Honey has been widely used by a multitude of cultures for the past 2500 years. It is not only celebrated for its savory taste and the ease with which it can be consumed, but also for its health benefits and variety of uses that stretch well outside the kitchen. So let’s see the reasons behind honey being praised as such a versatile product.
While the specific composition of a batch of honey depends on the type of flowers that are available to the bees that produce it, most honeys contain around 38 percent fructose and 31 percent glucose. It might sound that a tablespoon of honey is loaded with carbohydrates, which is true, yet compared to other sweeteners such as white sugar, it is overall a lot healthier with the added value of squeezing in a bit of antioxidants such as vitamin C.
A teaspoon of honey packs about 22 kcal, while the same amount of sugar is limited to 15 kcal. But before making the decision of choosing between one or the other, keep in mind that honey is a pure, natural food, with minimal processing, easily digested and converted into glucose.
Honey Is Full Of Health Benefits
Honey is a great way of introducing the carbohydrates one needs before and after a workout. Recent research has shown that it boosts physical performance since it maintains blood sugar levels and regulates the amount of insulin the body releases. Moreover, honey aids muscle recuperation and glycogen restoration after a workout.
Besides being nutritional, honey can also be used to soothe a sore or dry throat and calm a nagging cough, as well as help you recover from a hangover. So instead of reaching for an ibuprofen first thing in the morning, a warm tea with a spoon of honey can bring you the relief you are looking for since the high concentration of fructose helps speed up the metabolism of alcohol.
Copious amounts of sugar are not necessarily required for fruit preservation. A honey sauce that is 1 part honey and 10 parts water will do the trick just as well and without the downside of the overprocessed sweetener.
Honey is a humectant which means it can keep skin moist. Easy home made recipes can be used as skin lotions or lip balms having the advantage of shielding your skin against beauty broducts teaming with synthetic compounds.
Honey is also an easy to use ingredient for a hair mask. A mixture of honey and warm water applied as a final rise on shampooed hair, will give shine and will help manage frizzy, unruly strands of hair.
A combination of honey and calming teas can relieve anxiety and conquer insomnia. Stress hormones can cause sleep problems but consuming a small amount of honey before bedtime ensures that the glycogen stores in the liver are replenished and the release of sleep-disturbing hormones is reduced.
After seeing all its wonderful uses the only thing that remains is to make sure that you will choose a high-quality and well-preserved variety of honey. Here’s a tip. Freshly collected, superior honey at 20 degrees will flow from a knife in a straight stream, without breaking into separate drops. After falling down, the honey should form a bead. High viscosity is indicated by the fact that poured honey forms temporary layers that disappear quickly. If this doesn’t happen then the product has an excesive water content and is not suitable for long-term preservation.
Enjoy your honey!