Honey is an ancient food which is part of our culture and tradition over the past 5000 years. It is part of every ancient culture across the world – from Indian to Egyptian to Greek cultures. It is widely used as a healthy food. It is used as a medicine in Ayurveda and traditional Chinese medicine. And it is also one of the five elixirs – panchamrit – used in the rituals of Hinduism. Honey is considered as a superfood. It is a sweetener loved by everyone. Let’s see today some benefits and details of honey.
How is honey prepared? Honey is the result of hard work done by the bees. Bees collect the nectar from flowers and release it in their honeycombs. They fan their wings to remove excess moisture to increase the shelf life of honey. After that, the nectar forms into golden, sticky honey. Once honey production is completed, the bees cap the honeycomb cells with wax and seal them. After this, the honey collectors remove the combs and extract honey from them.
It’s mind-boggling to know that for producing a single pound of honey, a colony of bees need to collect nectar from around two million flowers and fly over 55,000 miles. A typical bee colony consists of 30,000 to 60,000 bees. In total, a beehive can approximately produce 100 pounds of honey in a year.
This is how honey is produced in nature. Honey has many benefits. There are many brands of honey in the market. In order to gain the maximum benefits of honey, it is recommended to buy raw honey. Commercial honey is heated because of which many of the nutrients of honey are lost. So, to gain the most out of honey, raw, unprocessed honey is recommended. Check for the label “raw” before you buy the honey. Check out this raw, unprocessed honey.
Below are the 27 benefits of making honey part of our daily diet.
1. It strengthens the immune system. A strong immune system protects us from various infections and diseases. Immunity is further boosted when honey is consumed with lemon because of high vitamin C content in lemons. You can take warm water with honey and lemon first thing in the morning.
2. It boosts memory and concentration.
3. WHO recommends it as a natural remedy for cough and sore throats.
4. It has antibacterial, antifungal, and antioxidant properties because of which honey is effective in healing wounds.
5. It is considered as a natural sleeping aid and helps in insomnia. You can drink a glass of milk with 1 or 2 teaspoons of honey before sleeping or consume a teaspoon of honey directly to improve the quality of your sleep.
6. It is a natural energy drink that gives a quick boost of energy.
7. Honey is known to release hydrogen peroxide, which acts as an antimicrobial agent that prevents bacteria growth. Raw honey mixed with water can be used as a natural mouthwash.
8. Rubbing honey directly on affected gums gives relief from pain and inflammation.
9. It is a healthier substitute for white sugar.
10. Its application on the skin improves skin health. Apply honey directly on the skin, leave it for 20 minutes, rinse it, and massage it off thoroughly with water.
11. It also fades scars on skin.
12. It slows down the aging of the skin.
13. Due to its antibacterial properties, it is great for acne treatment and prevention.
14. It is found to reduce cholesterol levels.
15. It improves heart health.
16. Consumption of honey cuts down sugar cravings and hence helps in weight loss. It also accelerates metabolism and helps in burning body fat.
17. It helps in dandruff removal. Mix honey with water and apply this on the scalp. Leave it for 3 hours and wash the scalp. You can repeat this once a week.
18. It acts as a natural conditioner for hair making hair smooth and shiny.
19. Applying honey on lips makes lips softer.
20. It helps in increasing hemoglobin count and beneficial for people suffering from anemia.
21. It is an excellent probiotic which improves gut health. Consuming it with yogurt makes it all the more beneficial for gut health.
22. It helps in enhancing digestion. Strong digestion plays an important role in leading a healthy life.
23. It helps in balancing blood pressure. It is helpful in both low blood pressure and high blood pressure.
24. It contains many minerals and vitamins in small amounts like niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc.
25. It improves the reproductive health of a person.
26. It is considered as a sattvic food in Ayurveda, which promotes sattvic qualities in a person.
27. It enhances the healing power of the body.
These are the many benefits of honey. So, How to consume honey as part of food? Below are some ways of making honey part of everyday routine.
1. You can start your day with room temperature water containing lemon and 1 teaspoon of honey. This combination has several benefits and is also delicious and refreshing.
2. A teaspoon of honey can be consumed directly first thing in the morning.
3. You can replace sugar with honey.
4. Honey can be used as dressings on salads.
5. Honey can be added to smoothies, thereby enhancing the taste and health benefits of the smoothies.
6. Honey can be added to carrot juice and consumed. This improves the health of the eyes.
7. Honey can be spread on bread in the place of jams loaded with high sugars and enjoyed.
8. Honey can be drizzled on seasonal fruits and consumed.
9. A combination of yogurt and honey is a great healthy snack.
These are some ways of consuming honey internally. You can be creative and try your own recipes. You can also use honey externally for your hair and skin, thereby enhancing the beauty of your skin and hair. Below are some precautions to be followed while consuming honey.
1. Though honey has many benefits, it needs to be consumed in moderation – not more than 6 teaspoons or 2 tablespoons of honey per day.
2. If a person is diabetic, honey is as dangerous as sugar. Please be cautious.
3. Honey is not to be fed to children below 1 year of age.
4. Ayurveda recommends not to add honey to any food or drink that is hot.
5. Honey should not be heated.
So, start making honey part of your daily life in these ways. Honey has so many benefits and is a superfood that should be in your kitchen. Enjoy this liquid gold, which is used generously by Egyptian queen Cleopatra to maintain her beauty and gain all the health and beauty benefits.
Wish you and your family loads of health and peace!