Health Desk: 13 March 2018: Since ancient times, honey has been used as both a food and a medicine. It’s very high in beneficial plant compounds and offers several health benefits. Honey is particularly healthy when used instead of refined sugar, which is 100% empty calories.
Here are the top 5 health benefits of honey that are supported by science.
1. Honey Contains Some Nutrients: Honey is a sweet, thick liquid made by honeybees. The bees swarm their environment and collect the sugar-rich nectar of flowers. Then inside the beehive, they repeatedly consume, digest and regurgitate (“vomit”) the nectar. Nutritionally, 1 tablespoon of honey (21 grams) contains 64 calories and 17 grams of sugar, including fructose, glucose, maltose, and sucrose. It contains virtually no fiber, fat or protein (2).
2. High-Quality Honey Is Rich in Antioxidants: High-quality honey contains many important antioxidants. These include phenols, enzymes and compounds like flavonoids and organic acids (5). Scientists believe that it is the combination of these compounds that gives honey its antioxidant power (5).
3. Honey Is "Less Bad" Than Sugar for Diabetics: The evidence on honey and diabetes is mixed. On one hand, it can help with some risk factors that are common in diabetics. For example, it lowers LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, and inflammation, and raises HDL (the "good") cholesterol (9, 10, 11).
4. The Antioxidants in It Can Help Lower Blood Pressure: Blood pressure is an important risk factor for heart disease, and honey may help lower it.
5. Honey Also Helps Improve Cholesterol: Having high LDL cholesterol levels is an important risk factor for heart disease. It plays a major role in atherosclerosis, the fatty buildup in the arteries that can lead to heart attacks and strokes