14 Benefits of Honey for Health, From Lowering Blood Pressure to Preventing Cancer

Honey is a natural ingredient that is often used as a sweetener, both for teas, cereals, pancakes, and waffles. Besides being delicious, the thick liquid produced by bees from flower nectar has various benefits for the health of the body.

Honey has been used by humans for 8,000 years ago. Although during 2,400 BC (BC) there was no evidence that humans cultivated honey, but more than 4,000 years ago honey was used for various types of medicine, including traditional medicine.

Previously, honey was used by ancient Egyptians to treat wounds by rubbing it into the skin. Not only that, honey is also believed to treat digestive disorders and body imbalances.

Types of Honey

The honey production process begins with the collection of bees, then when the bees enter the hive, they will repeatedly consume, digest, and then vomit the nectar. The type of flower that produces nectar will produce a variety of flavors.

There are two types of honey, namely raw and pasteurized honey. Raw honey production is usually done by removing the honey from the hive, then placing it directly into a bottle. For this reason, raw honey still contains yeast, wax, and pollen. Pasteurized honey is honey that is heated at a certain temperature and period of time, usually this process is used to remove impurities and kill harmful germs. Usually, these harmful germs will change the appearance and taste of honey.

Honey and its Nutrients

Honey is a natural product from bees which is shaped like a sugar solution and contains about 17.1% water. The content of honey is very diverse, that's why honey also has many benefits for health.

The highest content of honey is fructose, which reaches 38.5%. Then, followed by glucose, about 31%. Fructose and glucose are natural sugars commonly found in food and beverages.

Although the sugar content is quite high, honey also contains several vitamins and minerals that are good for health. The most important ingredients of honey are ascorbic acid, pantothenic acid, niacin and riboflavin.

In addition, there are also various kinds of minerals, such as calcium, iron, magnesium and zinc. Not only that, honey also contains various important enzymes for the body.

Benefits of Honey for Health

In fact, honey is a "magic" liquid that has long been used to heal wounds and treat gastrointestinal complaints. Even recently, research says that honey can also bring a number of other benefits, in the form of:

1. Antibacterial Agent

The content of hydrogen peroxide and natural acidity in honey has been shown to prevent bacterial growth. Therefore, honey is one of the natural ingredients that has been proven effective in accelerating the wound healing process and overcoming complaints in the stomach.

One clinical trial conducted showed that several types of honey were effective in inhibiting the growth of dozens of types of bacteria, including E. coli and Salmonella.

Meanwhile, a type of honey from New Zealand, known as Manuka honey, is also effective in preventing and overcoming Staphylococcus bacterial infections that often attack the nose and skin, as well as H. pylori bacteria which plays a role in the development of stomach ulcers.

The benefits of honey for health can also be found in Tualang honey which comes from Malaysia.

2. Relieves Throat

The benefits of honey on this one are associated with the anti-inflammatory properties of honey itself. This is caused by the content of flavonoids and other types of polyphenols by inhibiting inflammation-inducing hormones in the body.

A study conducted on 139 children found that honey was more effective at relieving coughs at night, and improving sleep quality than cough suppressants.

In line with that, another study conducted on 105 children also proved that honey is better than cough medicine in relieving coughs at night.

However, honey is not recommended for consumption by children under 1 year of age. The reason is that children at that age do not have a strong digestive tract so they are not able to digest certain contaminants in honey.

3. Lowering Blood Pressure

High blood pressure can increase the risk of heart and blood vessel disease. This can be prevented by utilizing the antioxidant content of honey. Honey is very rich in phenolic compounds which have been shown to greatly contribute to human health, including lowering blood pressure.

4. Helps Heal Wounds

Benefits of honey for health, namely as a wound healer have been known since ancient times. In fact, one study showed the success rate of honey, namely 43.3%, which is used in wound care.

Other studies have also shown honey can heal wounds in diabetics with a success rate of 97%. Of course, this ability can be obtained because honey has the anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties mentioned above.

5. Sugar substitutes for diabetics

Diabetics still have to be careful in consuming honey, to replace sugar. In some countries, fake honey in the form of syrup is traded illegally. Several studies have found that honey can increase blood sugar levels, although not as much as when consuming sugar.

6. Control cholesterol

High cholesterol levels can also have an impact on heart disease. Accumulation of fat in the blood vessels (Atherosclerosis) can lead to heart disease and stroke.

Cholesterol is divided into Low-density Lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and High-density Lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. LDL cholesterol is often caused by a build-up of blood vessels that resemble clots. This type of kelosterol is known as good cholesterol. Meanwhile HDL cholesterol is the utilization of excess cholesterol which is carried to the liver, then broken down and excreted from the body.

In a study, as many as 55 patients to distinguish honey and sugar, there is a fact that honey can reduce LDL cholesterol by 5.8 percent and increase HDL cholesterol by 3.3 percent. So that consumption of honey also causes weight loss as much as 1.3 percent.

7. Good for heart health

The antioxidants in honey can make the arteries in the heart enlarge and can increase blood flow to the heart. In addition, these antioxidants reduce the risk of stroke by preventing blood clots in the heart.

8. Overcoming Diarrhea

Another digestive problem that can be treated with honey is diarrhea. In a study involving 150 children, it was found that honey (when taken together with other diarrhea medications) can cure diarrhea faster.

You can mix 1 (one) teaspoon of honey with a glass of warm water then drink it every time the diarrhea recurs. However, make sure the honey dose is not excessive as this will actually worsen the condition.

9. Prevent Cancer

The next, no less important benefit of honey is to prevent cancer. The benefits of real honey to prevent this deadly disease are due to the presence of antioxidants in it.

The antioxidants in honey function to treat body cells and prevent them from being damaged by free radical attacks. As we know, cancer begins with the destruction of body cells when attacked by free radicals.

10. Overcoming Nausea in Pregnant Women

Pregnant women are likely to experience morning sickness. This condition is characterized by symptoms in the form of a sensation of nausea and even vomiting. One of the natural ways that can be done to relieve the symptoms of nausea is by consuming honey. Whenever symptoms appear, immediately drink about 1 teaspoon of honey, either directly or dissolved in a glass of warm water.

11. Overcoming GERD

Recent research has also revealed that honey can help relieve stomach acid reflux or what we usually know as GERD. This gastric disease is indeed a disease commonly experienced by people. Heartburn and nausea are the 2 main symptoms experienced by sufferers.

12. Helps Lose Weight

A study released by the Journal of the American College of Nutrition in 2010 found that honey is effective for a longer satiety effect. This is of course good to keep you from overeating so that your body weight remains ideal or to lose if you are currently in a weight loss program.

Consuming honey before bed is also claimed to help the body burn fat more optimally. However, this of course must also be balanced with other healthy activities such as exercising.

13. Good for facial skin

Another benefit of honey that you can get is to make your skin look cleaner and free from acne. Honey is also believed to be useful for treating various skin conditions that arise from autoimmune diseases such as eczema or psoriasis. In fact, this one ingredient is also considered to help control excess fungal growth on the skin.

14. Caring for Hair Health

Apart from healthy skin, healthy hair is of course your dream, right? Again, you can count on honey to produce beautiful and charming hair. Honey is considered a natural hair moisturizer, and according to a study published in the European Journal of Medical Research in 2011, honey is effective in treating hair problems that are often experienced by people, namely dandruff.

The health benefits of honey vary, from healing wounds to preventing cancer. However, also pay attention to the type of honey chosen.

Choose real honey and don't contain a lot of sugar. Do not give honey to children under one year, because it can cause botulism. You are also advised not to consume too much honey, because even though it is healthy, honey still contains sugar, so you still need to be wise in consuming it.

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