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Nature has been providing priceless services to the world silently. Every need of a mankind living on this earth is fulfilled by it since ever. Each living being has been allotted their part of work by the nature to run the never ending cycle smoothly and also contribute in some or the other way to the environment in return. Talking about gifts of nature, health benefits of honey cannot be ignored.
Bees, in the same way, are also assigned to create one of the most valued and appreciated natural substance to mankind- named ‘Honey’. Honey is the sweet syrup mainly comprised of 17-20% of water, nearly 80% of glucose, and fructose, pollen, wax and mineral salts.
Honey always had its own importance which held it high in ancient times. Earlier it was regarded as food of god and symbol of wealth and happiness. Because of its antiseptic qualities, today it is considered as an element for healing wounds and minor sicknesses. Benefits of honey are innumerable in number.
Health Benefits of Honey
What makes honey so popular is the health and numerous other benefits it caters the human life. Let us dig into some of the advantages that it has to make it so talked about:
1. Rich in nutrients, vitamins and minerals:
Honey contains decent amount of vitamins and minerals, which again depends on the type of flower from which pollination process is carried out. Specifically it contains Vitamin C, calcium and iron.
As far as nutrition is concerned 1 tablespoon of honey contains 64 calories and 17 grams of sugar. So one should have a habit of consuming 1 tablespoon of honey everyday to get the required nutrition.
2. Rich in antioxidants:
Honey possesses some important antioxidants like enzymes, phenols, and other compounds like flavonoids and organic acids which helps in reducing the risky diseases like heart attacks, strokes and some types of cancer.
These antioxidants removes the free radicals from the body and makes it immune to fight against minor diseases. This is one of our favorites from all the benefits of honey.
3. Substitute of sugar:
Hands down honey is considered as one of the best substitute of sugar. It contains 69% glucose and fructose which enables the increase of sweetness in honey considered as better than white sugar.
Nowadays, many people are opting honey over white sugar in food and drinks like milk, sweets, pudding, cakes, juices etc which not only suppress the cravings of sweet but also provide necessary nutrition(as it still contains sweetener in some form, the intake of honey should be in some limit and should not be taken excessively). A diabetic person should consume honey as much as possible as compared to sugar.
An important thing to be kept in mind is that one should buy a good quality honey as these days many of them contain adulterated sugar which is again harmful for health.
4. Helps in weight loss:
One of the most common ways in which honey is used is putting 1tsp of honey and some drops of lemon in warm water. People who are reducing weight or who have regular constipation problem drink it empty stomach early in the morning.
This simple drink helps in boosting metabolism and hence digests the food easily throughout the day. It also avoids bloating for the female who feel bloated just before their periods.
5. Heals wounds quickly:
Honey contains some antibacterial properties which helps in healing the wounds and burns. In Egypt honey is still used as natural antiseptic for treating wounds and burns.
The antibacterial elements present in honey speeds up the healing process by stimulating the wound tissues. Application of honey also works great for the diabetic people who get frequent foot ulcers.
6. Natural medicine for cough
Cold and cough is among those common problems faced by small children due to many reasons. Coughing issue not only affects children’s sleep but also disturbs parents daily routine.
Honey comes as a natural remedy for the cough and is believed to be one of the oldest and most effective thing to provide during this time, specially in our country. Adding some drops of ginger juice to 1tsp of honey does wonders for small children.
7. Get your skin glow game right!!
Who doesn’t love a glowing flawless skin? Honey is a boon for skin. It serves as a natural element to get a moisturized, glowing skin. The anti-bacterial properties in honey reduces the dullness and dryness of the skin, making it fresh looking.
There are many face packs that can be made with honey to retrieve the glow on the skin. Most common and easy pack is applying milk and honey all over the face and washing it off after sometime(once it dries down).
8. Lowers blood pressure:
The antioxidants and the compound present in honey lowers the blood pressure levels in the body which further lessen the risk of heart attacks.
Studies have shown that when a person consumes 1 tsp of honey in a day, he/she maintains the blood sugar level naturally to an extent, which is one of the most important health benefits of honey.
Formation of Honey:
Before we go on to reading about the benefits of honey, lets know about its formation. The very first step of the formation of honey is the process of ‘Pollination’ where the bees suck in the sugar-loaded nectar from the flowers and reside back to their beehives. Bees stores this nectar in the stomach also called ‘honey stomach’, ingest and regurgitate until the honey reaches the required quality (some of the honey gets digested in the stomach).
This raw honey which is taken out by the bees (by their mouth) in the honeycomb still contains lot of water content and yeast, which, if not processed further can result into fermentation. This raw honey is then left in the cells of honeycomb to let it dry. The bees then flap their wings hard, around the raw honey to stimulate heat and further create evaporation. This step of the procedure lessen the water element and increases the sugar level in it to avoid fermentation. Once the honey is dried, the cells are sealed with wax to secure them completely.
The process of extracting honey is carried out by the beekeeper using the following steps:
1. Uncapping the honeycomb by removing the wax.
2. Spinning the honey out from the honeycomb.
3. Filtering the honey further to remove the wax which is left.
4. Allowing the honey to settle.
5. Bottling the honey.
Thus Albert Einstein has quoted “If the bees disappeared off the face of the earth, man would only have four years left to live”
This means that bees are the critical pollinators. They pollinate 70% of the crops that feeds 90% of the world. If bees disappear there would be no fine crop which in turn would result in death of the plants that are pollinated by bees, which will further become dangerous for the herbivorous animals and thus affecting the whole food cycle.
Not all the honey are beneficial, considering its quality and price. It is very important to keep the quality into check to get full benefits of the syrup. Nowadays many companies have come up with their own brand of honey, the cheap ones tend to have adulterated sugar added in them along with other preservatives. So verify the quality and the price before picking up this health bound jar and stay healthy and fit!