For thousands of years, people have used honey as a food, medicine, and preservative, but the gooey golden liquid has more benefits than meet the eye. So grab a spoonful of honey, find a comfy seat, and learn about the countless health benefits of raw honey.
The Physical Health Benefits of Honey
Most people are aware that raw local honey can help ease seasonal allergies, but the sticky sweet liquid also does so much more. Honey has antiseptic properties and the ability to release hydrogen peroxide through a complex enzymatic process, which makes honey a great salve for healing minor cuts and burns. Due to its thick, gooey consistency and antibacterial properties, raw honey also makes an effective, all-natural cough suppressant, since it coats the throat and kills bad bacteria. The high iron and calcium content can help with bone loss and calcium deficiency, an ailment frequently experienced by women.
Also hidden in honey are beneficial probiotics, flavonoids, and nutraceuticals that can help prevent and provide aid for a variety of illnesses. Probiotics can help individuals with gastrointestinal issues get rid of bad bacteria and increase good bacteria in their guts. Flavonoids, a type of antioxidant found in many fruits and vegetables, may help reduce cholesterol and the risk of ailments like heart attacks. Darker honey has a higher concentration of these flavonoids. Nutraceuticals help remove free radicals that can also cause serious issues like heart attacks and cancer from the body.
Due to its high natural sugar content, honey is also great for short-term energy boosts. Those struggling to get up and moving may consider consuming a spoonful of honey before going on a walk or doing other physical activities to boost their performance levels for low-effort exercises.
The Mental Health Benefits of Honey
Along with a plethora of physical health benefits, honey also provides mental health benefits, including improved memory function and reduced anxiety levels. Researchers from the University of Waikato in New Zealand found that honey significantly boosted the memory function of rats when compared to those who were not fed honey as part of a regular diet. This could aid aging populations to fight memory loss, a major concern for many older individuals. The same study showed that the chemical makeup of honey also improved the anxiety and stress levels of the rats tested.
Humans have used honey for well over 8,000 years. Researcher and author Mélanie Roffet-Salque found the oldest known record of humans using honey in 2016 when she and a team of scientists found chemical evidence of beeswax residue on Neolithic pottery dating back to 7,000 B.C. Massive ancient civilizations carved and painted images showing humans extracting honey from hives. According to the Smithsonian, there was such a large beekeeping community in Lower Egypt that citizens often referred to the pharaoh as the “Bee King” between 700 and 600 B.C.
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