Often referred to as liquid gold, several studies in recent years have uncovered the major health benefits of honey. But, exactly what are these health-protective powers and how do they work?
Read on below as we uncover 5 surprising health benefits of honey.
Can Help Treat Upper Respiratory Infections (URI)
A 2020 review in the journal, BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine, found that honey could, in fact, help treat URIs. The study revealed that compared to usual treatments (like over-the-counter meds and antibiotics), honey improved both cough frequency and severity.
What’s more, the Oxford University researchers involved in the study also discovered that the sweet ingredient may serve as an alternative to antibiotics. (Keep in mind: We strongly do not suggest ever skipping out on the doctor for self-diagnosis or treatment.)
Fights Free Radical Damage
Simply put, free radicals are unstable atoms that can damage cells, causing illness and aging, among a number of other things. While free radicals are linked to these conditions, little is known about their role in human health. That said, researchers do know one very important thing: that antioxidants help in keeping cells safe from free radicals. Enter honey.
Packed with powerful antioxidants, honey can help combat the not-so-great consequences of radical damage. In fact, one study found that a single dollop of buckwheat honey increased antioxidant activity in healthy adults. Way to go, honey.
Helps Support a Healthy Gut
Published in the journal Integrative Medicine Insights, a recent analysis of honey’s use in complimentary medicine found that it possesses prebiotic properties, which help to ferment beneficial bacteria in the gut. The researchers went on to note that these beneficial bacteria — most prominently, bifidobacteria and lactobacilli — have been linked to stronger immune function and enhanced mental well-being. Yes, please.
Jam-Packed with Nutrients & Keeps Blood Glucose Levels on Point
While it may come as a surprise to many, honey has a relatively low glycemic index (GI). This means that when compared to refined sugar, it can sweeten foods without causing a spike in blood sugar levels. Naturally, this is beneficial in keeping a healthy diet, especially among those diagnosed with diabetes.
And, when it comes to nutrients, honey doesn’t let down either. Natural honey contains small amounts of the following vitamins and minerals: calcium; niacin; magnesium; potassium; zinc; and more. Like, a lot more.
Supports Skin Recovery
Yes, it’s true: Honey is one of nature’s most underrated skin remedies.
Not only is the ingredient extremely moisturizing, it’s naturally soothing thanks to its antibacterial and antiseptic abilities.
Honey has been noted to benefit oily and acne-prone skin, while also nourishing damaged skin to fade acne scars. Not bad, bees. Not bad at all.