Honey is a sweet food made by bees from the nectar of flowers. This substance is composed of a complex mixture of water, carbohydrates and other minor compounds such as proteins, vitamins and minerals. It has been used for thousands of years by humans and for many good reasons.
Cortes, Vigil, and Montenegro (2011) looked at the benefits of honey to human health and their findings are enough to make anyone want to hug the nearest honey bear. For example, honey can help us with the aging process by improving our defenses against oxidative stress. Consumption of honey can help stabilize the free radicals in our bodies that cause cell damage and death.
Honey can also help the immune system. Honey has been known to trigger a response to infection and act as an anti-inflammatory agent. Its antimicrobial capacities have even caused some to recommend it for wound care.
Insulin resistance, diabetes and obesity are increasing around the world. One of the most exciting things about honey is the role that it may some day play with diabetes. Natural honey may be an energy source that may be good for people with these disorders. Scientists are discovering that compared to glucose and sucrose, the consumption of honey may reduce the fasting glucose levels in humans.
Jars containing honey residues have been found in the tombs of pharaohs. Cave paintings showing early man as bee-keepers have been found around the world. Honey is a food that has not only stood the test of time but researchers are still discovering its benefits as a food and medicine.
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Tracy Davenport, Ph.D., is a freelance health writer and the C.E.O. of Tracy’s Smoothie Place. She serves as the expert on a weekly radio show about health and wellness and is the author of Making Life Better for a Baby with Acid Reflux and multiple articles about the cost of caregiving. Learn more about Tracy and what healthy living services and products she can offer on her website. She can also be found on Twitter and Instagram @drinksmoothies.