The benefits of honey go far beyond its great taste. The golden goo has been used for thousands of years, and its long history involves not only human consumption, but it serves for medicinal and nutritional purposes, as well as for remarkable beauty treatments, too.
Honey is nothing but pure and natural. Courtesy of the humble honey bee, it is the sole insect-made food eaten by man, and it’s one of only an elite group of substances that can truly be credited as having nothing added and nothing taken away. And we all know that anything natural can only be good.
Honey is many things, but first and foremost, it is a fantastic sweetener. The sugary taste of honey derives from both glucose and fructose which constitutes almost 80% of the substance, and makes it sweeter even than table sugar. So it’s a perfect replacement for the white stuff which so often plagues the news for its role in today’s growing waist lines. Sprinkle honey on cereal, yoghurt, in tea or in coffee, pancakes, or anything else you fancy, and get the same sweet taste minus the negativity.
Because of the fructose and glucose, honey is also used for strength and energy: the glucose is absorbed quickly, providing an immediate energy boost, whilst the fructose is absorbed slowly, thus providing sustained energy. As a result, honey can be used not only to prevent fatigue during exercise, but also to enhance performance and endurance whilst reducing muscle fatigue after exercise.
Despite the fact that honey has more calories than sugar, when consumed with warm water, lemon juice or cinnamon, it can in fact help you lose weight. Oh yes. This is due to the fact that these special mixtures help digest the fat stored in your body. Packed with of vitamins and minerals, honey is also fat free and cholesterol free. So, to recap: not only does it taste sweeter than sugar, it is better for you than sugar, and it can also help you lose weight. It really is a miracle food. What more can you want?
Well, there are other reasons why you should include honey in your diet. Honey consists of antioxidant and antibacterial properties, which can improve your digestive system, whilst helping to support and build your immune system, too. So eating honey, in combination or simply by itself, can help fight coughs and colds, and give you a little boost when you feel a bit under the weather.
Furthermore, something that few people recognise is that honey is actually a fabulously effective hangover cure. Being gentle on the stomach, the mix of sugars and natural substances can speed up the oxidation of alcohol by the liver, acting as a sobering agent. Effectively, if I am permitted to adapt the words of Mary Poppins, a spoonful of honey helps the hang over go down.
So honey is one of the most natural home remedies, used to treat a wide range of ailments and complaints. Not just internally, but externally. Its antiseptic properties inhibit the growth of certain bacteria, so by rubbing honey on a cut or burn it will help keep the wound clean and free of infection. Honey is also able to absorb moisture from the air, thus promoting healing.
Similarly, honey can be used to help soften the skin as part of a bizarre but highly effective beauty regime. Skin will benefit from exfoliating with a mixture of raw honey, sugar and sweet almond oil. It is natural goodness that will help reduce the appearance of spots, pores and wrinkles.
But don’t just rub it on your face: honey is great for your hair, too. To make your locks look super glossy, shiny and as smooth as your honey-kissed face, you should coat it in a dollop of the golden stuff. Let the honey work it’s magic for ten minutes, conditioning and strengthening, then wash as usual. Plus, it will give your hair a sweet, natural fragrance, which is sure to make turn heads.
So put honey on your next shopping list. And lots of it. Because whether it’s for your coffee, toast, wound, face or hair, honey is bound to make you look and feel fabulous, both inside and out.