There is a lot more to honey than just being sweet.
The story of honey dates back to over 8000 years ago. It has been used in food, for medicine, as a natural preservative, and more by cultures all over the world.
What is Honey?
Honey is the natural product made by bees from the nectar of plants. Honey bees visit millions of blossoms in their lifetimes collecting nectar to bring back to their hives. In the process, they pollinate the plants they visit making them one of the most important animals of our planet!
Honey comes in many different colors, flavors, and aromas, depending on the flowers visited by the bees. They color of honey can range from almost colorless to dark brown, and the flavor can be very mild to strong. There are also different forms of honey. The most common is liquid honey. But, honey can be viscous, crystallized, whipped, or still in the comb.
What Is Honey Made Of?
Honey is primarily made of the natural sugars fructose and glucose, and water. It also contains vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes, and antioxidants. The amount and type of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants depends greatly on the floral source the bees visited.
Health Benefits of Honey
Honey is a delicious natural sweetener, but it also has many health benefits.
Using ingredients created by Mother Nature herself has its benefits! Honey is a natural form of high quality energy, providing 17 grams of carbohydrates per tablespoon. Since carbohydrates are our bodies’ primary fuel source, honey is ideal to work our muscles. Honey can help maintain muscle glycogen, AKA stored carbohydrates, which gives athletes the boost they need when they need it most! [Did you know: Hippocrates would prescribe honey as remedy for fatigue!]
Because there is so little water in honey, microorganisms that encounter honey cannot survive because the water in them is removed by osmosis. In addition, hydrogen peroxide is produced as the bees synthesize flower pollen. The hydrogen peroxide and the natural acidity of honey makes it an antiseptic. Studies have shown that honey is effective in killing bacteria such as strains of E. coli and salmonella. [Did you know: Manuka honey has been shown to fight staph and the bacteria responsible for peptic ulcers, H. pylori.]
Cough and Sore Throat Soothing
Honey has been used for centuries to help alleviate cough and sore throats for adults and children ages one and older. Honey is an effective and natural alternative to over-the-counter cough medicine and a spoonful of honey can help relieve a sore throat.
Burn and Wound Treating
Honey has been used as a topical treatment to heal wounds and burns since ancient Egypt. Modern studies have proven honey’s effectiveness in treating wounds and reducing inflammation.
Cancer, Heart Disease, & Diabetes
Researchers are studying the effects of honey when it comes to cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. Studies have shown that honey with high antioxidants (the darker the honey, the more antioxidants it contains), disrupts certain cancer cells. The antioxidants can also help against damaged cells which increase the risk for cancer and heart disease. Studies have also shown that honey helps regulate blood glucose levels.
Things To Keep In Mind
It’s no secret that the benefits of honey are many! However, many pesticides and antibiotics can contaminate honey. In order to avoid these harmful substances, choose True Source Certified honey, or organic honey when you shop. When possible, opt in for local organic honey. Local honey contains pollen spores from local plants which can help build your immunity against local plant allergies. Here at Beeyond, we are committed to always using True Source Certified honey that is ethically sourced.
Honey is a versatile and nutritious food for adults and children over the age of one. Honey may be added into a child’s diet after the age of one, but NEVER before!