What Is Honey?
Honey is a sweet and natural food in liquid form which is made by bees using nectar from flowers. About 70% to 80% of honey comprises of fructose and sucrose along with some maltose and melezitose.
Water, minerals, protein, acids and other substances make up the rest of the honey. Honey is lip smacking delicious and appeals to everyone's taste buds. It is sweeter than sugar and is a healthy substitute to table sugar. Other than its addictive taste, honey has lot of health benefits which makes it a sweet remedy for many ailments which we will discuss later in this article. So, go grab a cup of tea with a dash of honey in it and settle down to read more about this heavenly golden liquid!
What Are The Different Types of Honey?
There are various types of honey available in the market. Different types of honey according to their processing technique are: Blended honey, raw honey, strained honey /filtered honey, pasteurized honey, ultrafiltered honey, varietal/monofloral honey. Types of honey based on the flowers which are the source of nectar are: Alfalfa honey, blueberry honey, avocado honey, fireweed honey, eucalyptus honey, clover honey, orange blossom honey, manuka honey, wildflower honey, tupelo honey, sage honey etc.
Medicinal Benefits of Honey: What Are The Various Benefits of Honey?
As mentioned above, honey not only tastes great, but has many medicinal properties which help in a variety of conditions. Given below are some of the benefits of honey :
- Honey Helps In Preventing Cancer And Heart Disease- It contains flavonoids (antioxidants) which help in cutting down the risk of heart disease and some cancers too.
- Honey Helps In Treating Ulcers And Other Gastrointestinal Disorders
- Honey has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal properties which help in healing wounds by external application.
- Feeling Tired And Lethargic? Start your day with honey. It could be with anything like honey and milk, honey with cereal, honey with toast, honey with lemon water, honey with tea etc. Starting your day with honey gives your stamina a boost so that you can go through your hectic day with more ease. So, replace your energy drinks with honey and see the difference for yourself.
- Honey Does Wonders For Enhancing The Performance Of Athletes And Other Physically Active People By regulating glycogen levels and improving recovery time when compared to other sweeteners.
- Honey For Cough: Troubled by a nagging, hacking cough? Honey does wonders for alleviating cough and throat irritation, especially the buckwheat kind. Adding honey to tea or lukewarm lemon water helps in soothing a sore throat and the coughing bouts.
- Honey Acts As A Probiotic-It contains vast amounts of friendly bacteria.
- Honey For Skin: Longing for that smooth and radiant complexion? Try honey, as honey is great for getting that beautiful skin which you always wanted, especially when it is combined other ingredients, it moisturizes and nourishes the skin leaving it baby soft and beautiful. A mixture of honey and milk helps in keeping the skin soft, radiant and smooth. For getting rid of those stubborn pimples, mix 3 tablespoons of honey and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder into a paste. Apply this paste on the pimples before going to sleep and wash it off next morning using warm water. If done regularly, it helps in banishing those pimples from the root and gives you the skin which you have always dreamt of!
- Is Hair Loss Driving You Nuts? Honey helps in hair loss. Mix 1 tablespoon of honey, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon with hot olive oil into a paste and apply this paste on your scalp and keep it for 15 minutes before washing it off. This helps in reducing hair fall.
- Honey for Eyes: Want sparkling eyes? Want to get rid of that chronic redness, puffiness or itchiness of your eyes? Honey is here for eyes. As honey has antibacterial properties, it helps in clearing eye infections. Mixing equal parts of honey with distilled or boiled water and wiping the eye using a cotton ball helps in clearing eye infection. The same mixture can be used to rinse the eyes or can be used as eye drops too. It helps in brightening your eyes and their color.
- Honey for Weight Loss: In one cup of water, boil a mixture of honey and cinnamon powder and drink this 30 minutes or half an hour before breakfast on an empty stomach and again at night before going to sleep. This helps in losing weight if it is taken regularly.
Honey & Cinnamon: What Are The Benefits of Using Honey With Cinnamon?
Mixture of Honey and Cinnamon helps in treating many diseases. Honey can be used as a medicine without any side effects, even for diabetics, if taken in the right quantity. Following are some of the benefits of the combination of honey and cinnamon :
- For Arthritis, mix 1 part honey in 2 parts of lukewarm water. Add a small teaspoon of cinnamon powder to this to make a paste and apply this on the painful regions and massage it slowly. This helps in reducing the arthritis pain. For chronic arthritis, mix 2 spoons of honey and 1 small teaspoon of cinnamon powder in one cup of hot water and drink this morning and night, it helps in curing chronic arthritis
- For Hair Loss: Mix 1 tablespoon of honey, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon with hot olive oil into a paste and apply this paste on your scalp and keep it for 15 minutes before washing it off. This helps in reducing hair fall.
- For Bladder Infections, drinking a glass of lukewarm water with 2 tablespoons of cinnamon powder and 1 teaspoon of honey helps in killing the germs of the bladder.
- For Toothache, to 5 teaspoons of honey, add 1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder and make a paste and apply this on the aching tooth daily for 3 times a day, till the tooth has stopped aching.
- For Hypercholesterolemia, add 2 tablespoons of honey and 3 teaspoons of cinnamon powder in 16 ounces of tea water and drink it. It helps in bringing down the cholesterol levels in the blood by about 10% within 2 hours.
- For Common or Severe Colds, taking a mixture of 1 tablespoon of lukewarm honey with 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder daily for 3 days helps in curing cold, chronic cough and clears the blocked sinuses.
- Alternative Medicines Such As Unani And Ayurveda Have Been Using Honey For Centuries To Treat Infertility. Regularly taking 2 tablespoon of honey before sleeping helps in impotency in men. For infertility in women, a pinch of cinnamon powder mixed in ½ teaspoon of honey should be applied on the gums regularly. This paste of honey and cinnamon mixes with the saliva and enters the body and helps in conception.
- For Relieving Stomach Upset And Stomach Ache honey should be taken with cinnamon powder. This also helps in clearing flatulence and the stomach ulcers.
- For Heart Conditions, Make a paste of honey and cinnamon powder and spread this paste on a bread or chapatti and eat it for breakfast. This helps in reducing the cholesterol in the arteries and thus preventing heart attacks.
- Daily Consumption Of Honey And Cinnamon Powder-This helps in boosting the immune system and helps in warding off bacterial and viral attacks.
- For Digestive Problems, sprinkle cinnamon powder on 2 tablespoons of honey and take this before meals. This helps in relieving acidity and aids in digestion.
- For Getting Rid Of Stubborn Pimples, mix 3 tablespoons of honey and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder into a paste. Apply this paste on the pimples before going to sleep and wash it off next morning using warm water. If done regularly, it helps in banishing those pimples from the root and gives you the skin which you have always dreamt of!
- For Curing Skin Infections- Skin infections like eczema, ringworm and others, apply a paste of honey and cinnamon powder mixed in equal parts on the affected areas.
- For Weight Loss, Drink honey and cinnamon powder boiled in one cup water in the morning 1/2 hour before breakfast on an empty stomach and at night before sleeping..
- For Cancer, 1 tablespoon of honey with 1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder should be taken 3 times a day for one month.
- Tired of Bad Breath? Gargle with one teaspoon of honey and cinnamon powder mixed in hot water first thing in the morning and see how your breath stays fresh all day long.
- Having Trouble with Your Hearing? Mix honey and cinnamon powder in equal parts and take it daily, morning and night. This will help in restoring your hearing.
Honey & Milk: What Are The Benefits Of Using Honey With Milk?
There are some remarkable health benefits of using honey with milk; together they act as cleansing and moisturizing agents, antibacterial agents and energy boosters to increase your endurance level. This combination is easily digestible and can be taken at any time of the day; in the morning or before sleep. Starting your day with this dynamic duo of honey and milk helps in giving you an energy boost so that you can endure those long board meetings at your office or go that extra mile for your race. Skimmed milk should be used if you are worried about your weight.
Honey added to a glass of warm milk and taken in the morning helps in digestion and increases stamina to help you through another strenuous day. Taking the same combination of honey in a glass of warm milk and drinking it before going to bed helps in relaxing you and improving your sleep.
Use of honey and milk in preparing desserts gives them the added softness and the sweetness without the harmful effect of using table sugar.
Other than this, the combination of milk and honey is beneficial for your skin too. For centuries honey and milk have been used for beauty purposes. A mixture of honey and milk to the face helps in keeping the skin soft, radiant and smooth. Milk has natural cleansing properties and honey is a natural moisturizer. So, a combination of milk and honey helps in not only cleaning, but also moisturizing and nourishing the skin.
Honey & Turmeric: What Are The Benefits Of Using Honey With Turmeric?
Both honey and turmeric are loaded with anti-aging, anti-inflammatory, moisturizing and nourishing properties. Adding these 2 ingredients to your face mask gives you a flawless, smooth, moisturized and even skin tone. Honey and turmeric also helps in soothing inflamed or irritated skin and helps in getting rid of acne and acne marks. Drinking honey, turmeric and ginger tea also has many health benefits.
Honey & Lemon: What Are The Benefits Of Using Honey With Lemon?
Combination of honey and lemon has many health benefits for various ailments and won't cost you much also, as its available right in your kitchen! Drinking honey and lemon in a glass of water aids in digestion and prevents dehydration. Drink this 2-3 times a day or sip it daily as needed. Also, adding lemon and a dash of honey to a glass of lukewarm water and drinking it the first thing in the morning help in boosting your metabolism and losing those extra pounds which you have always wanted to lose.
Also Read: Benefits Of Drinking Lemon Water In The AM!
Honey vs. Sugar: Which One Is Better? Is Honey A Good Substitute For Sugar?
Honey or sugar? Which one is better? This is an eternal debate among the health conscious people. Honey is considered to be a better choice as it's natural and does not undergo as much processing as the sugar.
Honey vs. Sugar: Which Is Lower In Calories?
A teaspoon of honey contains around 23 calories, whereas a teaspoon of table sugar only has around 16 calories; so this means that honey has more calories than sugar, BUT many people don't take into consideration the fact that honey is sweeter and denser than sugar, which means that you require less quantity of honey to achieve the same level of sweetness which you would with sugar. So, the additional calories of honey are balanced out in this way. Also, there are many people who prefer the taste of honey to table sugar.
Honey vs. Sugar: Which Has More Nutritional Value?
As far as nutritional value is concerned, honey wins hands down. Honey is rich in nutrients such as vitamin B, iron, calcium, zinc as well as antioxidants. So, next time you are making a dessert or want to sweeten your tea, ditch the sugar and reach for that jar of honey!
Honey vs. Sugar: The Bottom Line?
Honey is a better choice than sugar. Although it has more calories than sugar, the quantity required to achieve the sweet taste is lesser than that of table sugar. So, this balances out the extra calories of the honey. Honey also has many health advantages over table sugar; however, care should be taken to use it in moderation, as excess of any good thing can be bad. So, whether its sugar or honey, it's best to eat in moderation. Another thing to remember is, never ever give raw honey to children under the age of two, as it may contain botulism spores which can cause illness in children as their immune systems are not fully developed.
Honey for Diabetics: Is Honey Safe For Diabetics?
Honey can be used by diabetics, but in limited quantities. Consuming large amount of honey by diabetics instead of sugar will lead to increase in blood sugar level, as honey contains the sugars fructose and glucose. So, although honey is beneficial for health and is not entirely forbidden for diabetics along with it being better than sugar, care should be taken to take it in small amounts, otherwise it can cause increase in blood sugar level in diabetics.
Honey for Weight Gain: Is Honey Fattening?
As honey is rich and sweet in taste, many people assume it is fattening. Though honey is higher in calories when compared to sugar, it is also sweeter than sugar so only a small amount of honey is required to get that sweet taste. Another thing to remember is, although honey is a calorie-rich food, it is not highly processed as sugar is, and this makes it much healthier and less fattening than sugar. So, the next time you get doubts about honey causing weight gain, remember that it is a natural and wholesome food. Only a small amount of honey is required to satisfy the taste buds. Honey is a good substitute for sugar, as sugar is a highly processed carbohydrate. Honey in small quantities has many health benefits and can help in losing weight in the long run.
What is Crystallized Honey?
Due to formation of dextrose-hydrate crystals, honey gets hardened and this honey is known as crystallized honey. It can be re-liquefied by putting it on gentle heat. Crystallization of honey doesn't mean that honey has gone bad or can't be used. Honey doesn't have an expiration date and has a long shelf life. Honey which is not heated or filtered has a tendency to crystallize. Some people prefer the taste and consistency of crystallized honey to their regular honey.