A Honey Of A Super Health Food
Adding honey to your diet is a sweet idea.
People have been consuming honey for centuries. It was so highly valued in ancient times that it was commonly used as a form of payment.
What Makes Honey A Super Health Food?
Though primarily composed of fructose, glucose and water, honey also contains other sugars as well trace enzymes, minerals, vitamins and amino acids, including niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc.
Honey also contains flavonoids and phenolic acids. These beneficial antioxidants are found in all honey, but the darker the honey, the higher the level of antioxidants.
Gut health is also improved by eating honey because it acts as a prebiotic and aids in the growth of friendly bifidobacteria.
More Honey Health Food Benefits
Phytonutrients found in raw honey have been shown to possess properties to help prevent tumors and cancer.
Honey also helps lower cholesterol, specifically triglycerides. One study found that people with elevated fats in the blood who ate honey had a decrease in their triglycerides, as opposed to those fed a sugar solution, which increased the triglycerides.
Different studies have also shown honey to promote better blood sugar control.
Honey boosts immunity, can be used as a cough suppressant, and has antibacterial and wound-healing properties. In fact, in a year-long animal study comparing the effects of honey, sucrose and a low Glycemic Index (GI) sugar-free diet, rats with a diet using honey showed a reduced weight gain and body fat percentage, decreased anxiety, improved blood sugar levels, reduced oxidative damage and other benefits.
Bee-ware! Honey Health Food Cautions
It’s important to note that honey that has been extensively processed or heated loses most, if not all, of the beneficial properties from the phytonutrients it contains. As with most super health foods, the closer it is to the original form, the more health food benefits are present.
One other caution of major importance is to NEVER feed honey to a child one year of age or under. Honey may contain Clostridium botulinum spores that can cause infant botulism – a rare but serious disease that affects the nervous system of young babies (under one year of age). These spores are present throughout the environment, so people are routinely exposed to them but are not normally affected. Babies, however, lack the ability to kill these spores so may become ill if they are ingested.
Foods such as honey graham crackers that contain honey are not dangerous because the food has been heated and there are no viable microbial spores left.
As long as you’re over a year old, for a super health food, add honey to your diet! It’s a hit on the Superfoods List!