The Power of Honey Or Natural, long-lasting magic

Intro: Honey has a long medicinal history. It is used not only as a nutritional product but as an alternative treatment for clinical conditions ranging from wound healing to pain management. And there is no expiry date for honey

Honey is one of the most appreciated and valued natural products introduced to humankind since ancient times. The ancient Egyptians used it as an embalming fluid and a dressing for wounds.  Today, many people use to honey for its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Holistic practitioners consider it one of nature’s best all-around remedies.

Because it comes from nature — from bees, no less — honey has health benefits. Here’s what dietitians say about the health benefits of honey.

Honey is used not only as a nutritional product. Traditional medicine encourages the use of honey to maintain a healthy lifestyle. It is also used as an alternative treatment for clinical conditions ranging from wound healing to pain management, says Dr M. Gayathri, Clinical Dietician, Apollo Hospitals.

Is honey healthy?

Research has linked honey to an improvement in gut microbial balance, coughing and other respiratory conditions. Because of honey’s trace nutrients, the sweetener has been thought to have antibacterial, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, along with healing potential for ailments such as sore throats, digestive disorders and burns

The Power of Honey

Honey is a simple sugar made by bees using nectar from flowers, and is graded by colour, such as clear, golden amber honey. Both raw and pasteurized forms of honey are available. Raw honey is removed from the hive and bottled directly, and as such will contain trace amounts of yeast, wax, and pollen. Consuming local raw honey is believed to help with seasonal allergies, due to repeated exposure to the pollen in the area. Pasteurized honey has been heated and processed to remove impurities. “Honey has high levels of mono-saccharide, fructose, and glucose, and contains about 70 to 80 percent sugar, which provides its sweetness”.

Honey also has antiseptic and antibacterial properties. Honey is useful in chronic wound management and combating infection. Honey can replace sugar in meals, providing a healthier option,” says Dr M. Gayathri.

Benefits

1) Healing wounds and burns

2)Honey also promotes increased potassium and water intake, which is particularly helpful when experiencing diarrhoea. It blocks the actions of pathogens that commonly cause diarrhea.

3)Honey can reduce the upward flow of stomach acid and undigested food by lining the oesophagus and stomach. This has helped to reduce the risk of gastro oesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

4) Honey’s ability to kill bacteria lies in a protein called defensin-1.

5) Relieves cold and cough symptoms.

6) Added sugar in the diet may be replaced with honey to reduce the extra calories. Honey’s sweet flavour makes it an ideal substitute for sugar in the diet.

Medicinal use: 

Teething pain in children, bed wetting and frequent urination controls high blood pressure, helps in reducing obesity, controls jaundice, external application for some skin diseases like eczema and dermatitis, burns, cuts, and wounds.

The uses of honey are not confirmed as effective but trying it as treatment will not make conditions worst or cause any harm.

Nutritional Facts of Honey:

One tablespoon of honey contains 64 calories, 17.3 grams (g) of sugar including Fructose, glucose, maltose and sucrose, and 0 g of fiber, fat, and protein. Choosing honey over refined and processed sugar may lead to long-term health benefits. Honey is known to have antioxidant, antimicrobial, and soothing effects.

The slightly acidic pH level of honey is what helps prevent the growth of bacteria, while its antioxidant elements clean up free radicals that are linked to diseases.

The physical properties of honey vary depending on the specific flora used in its production, as well as its water content.

Diet

Experimentation is key when substituting honey for sugar. Here are some quick tips for including honey in the diet:

·         Use honey to sweeten your dressings or marinades.

·         Stir honey into coffee or tea.

·         Drizzle honey on top of toast or pancakes.

·         Mix honey into yogurt, cereal, or oatmeal for a more natural sweetener.

·         Spread raw honey over whole grain toast and top with peanut butter.

·         Basil honey mango sharbat

“A person’s overall eating pattern is important in preventing disease and achieving good health. It is better to eat a diet with variety than to concentrate on individual foods (balanced diet) as the key to good health. Honey is still a form of sugar, so intake should be moderate,” says  Dr M. Gayathri.

DOES HONEY EXPIRE?

Natural, properly preserved honey will not expire. Archeologists found honey in ancient Egyptian tombs. According to the National Honey Board, “Honey stored in sealed containers can remains stable for decades and even centuries!”

The magical longevity of honey lies in its biological makeup. Because of the sugar content and low pH of honey, as well as the bees’ honey-making process, organisms that can spoil food won’t survive in honey.

NORMAL CHANGES

Even though honey doesn’t have an expiration date, it can still undergo natural changes. The National Honey Board says that over time honey may “darken and lose its aroma and flavor or crystallize,” depending on changes in temperature.

While changes in aroma or flavor may be less appealing, crystallized honey is completely normal and doesn’t change honey’s taste.

There is no expiry date for honey when packed in an airtight container.

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