Honey has been used medicinally and been a source of food ever since the first caveman came up with the idea to raid a beehive and see what those bees were hiding. Doesn’t seem like the most natural thought process in the world, but there’s no denying it has benefited humans ever since. You may think of honey as just another source of sugar, but the truth is that honey has many other benefits than just adding some sweetness to your tea. Here are some of the unknown health benefits of that liquid gold.
An Antioxidant Punch
Honey is mostly made up of sugar, but it’s also packed full of antioxidants. Of course, you have to buy high-quality honey to find these compounds rather than the generic stuff you find on the grocery store shelves. The flavonoids and organic acids in honey are thought to be the source of honey’s antioxidant punch. According to the National Institutes of Health, antioxidants have been found to help reduce the risk of strokes, heart attacks and even some types of cancer.
The antioxidants in honey may also help to lower blood pressure, which is a risk factor for heart disease. The reductions have been modest in studies, but it’s still worth taking note.
Cholesterol Lowering Power
If you have high levels of LDL cholesterol then you could be at risk for heart disease. LDL cholesterol plays a big role in building up fat along the artery walls, which eventually will lead to atherosclerosis – and it’s a major factor for strokes and heart attacks.
Honey has been found to improve cholesterol levels in several studies cited by the National Institutes of Health. Honey reduces your LDL cholesterol while raising your HDL cholesterol – and that’s a good thing for your cardiovascular system.
Another component of total cholesterol is triglycerides. Triglycerides play a role in not only cardiovascular disease but also have been found to contribute to insulin resistance, which eventually will lead to type 2 diabetes. Diets that are high in refined sugar and fat will raise triglyceride levels, but eating honey seems to have a positive impact on them.
Treatment for Burns
The ancient Egyptians used honey to treat wounds on the skin, including burns and it turns out that modern science can back up that practice with evidence. Honey has been tested on everything from partial thickness burns to diabetic foot ulcers and has been found to be a successful treatment. Of course, don’t just slap some honey on a wound without consulting a doctor, but it’s still a pretty interesting tidbit about this sweet substance.
So, maybe the next time you’re looking to sweeten your tea or even your coffee you should go for honey instead of refined sugar.
This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of The Joint Corp (or its franchisees and affiliates). You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.