Honey has long been hailed as a healthier alternative to refined sugar. But what exactly is it about this natural sweetener that makes it a better choice? Discover why you should consider adding the sweet stuff into your diet below.
Honey vs. Table Sugar
Raw honey contains trace amounts of key nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, proteins, and antioxidants, which lend themselves to honey’s higher nutritional value compared to granulated white sugar. It has natural antibacterial properties, thanks to the small amounts of hydrogen peroxide – a cleansing agent that is created in the hive when nectar is dehydrated. It’s, therefore, no surprise that honey has historically been used as a topical medicine for burns, ulcers, and other types of skin wounds.
Honey’s Healing Properties
Of course, honey’s use as an antibiotic fell to the wayside when modern antibiotics were introduced. Yet, researchers have begun to reassess the substance’s potential, looking into its possible applications for treating asthma, heart disease, fungal infections, inflammation, viruses, and gum disease, among other conditions. Future research will need to be conducted to determine dosing and efficacy, but it’s possible adding small amounts of honey into your regular diet could deliver some health-boosting benefits.
In particular, certain varieties of honey, such as manuka, are considered therapeutic kinds of honey. They help to minimize scar tissue and stimulate healing, and some traditional medicine practitioners even recommend them as a remedy for hangovers.
Honey is also commonly used as an ingredient for cosmetic products, as it can hydrate the hair and lubricate the skin. For this reason, honey works well in both commercial products, such as shampoos, lip balms, and facial scrubs, as well as home concoctions. Homemade honey-based face masks can leave the skin looking and feeling refreshed.
While people with high blood sugar or diabetes should be cautious about adding in new sources of carbohydrates such as honey, for most people, this natural sweetener offers plenty of benefits to consider.
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