It is no secret that honey is one of the superfoods trending at the moment and it has been proven scientifically that it is a natural healing powerhouse. Honey delivers potent antibacterial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties, is comprised primarily of fructose and glucose, as well as numerous flavonoid polyphenols, enzymes, minerals, free amino acids, vitamins, and proteins.
The uses for honey have grown wider and wider as more evidence is gathered about it’s properties. Here are just a few to ensure you make sure you have a pot or two handy on your kitchen shelves.
Honey contains an enzyme that produces germ-busting hydrogen peroxide reports the National Institutes of Health (NIH) online. In fact the NIH states that the “medicinal importance of honey has been documented in the world’s oldest medical literatures, and since ancient times, it has been known to possess antimicrobial properties as well as wound-healing activity.” Honey also has a very low pH (between 3 and 4.5) which eliminates bacteria that might lead to cellular decomposition. Honey’s high sugar content inhibits microbial growth, speeds the healing of wounds and burns, and assists in the recovery of ailments such as urinary tract infections, chronic gastritis and ulcers.
Honey, especially the darker versions, contain extremely high levels of polyphenols. Polyphenols are plant compounds that act as antioxidant agents in the body. Epidemiological studies have shown that polyphenols have really potent effects in the treatment of cancer and cardiovascular disease as well as reducing LDK cholesterol levels by keeping cholesterol out of the lining of the blood vessels. Of course honey is obviously not going to cure cancer or heart disease on it’s own but studies are strongly suggesting that incorporating honey into your diet regularly will certainly be of benefit.
The phenolic compounds found in honey, as well as being a great antioxidant, have also been shown to reduce inflammation in the body and inhibit tumor growth. The definition of inflammation in the body is that it is a defensive response by cells and tissues and can show itself in an acute manner such as the way a bug bite swells or chronic in the way joints become swollen and stiff. Honey has also been proven to help reduce inflammation when suffering with coughs, colds and sore throats. Again, you may not want it to be your only remedy for inflammation induced problems but adding a spoonful to your yoghurt or lemon water certainly will never be a bad thing.
So How Much Should You Be Taking?
With all the amazing health related properties of honey it is obviously tempting to start adding it to anything and everything. However, too much would not be nutritionally advisable as it Just is considered an added sugar, and per the American Heart Association’s suggestion, should be limited to about 1 1/2 teaspoons per day. You can of course use it externally as a face wash or treating burns and wounds liberally but internally keep it to the 1 1/2 teaspoons a day. Seek out honey with particularly high antioxidant concentrations, like Manuka and Buckwheat Honey and for the greatest medicinal benefit, ensure you buy honey that is raw and unfiltered and local might be even more beneficial.