The benefits of honey have been known for almost 5500 years. Most ancient civilizations including the Greeks, Egyptians, Romans and Mayans consumed honey both as a food sweetener and to take advantage of its health benefits.
Honey is known for its thick texture and sweet taste. This sweet taste is obtained from the content of fructose, which is a natural sweetener which is 25% sweeter than glucose. No wonder honey is often an alternative to sugar.
Honey contains nine essential amino acids that the body needs. Not only that, honey also contains vitamin C and 31 main minerals such as potassium, calcium, and magnesium.
Recently there has been more and more research to prove the efficacy of honey. Here are some of the benefits of honey that have been clinically proven.
10 Clinically Proven Honey Benefits
1. Effectively Relieves Gastritis
Honey has been proven to treat various digestive infections such as gastritis, duodenitis, and stomach ulcers.
Honey is able to suppress growth H. pylori, namely bacteria that cause gastritis and duodenitis. Honey also has curative properties that can heal wounds caused by stomach ulcers.
Recommended consumption, we can mix two tablespoons of honey sprinkled with a little cinnamon powder and drink before eating.
2. Acts as an anti-inflammatory
One of the most highlighted benefits of honey is its anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation or inflammation is a natural defense mechanism that the body has to protect itself from infection with viruses, bacteria, or other harmful organisms.
Inflammation is generally characterized by swelling, pain, and fever. Here honey is able to relieve some of these symptoms. We only need to mix 1 tablespoon of warm honey with ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon powder, and drink it for three days in a row.
3. Good Antioxidant
Honey contains lots of flavonoids, phenolic acids, vitamin C, and tocopherols. These compounds work together to provide antioxidant effects. What is an antioxidant effect?
So, when we inhale a lot of pollution, cigarette smoke, and are exposed to UV rays, our bodies experience stress. This pressure will encourage the body to produce a lot of “waste” which we usually call oxidants or free radicals.
If these oxidants are not removed immediately, conditions of oxidative stress will be inevitable. Oxidative stress will end in various diseases such as heart disease, cancer, arthritis, stroke, respiratory disease and decreased immunity.
Nowhere honey acts as an antioxidant to prevent and reduce free radicals.
4. Accelerates Wound Healing
Research proves, honey is able to stimulate the release of white blood cells to activate our immune system. In addition, honey also accelerates the formation of new skin tissue so that wounds heal faster.
The mechanism of wound healing is also inseparable from the nature of honey as an anti-bacterial. As a result, an infection that worsens the condition of the wound can also be prevented.
To heal wounds, honey can be directly rubbed on the wound and then covered with gauze for a while.
5. Safe for consumption by diabetics
Even though it tastes sweet, honey is proven to be safe for consumption by diabetics. This is because we tend to consume less honey which has a stronger sweet taste than granulated sugar.
The glycemic index of honey is significantly lower than that of glucose or sucrose. The benefits of honey also stimulate insulin secretion, lower blood sugar, and improve lipid profiles.
6. Powerful Anti-Cancer
Cancer is a condition when some body cells grow uncontrollably and spread to other parts of the body. Honey is proven to provide anti-cancer effects.
Honey is able to prevent proliferation or cell division so that the amount can be controlled. In addition, honey also induces apoptosis or cell death so that not many cells accumulate in the body.
7. Maintain Heart Health
The benefits of honey can also be used to maintain heart health because of its high antioxidant properties. Regular consumption of honey is associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease through three mechanisms.
First, honey can cause coronary vasodilation so that our blood vessels widen. This condition can improve blood flow and oxygen supply throughout the body.
Furthermore, honey can prevent blood clots. Honey also prevents the oxidation of bad LDL cholesterol which can cause plaque formation in blood vessels.
8. Triggers Brain Work
The benefits of honey are also good for the brain. The content of polyphenols in real honey has nootropic effects which can improve memory and neuropharmacological which play a role in preventing anxiety (anxiolytic), reducing pain (antinociceptive), preventing or treating seizures (anticonvulsants), and antidepressants.
9. Relieves Sore Throat and Asthma
Honey increases the production of saliva which lubricates the airways and reduces irritation in the throat. Mixing honey with water or warm milk can relieve coughs and sore throats.
The benefits of honey are known to have anti-inflammatory properties which effectively reduce lung swelling and break down mucus which makes it hard for us to breathe. Honey is usually taken orally, but asthma sufferers can do another alternative by inhaling honey until shortness of breath is reduced.
10. Helps Lose Weight
A 2011 study found that substituting honey for sucrose could help prevent weight gain by calorie restriction. This is because honey has a higher level of sweetness than sugar (sucrose) so that we only need to use a small amount to be able to taste the sweetness.
Honey can also activate hormones that suppress appetite. As a result, we will tend to eat less than usual.