Honey is full of nutrition, including antioxidants, carbohydrates and a range of vitamins and minerals, all able to aid in a variety of common complaints
Honey is not only a fantastic natural sweetener, but is also a simple carbohydrate source and a carrier of a wide range of nutritious antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
Honey is created when bees add enzymes to sugary nectar and convert the sucrose into fructose and glucose. The water from the nectar evaporates and leaves the spoil-resistant honey. The end product is usually 17-18% water but the drier it is, the better the quality.
Honey nutrition facts;
- Honey is 80-84% carbohydrate. It is sweeter than table sugar due to the high amount of fructose (38.5%) but also contains glucose (31%) and other sugars such as maltose and sucrose
- The remaining components (up to 2%) are the vitamins and minerals, pollen and protein. Vitamin and mineral content varies depending on the floral source, however typical vitamin samples include B6, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin and amino acids. Minerals include magnesium, calcium, manganese, copper, phosphorus, zinc and potassium
- Honey is fat free and cholesterol free
The nutrition from honey has many practical uses, including treatment of sore throats and persistent coughs. It is also believed to be a useful digestive tonic and can reduce both constipation and diarrhea. Stomach ulcers may heal faster with regular consumption of honey.
Honey nutrition may also benefit the immune system as a whole. The live enzymes in honey (particularly raw honey), along with the antioxidants, vitamins and minerals work with the body to fight illnesses and allergies. Table sugar has the opposite effect, dampening down the immune system instead of stimulating it.
Another honey nutrition fact is that it contains antioxidants, which are compounds that assist the body to eliminate free radicals. The antioxidants come from the polyphenols in the honey. Darker colored honey varieties tend to have more antioxidants than their lighter counterparts.
As an efficient source of simple carbohydrates, honey has been shown to boost performance and endurance of muscles during intense exercise and can help to minimize muscle fatigue and recovery time.
The antibacterial, antiseptic and antimicrobial properties of honey can aid in the treatment of minor burns, cuts and grazes. As well as inhibiting bacterial growth, honey also aids in the growth of new tissue and is a natural humectant; that is it attracts and stores moisture from the air and keeps the skin sealed while remaining soft and supple.
Honey is thought to have a positive effect on kidney function and blood circulation. Due to its wide range of nutritional properties, it is often used in treatment of convalescent patient to aid in improved overall wellbeing.