Honey’s ability to sweeten your food or drink is only a smidge of what it can do. It’s a natural, predigested type of sugar that helps your body in a number of ways. Whether you eat it by the spoonful, add it to your drink, or use it as a sweetener for your cereal, you may benefit by adding it to your diet.
Here are some ways honey is good for the body.
1. Boosts energy
Since the bees have done the work for you, your body doesn’t have to work hard to digest honey. It provides a long-lasting fuel that gives you the energy for whatever activities you have planned for the day.
2. Relieves allergy symptoms
If you purchase a local honey, you’re introducing small amounts of pollen to your body, enabling it to build antibodies to protect you from the sneezing and coughing associated with allergies. If you typically get sick when you’re away from home, order honey from your destination before you go on vacation or a business trip. Start adding it to your daily routine a week or two before you leave, and you may avoid allergy symptoms.
3. Provides protection against disease
Honey is packed with antioxidants that can protect your heart and help your body fight certain types of cancer.
4. Fights infection
Bees add enzymes to honey during production, making it antibacterial. This helps fight mild infections as well as gastrointestinal ailments.
5. Suppresses coughing
The soothing nature of honey helps reduce coughing and sore throats. In some cases, particularly with children, honey provides more relief than over-the-counter cough suppressant drugs.
6. Offers probiotic benefits
Most honey has large amounts of friendly, beneficial bacteria that aid in digestion.
7. Heals wounds topically
There are certain types of honey that are considered medical grade for healing wounds by applying it topically. In addition to the antibacterial elements, it is soothing and helps relieve pain.
When you purchase honey, be aware that it comes from a number of regions and varieties. Most of the time, the darker the honey, the higher the number of antioxidants it contains. There may be a difference in taste based on the plant source.
Remember that honey is still considered a sugar. If you are diabetic or concerned about your weight, discuss the use of honey with your doctor.
Even though honey is therapeutic for older children and adults, most pediatricians don’t recommend giving it to infants. Children under the age of one don’t have an immune system that is developed enough to handle the small number of botulism spores that may be in the honey.