What are the health benefits of honey?

This sweet ingredient is truly nature’s bounty; it combines great taste with nutrition. It’s one of the few natural ingredients that can be eaten as it is, without any preparation whatsoever, thanks to bees working their magic. Here are some of the health and diet benefits of eating honey:

1.It is a natural sugar substitute, without any of the problems created by refined sugars and artificial sweeteners. In fact, in most cases, honey can actually bring down high blood sugar levels thanks to the unique combination of fructose and glucose.

2.  It contains a high level of flavanoids and antioxidants, reducing the risk of cancer and keeping your cell structure and immune system healthy.

3.  It is an anti-bacterial, anti-fungal substance, which works on the gastrointestinal system, killing off bacteria (that’s partly why it has such a long shelf-life, but we’ll come to that later!). It keeps stomach-related diseases like ulcers at bay, and also helps cure acid reflux.

4.  It is one of the best known cures for insomnia. Studies have proven that a teaspoon of honey before bedtime helps a person sleep lesser fitfully and more soundly.

5.  Honey is a natural remedy for colds, coughs and other nasal and bronchial conditions, helping keep all throat and nose-related ailments away.

6.  If you’ve got a pollen allergy (yes, the very same ingredient that bees use to make honey), a spoonful of this syrupy sweet potion can help desensitise against the allergy.

7.  What it lacks for in protein, good fats, and vitamins and minerals (only trace amounts), it makes up for in bioactive plant compounds like carotenoids and polyphenols, which promote overall health by reducing the risk of heart disease and other diseases.

8.  It is a potent source of energy, being rich in natural sugars. In fact, in the era of the ancient Olympics, athletes ate honey and figs to boost their performance and maintain glycogen levels.

9.  It balances cholesterol levels in the body, reducing bad cholesterol marginally and increasing good cholesterol.

10.  Honey boosts the body’s metabolism naturally, and also prevents sugar cravings, thereby aiding weight loss.

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