Honey has been used across cultures and through ages as a natural healer and health rejuvenator. It is a must in every Indian household and holds a special medicinal significance that has run down through generations. And, there is a logical reason for it. Honey is packed with countless healthy nutrients, minerals, vitamins and natural sugars that are vital to overall health and immunity.
One tablespoon of raw honey contains around 60 calories. Honey is fat free, cholesterol free and also free from sodium. 80% of the honey is carbohydrates, 18% is water and the remaining 2 % is vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. Raw honey is packed with Vitamin B6, thiamine, niacin, riboflavin and pantothenic acid as well as calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium and zinc.
Here are some amazing health benefits of honey:
1 . Prevents Infections
Honey has antibacterial and antifungal properties. This is because, because the bees add an enzyme that makes hydrogen peroxide which has infection fighting abilities. This is also the secret behind an incredibly long shelf-life of honey.
2 . Acts As A Probiotic
Certain varieties of honey are loaded with gut friendly bacteria. These include various species of lactobacilli and bifidobacteria. You can add half a spoon to a cup of milk to improve your digestive health.
3 . Fights Allergies
Honey is an excellent remedy for coughs, cold and allergies especially the buckwheat honey. It also helps in relieving night-time coughing in children and helps them sleep through the night.
4 . Improves Sleep
Honey can be a health aid for sleepless nights. This is because it helps release of serotonin, the hormone that improves mood. Serotonin is in turn converted into melatonin, which regulates length and quality of sleep.
5 . Treats Dandruff
Honey can help in getting rid of dandruff owing to its anti-fungal properties. It is also a remedy for treating seborrheic dermatitis and seborrheic dandruff, which are often caused by an overgrowth of fungus. Also, honey has anti-inflammatory properties, which relieve redness and itching on the scalp. You can add a spoonful of honey with half a cup of water and apply it on the scalp. Leave for half an hour and rinse off with a mild shampoo.
6 . Helps In Healing Wounds
Honey helps in healing wounds and burns. This can be due to the drying effect of the simple sugars and honey’s anti-bacterial nature which combine to create this effect.
7 . Moisturizes The Skin
Honey has been used since ages to add glow and moisture to dull skin. Being a humectant, it helps lock the moisture and imparts a vibrant sheen and glow to skin. Also, its anti-bacterial qualities are particularly useful for the skin, and, when used with the other ingredients like turmeric or rosewater it can improve skin texture.
8 . Helps Prevent Cancer
Honey is loaded with flavonoids, that are antioxidants. Antioxidants help the body get rid of free radicals which in turn helps prevent cancers. They also help in fighting ageing and improve the overall well being.
WAYS TO USE
There are countless healthy ways to incorporate honey into your daily diet and reap its health benefits. You can try these for a start:
-Have a teaspoon of honey with a glass of warm water or warm milk in the morning to help you fight allergies and cough.
-Use honey to sweeten your dressings or shakes.
-Add honey to your coffee or tea.
-Add honey to your yogurt, cereal, or oatmeal for a more natural sweetener.
-Add half a spoon of honey to chaach, thandai,sharbet, lemon juice and other cooling drinks.
THINGS TO REMEMBER
-To get maximum health benefits, make sure the honey is pure and raw. Raw honey contains vitamins, minerals and enzymes not present in refined honey.
-Do not give honey to infants. Honey may contain spores of bacteria clostridium botulinum. This is not dangerous to adults and older children, but infants can have a serious reaction of illness in the first year.
-Remember that honey is a form of sugar. So, make sure you consume it in moderation.
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