Bees are known to be some of the most interesting creatures on Earth. Except for the fact that they have an internal biological GPS, a little bit like this one, but provided by nature. They have a very well-structured social life in their beehives. An important part of this social structuring is honey production.
We know that life on Earth would not be possible without bees. But keeping us alive is not all they do for us. The pollination process takes place while they are gathering the necessary ingredients to produce the food they store inside their beehive, honey. And in many situations, honey is used by a lot of people as a treatment for different conditions.
In this article, we are going to tell you all about the composition of honey and how it can be used for treating all sorts of health problems, information that is essential for users as well as for beekeepers. Knowing more about the product can help beekeepers sell it more efficiently and, as a consequence, increase their earnings.
What is honey made of?
Honey’s most important part is sugar, but, besides sugar, it contains many components that have a notable impact on human health, like amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and enzymes. The sugar inside honey is composed of fructose and glucose. Honey is composed of 75 percent of these two parts, fructose and glucose.
As you may probably know, amino acids are the main components of protein. The human body is not capable of producing all the proteins it needs, that’s why we have to take these proteins from food. After digestion, our bodies break the proteins into amino acids because that is what the body needs to function well, the amino acids.
This is why their presence in honey is very important. The presence of a group of B vitamins inside honey is also nutritious to our bodies. Honey contains vitamins like B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B8 and B9 in very small amounts. Vitamin C is also present here.
Of all the minerals honey contains, potassium is present in the largest amount, but honey contains almost all minerals necessary to optimal health. Polyphenols and flavonoids are the most important antioxidants that honey contains and the value they add to health should not be overlooked.
What properties does honey have?
Honey has a lot of benefits to people’s physical and mental health. Studies suggest that it can boost the immune system and that it can be used as complementary medicine for fighting cancer.
It has antioxidant properties as well as anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation of the tissues inside our body is known to be the perfect environment for disease, that is why it is very important that we keep the inflammation rates in the body at a healthy level. There are many ways to do that, but studies show that honey could be a possible solution.
Oxidation of the cells can lead to disease as well, so the fact that honey has antioxidant properties makes it a good companion in our journey of having a healthy body. Antioxidants are known to be effective in delaying the aging processes involved in the deterioration of the human body, so we could say that the antioxidants in honey could help us look young.
Honey for people with diabetes
Many people think that, because they have diabetes, they can not eat any kind of sugar. But recent studies have shown that, together with conventional treatments, meaning treatments prescribed by your doctor, the glycemic index can be dramatically reduced in opposition to the use of sucrose or glucose.
However, everybody has different conditions. Every person is different and every patient has to be treated individually, that is why it is very important to discuss this with your doctor and not start a self-medication program that, made under no supervision, can cause more harm than good.
Can honey keep your heart healthy?
When we talk about a healthy cardiovascular system, we talk about blood pressure and cholesterol. As you probably know, there are two types of cholesterol, the good one, called HDL, and the bad one, called LDL.
Research says that good practice is to try to replace all the white sugar you eat during the day with honey. People who have done this for 30 days, after being taken blood samples before and after this period of time, had lower LDL levels and higher HDL. Studies say that it also lowered the level of triglycerides in these individuals.
Can sweetness heal wounds?
Well, studies say that honey can. As we have said before, honey has a lot of antibacterial properties. This means that it can be helpful when applied to some sorts of skin problems. Only some sorts, because it doesn’t work on everything.
In the eastern medicine called Ayurveda, people apply honey on the skin to heal wounds. Honey has the capacity to kill some microorganisms that can cause problems, like microbes. That’s why there is a possibility that honey can make the healing process faster.
People who have diabetes have wounds that do not heal as fast as other people’s wounds heal. That’s because of their high blood sugar levels. When applied to diabetic leg ulcers, studies have shown that it was as effective as other synthetic creams applied as a treatment and it healed the ulcers in 97 percent of the cases.
Is honey the golden cure for cough and sore throats?
Usually, when people have a sore throat and coughs they try to drink hot beverages. That is not recommended, because when your throat is irritated it can get worse by applying intense heat. A better idea is to drink a warm drink, not hot, with one or two teaspoons of honey in it. You can also eat one or two teaspoons of honey without a warm drink.
Researchers have come to the conclusion that honey is sometimes better than the usually prescribed medicine for cough. Studies made on a combination of milk with a specific type of honey concluded that it can sometimes have better effects than some cough syrups have.
Honey and the brain
We know that dark chocolate is good for the brain because of its antioxidants, but does honey have the same properties?
Until now, there hasn’t been enough research done on human beings in this area, but some researchers studied what happens to rats’ brains when exposed to lead. They concluded that the rats who were administered honey had gained protection against this type of brain deterioration.
The hippocampus is a part of the brain that is involved in storing memories. Some scientists say that honey has some anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce its inflammation, meaning that honey has benefits when it comes to our memory.
It’s nice to know that sweets can help our brains, but it’s important not to start any so-called treatments before analyzing our previous conditions and, most importantly, we should not overdo it.
Can honey benefit your gut?
For several years, researchers have been studying the effects of honey on the gut. They haven’t come up with solid conclusions yet, but some of the evidence suggests that honey could be a good Helicobacter pylori fighter. That is a bacteria that can cause stomach ulcers, a condition that can cause stomach pain and internal bleeding.
Other studies suggest that it is a good idea to give children who have diarrhea fluids in which you have diluted a teaspoon of honey. You should be careful not to overdo it with sweetness because it could make diarrhea worse.
Honey is sometimes called the sweet gold and that is not by chance. Our ancestors have known this for a long time and used to treat some conditions with this nature’s medicine, but nowadays it is not enough just to know that honey can cure something.
Researchers are eager to find out what are the processes that lead to these healing processes and, so far, they have done a great job in giving us a lot of solid evidence about honey’s healing powers.
If you have beehives it is very important to know how to use the honey and what to use it for. Moreover, if you are selling it, it is essential to know how to recommend it and who can become your possible customers. Nevertheless, if you are a beekeeper you are doing humans a lot of good.