Honey has a long history of human consumption and is used in various foods and beverages as a sweetener and flavour. However, did you know that it has tremendous nutritional and health benefits?
Nutritionists say honey is a healthy natural form of sugar loaded with nutrients including proteins, carbohydrates and organic acids.
Others are anti-microbial compounds (substances that kill or inhibit the growth of microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi, or protozoans), Vitamin B6, riboflavin and thiamin, pantothenic acid.
Honey is also loaded with minerals including calcium, copper, chlorine, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, potassium, sodium and zinc.
Other nutrients are amino acids (that aid the building of proteins), Vitamin A, Betacarotene,B and vitamis C, D, E and K.
They add that honey is a form of carbohydrates, and all carbohydrates whether simple sugars or complex must be broken down into glucose (blood sugar) before being absorbed in the body for energy.
The glycogen in a spoonful of honey can pass into the blood stream in 10 minutes to generate quick energy â€” the reason honey is recommended for the sick and sportsmen.
Specialists in natural remedies also say some people avoid honey, claiming it is high in calories and could lead to weight gain as well as type 2 diabetes.
Though some people prefer processed sugar to honey, the latter is a healthier option, they advise.
They say a teaspoonful of natural honey contains about 25 calories which converts faster into energy compared to processed sugar which is associated with blood sugar complications.
When applied on wounds, honey fastens healing and keeps infections at bay when taken routinely.
Nutritionists explain that honey comprises bee pollen and enzymes that contain anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties which aid in sterilisation of wounds, healing them faster. When the glucose in honey is combined with water, hydrogen peroxide which is loaded with antiseptic properties is produced.
However, the medical compounds found in honey depend on the type of plant from which the bee collected the pollen.
According to a Mayo Clinic study, bee products are essential in medicine. Honey is used in post-surgery and to prevent the formation of tumours and growth of cancerous cells.