There’s no better way to amp up your cup of tea or your peanut butter sandwich than with a heaping spoonful of honey. Not only is it delicious, honey offers a multitude of health benefits you won’t find in other sweeteners. Detailed below are a few notable health benefits you’ll enjoy if you add honey to your diet:
Reduced Throat Irritation and Coughing
Before people downed cough drops by the dozen, the chief solution for a cough or an irritated throat was a spoonful of honey. In one especially notable study, honey proved just as effective as common cough suppressant dextromethorphan for children with upper respiratory tract infections. Children who took honey before bedtime experienced less coughing, and as a result, were able to get a better night’s sleep.
Blood Sugar Regulation
Honey may be a sweetener, but it does not interact with the body quite like table sugar or high fructose corn syrup does. While honey consumption does result in raised blood sugar levels, the effect is minimal compared to other sweeteners. Thus, it is a great option for diabetics and others looking to curb their sugar intake. Another benefit of honey is that it tastes sweeter than its counterparts, so a smaller amount can be used to achieve the same effect, thereby leading to further reductions in blood sugar level.
Immune System Boost
If your immune system could use a boost during flu season, be sure to get your daily dose of honey. Lab tests indicate that it effectively halts the growth of Staphylococcus aureus and other types of bacteria. However, while honey can provide a valuable immune system boost to adults and children over the age of 2, it should never be given to infants. The same spores that can lead to improved immunity for adults can give infants botulism.
Sick of sneezing your way through allergy season? Incorporate honey into your diet when pollen counts are high. Honey contains trace amounts of allergens which, when exposed to your immune system in small doses, can reduce sensitivity to environmental allergens. For many, the result of increased honey consumption is a notable reduction in seasonal allergy symptoms.
The benefits of regular honey consumption are well known, but many people are unaware that external application can prove equally beneficial. The use of honey as a sunburn treatment and wound dressing in ancient Greece was well-documented, and many people continue to apply it to wounds today. Experts attribute honey’s wound healing abilities to its antibacterial properties and its simple sugars, which offer a valuable drying effect.
There’s no better way to celebrate National Honey Month than with a spoonful of liquid gold. Before you head out for the day, add a spoonful to your daily cup of tea. You’ll love the taste, but more importantly, you’ll boost your health and wellbeing.
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