a low glycemic index, using it does not trigger a spike in blood sugar and insulin levels. As such, it helps a person suffering from MetS enhance insulin sensitivity. Interestingly enough, honey can also be used to prevent excessive weight gain as it improves lipid metabolism.
The way it does this is that it helps people reduce the level of triglycerides in their blood, the total cholesterol in their bodies, and most especially, the “bad” LDL cholesterol. At the same time that it reduces the bad cholesterol, it also increases the “good” HDL cholesterol in the body, which is important because if your body has too much cholesterol, it can build up over time and cause heart problems.
Finally, experts also have determined that honey’s antioxidative properties also help to reduce oxidative stress – a key mechanism in a metabolic syndrome that highlights an imbalance between the production of cell-damaging free radicals and the body’s ability to counter their harmful effects.
2. Source of Multiple Nutrients
According to the FDC, honey is also a source of multiple nutrients. Most would be surprised to learn that in one tablespoon (20 grams) of honey, there are the following nutrients:
- Calories: 61
- Fat: 0 grams
- Protein: 0 grams
- Carbs: 17 grams
- Fiber: 0 grams
- Riboflavin: 1% of the Daily Value (DV)
- Copper: 1% of the DV
While honey is essentially pure sugar and is primarily composed of sugar, there is very little cause for concern because most people typically do not consume enough of it for it to be a significant dietary concern. Instead, it is rich in health-promoting plant compounds, it does not contain fat, and it includes trace amounts of protein and fiber.
3. Better Than Regular Sugar
According to experts, honey is also a great option for those who are looking to manage their blood sugar. The reason for this is that while honey does raise blood sugar, the antioxidants contained in honey may help protect our bodies against metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.
Many researchers agree that as a result of the fact that honey may increase levels of adiponectin – which is a hormone that reduces inflammation and improves blood sugar regulation – it is actually a better option than regular sugar. As such, many experts recommend introducing daily honey intake as doing so could help improve fasting blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. That said, while it likely is a better option than regular sugar, it is also important to remember to consume it in moderation.
4. Contains Antioxidants
The final benefit of honey, especially high-quality honey, which is minimally processed, unheated, and fresh, is that it actually contains within it a series of valuable bioactive plant compounds and antioxidants, as in the case of flavonoids and phenolic acids. The benefit of antioxidants is that they actually help the body neutralize reactive oxygen species (ROS). By doing so, people are able to ward off any damage that may come from build-up in the cells – which could then lead to more serious issues such as premature aging, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.
Experts agree that if you want to experience the maximum benefit of honey’s antioxidant value, you might opt to go with darker varieties of honey as they tend to offer more antioxidants than lighter varieties.