Raw honey is a popular sugar replacement. But that does not really come as a surprise. Knowing the benefits of raw honey, health-conscious people will understandably make the switch.
What is raw honey?
One can have a clue with what raw honey is all about just by the word raw. This means honey is in its purest form. It has undergone neither filtration nor pasteurization since it comes directly from the hive. Once extracted and impurities such as beeswax are removed, it is bottled up and sold to the market.
What is the implication of its rawness? This means that it has all its wondrous natural nutritional value intact. It even contains bee pollen which most pasteurized honey does not. Bee pollen, of course, is known to have hundreds of healthy substances that are beneficial to humans. It is a rich source of essential fatty acids, amino acids, vitamins, micronutrients, and vitamins. This is one of the many reasons why raw honey is the best natural sweetener there is.
Benefits of Raw Honey
There are so many health benefits of raw honey. This could be why there has been an increase of interest in switching from refined sugar and even regular honey to the raw kind. Among the many benefits of raw honey are the following:
1. It is very nutritious
Compared to regular honey, raw honey has more nutrients. It has amino acids which combine to form proteins. One can say these acids are the building blocks of life. Amino acids break down food as well as grow and repair body tissue. Raw honey has an abundance of it. Apart from amino acids, it also contains a wide variety of vitamins, minerals, and enzymes.
2. It contains antioxidants
Honey in its rawest form still contains polyphenols. These are plant compounds that act as antioxidants. Antioxidants are essential to the body. These are chemicals that prevent or, at the very least, limit the damage caused by free radicals. This is why antioxidants are linked to possible prevention of diabetes, heart ailments, some forms of cancer, and even aging.
3. It has healing properties
Raw honey is considered an antiseptic because of the presence of hydrogen peroxide as well as its ability to get rid of fungus and bacteria. It has been used to treat wounds that have become resistant to antibiotics.
4. It has phytonutrients
Among the many benefits of raw honey is the fact that it contains phytonutrients. Also known as phytochemicals, these act as plant defenders, neutralizing various threats including bugs and germs. When eaten or drunk, these act almost like antioxidants. They prevent disease and help keep the body working properly.
5. It has medicinal value
Apart from being used as a natural antiseptic, raw honey is also an effective remedy to cough and colds. There are two ways one can go about it. First, a person who has a cold or a sore throat can directly take in a spoonful or two of honey. Second, if that is too sweet, what he/she can do is to add a spoonful of honey to hot tea. Either way has been proven as a way to quickly relieve the general feeling of stuffiness and soreness of the eyes, nose, and throat. Aside from being a natural cough suppressant, raw honey is also known as a natural remedy for digestive ailments. Taking a teaspoonful or two of honey can help reduce the pain and hasten healing. This is particularly effective for diarrhea and ulcer.
6. It helps in healthy weight management
As mentioned earlier, raw honey is an excellent replacement for refined sugar. Apart from packing a lower calorie count, studies have shown that it has appetite-suppressing properties which can help regulate food intake.
7. It is a natural energy source
Say goodbye to highly processed energy bars and drinks. A person can go the natural way just by mixing a spoonful or two of raw honey to water. This is so because raw honey contains both fructose and glucose, the two main ingredients of glycogen. Glycogen is known to be the brain fuel because it is the only glucose used by the brain. It is also the go-to energy source of the body when blood sugar level is low or if the body is subjected to strenuous activities. This is the reason why honey is included in the diet of weightlifters. It is even promoted as the main ingredient in pre-workout or post-workout snacks.
8. It promotes better sleep
This has something to do with glycogen as well. Since it is the brain fuel, glycogen helps remove metabolic stress while we are asleep. This results in a peaceful, calm, good night’s rest. Raw honey, being a natural source of glycogen, can help a person achieve just that. One can directly take in a teaspoonful or two of honey or drink hot tea with honey as an additive before sleeping.
9. It helps regulate blood sugar levels
One of the benefits of raw honey is its ability to manage blood sugar. Studies have consistently shown how effective it is in lowering glucose levels. This means using honey as a sugar replacement is a preventive measure against diabetes. In some instances, physicians would even ask their diabetic patients to take a teaspoonful of honey a day to help aid medication. However, this may not be advisable for everyone. It is vital to get the go signal from the doctor before including this in one’s diabetes diet plan.
Managing the Risks
Just because there are many benefits of raw honey, it does not mean it is for everyone. It may contain spores of the bacteria that causes paralysis-inducing botulism poisoning. Children under the age of one and pregnant women are the most at risk to contract this life-threatening ailment. Regular adults and older children, while no longer at risk, should still be observant with how the body reacts after ingesting raw honey. At the onset of symptoms such as dizziness, stomach upset, or vomiting in close proximity to raw honey ingestion, seek medical help immediately.
Raw honey is truly one of nature’s wondrous gifts to mankind. Given the numerous benefits of raw honey, it goes without saying that it is considered as the best natural sweetener there is.