9 Health Benefits of Honey That You Might Not Know Of
Honey is regarded as a miracle substance that’s as amazing as from where it came from – those teeny-tiny, buzzing, flying bees produce them. While everyone might have heard a few major uses of honey especially in the food department, you are not reaping its full benefits not until you hear what’s on my list today.
This article will talk about what honey is, how bees produce honey, what is UMF, what are its types, and benefits of honey you might not know of and realize until after you read this.
How Honey is Formed
Honey is made by bees that collect nectar to have something to use as sugars in times of foraging. Or it is stored as a food supply for a long period. During winter or when there is a scarcity of food sources, stored honey is used as food by bees.
In the hives or nests are these types of bees:
- one queen bee
- a number of drone bees
- worker bees
A bee does its duty by going away from the hive, then collecting sugar-rich nectar. It sucks by its proboscis and then stores in the proventriculus or honey stomach.
The worker bee, then, comes back to the nest. It ejects the contents of the stomach through the mouth and transfers them to the waiting hive bees. Afterwards, the receiving hive bees make use of honey stomachs for the ingestion and regurgitation of the nectar. They form bubbles all over again between mandibles until the nectar is partially digested. Through evaporation, a part of the water content is removed.
The bees have digestive enzymes that hydrolyze sucrose. Next is the breakdown of proteins, and starches, causing a high acid level.
The bees all work together for twenty minutes with the digestion and regurgitation. The product is placed in cells and left open while still in increased water content. The bees regulate the temperature and prevent fermentation.
Finally, the bees seal the cells using wax.
What is UMF?
UMF means “Unique Manuka Factor.” It is a grading scheme formulated by the UMF Honey Association in New Zealand. The Association grants licenses to Manuka honey producers who pass its standard.
The higher the UMF grade, the greater the presence of the unique manuka honey attributes.
- Low Grade: UMF5 to UMF9
- Medium Grade: UMF10 to UMF15
- Superior High Grade: UMF16+
What are the Different Types of Honey
There is a variety of honey types, namely:
- Crystallized honey. This takes place when an amount of glucose naturally crystallized. Its other terms are “candied honey” or “granulated honey.”
- Pasteurized honey. This has undergone pasteurization, requiring 72 ◦C or more. As a result, yeast cells are destroyed. However, too much heat can cause deterioration. Thus, one should be careful to use the right amount of heat.
- Raw honey. This is honey without heat exposure. As such, it may contain pollen and some wax.
- Strained honey. It is filtered in a mesh for wax, and other imperfections to be removed, without affecting the pollen, enzymes, and minerals.
- Filtered honey. This type is filtered such that most or all of pollen grains, fine particles, air bubbles, or other materials are removed. This process heats the honey, so it passes easily through. Since it is so clear and doesn’t crystallize fast, supermarkets prefer it.
Health Benefits of Honey
Aside from being a naturally-occurring substance that comes from hardworking bees, honey isn’t just an alternative sweetener. It also hosts a lot of benefits, especially in our health.
Here are some interesting use of honey you might not know of:
1. Healthier Sweetener Option
Honey is widely-used as alternative to sugar in baking and cooking. It makes an excellent addition to desserts, as spread on biscuits, as an addition to tea, and as a sweetener in beverages. This has been practiced for so long all over the world.
2. An Excellent Wine Alternative
Another benefit is “honey wine” or “mead,” which is possibly the oldest fermented drink in the world. It is made via fermentation of water and honey with yeast. It is served sparkling or carbonated. And it can also be dry, sweet, or semi-sweet. Usually it is drunk in low amounts, in contrast to cider and beers, because of its very strong effects.
3. As a Cure to Burns and Other Skin Injuries
For burns and other forms of skin injuries, honey is popular. Traditionally, it is used for infections of the skin and tissues because of its ability to boost wound healing. Recognized for MGO or methylglyoxal abundancy is Manuka honey. According to a study, antimicrobial activity was exhibited by Manuka honey against a variety of organisms, even against the multi-drug resistant.
4. Helps Flush Out Toxins from the Body
If you see a kid swallow a battery, honey can help, too. It is a temporary management for battery ingestions to reduce the esophageal trauma.
5. Alleviate Side Effects of Cancer Treatments and Therapy
And if you happen to know someone who undergoes radiation therapy for cancer or chemotherapy, honey can help alleviate some side effects. Not only does it benefit in side effects, but also in preventing cancer or progression itself.
One study presented that honey can suppress carcinogenesis through the control of various molecular processes, and cancer cells progression. This may be due to the many biological activities of Manuka honey, namely, antimicrobial, antioxidant, and anti-proliferative functions. As a standout, honey is used by scientists in tissue engineering for the creation of regeneration template. As a conclusion, GO or glyoxal and MGO from honey enhance healing of wounds and regeneration of tissues through their immunomodulatory function. An additional process is the bacterial growth suppression.
6. Makes Hair Look Younger and Healthier
The hair is a woman’s crowning glory. Honey makes the crown shiny and conditioned. First, it conditions for hair growth. A review showed that the promotion of skin growth is effected by honey. The scalp is a very important skin for the production of hair.
Second is the moisture conditioning of the hair. This is with the help of antioxidants, minerals, amino acids, and vitamins from honey.
Finally, are the humectant and emollient properties of honey. As such, hair follicles are smoothened, which add shine. And dry strands are moisturized.
You can also take a good Omega 7 health supplement for better looking hair.
7. Treatment for Acne
I’ve had acne, and just a small amount of honey made them all go away. Thanks to its natural antibacterial properties. The P. acnes or Propionibacterium acnes are present in pimples. They feed on sebum, which escalates acne growth. Because honey has various chemical properties that kill bacteria, the acne is treated.
8. Helps Manage Diabetes
My grandparents love honey. It’s good for diabetes. In a study of people who have type 1 diabetes, it was found out that honey had little impact in raising sugar levels in blood. The researchers concluded that honey might be of help in treating diabetes in the future.
9. Lowers Blood Pressure
Also, honey lowers the blood pressure of my grandparents. The antioxidants in it are working their charm. This is according to a study in both rats and humans.
If you think you’ve had enough brain cell locomotion for a day, go get some milk with honey. Now that you are already aware of the tremendous benefits of honey, you will truly appreciate it better this time around. Don’t you think it’s time to stock it up on your pantry now?