A completely natural sweetener, it dates back over hundreds of years, however the health benefits of honey are still not widely known even today. Healthier and purer than artificial sweeteners or sugar, honey provides more than flavor for your sweet tooth; honey benefits your health and your body inside and out.
History of honey
Records cannot definitively establish how long honey has been around. Some believe that honey dates back more than 20 million years, but honey bee fossils give reason to believe that the date could extend to more than 150 million years. Cave paintings in Spain suggest that beekeeping began around 7000 BC. and Egyptian records from 2400 BC. C. provide evidence of their culture by keeping bees in hives.
The Egyptians used honey in more ways than one. In addition to its common use as a sweetener, the Egyptians gifted honey to their gods and used it as a component of their embalming fluid. The Romans also gave honey to their gods and were known to cover physical wounds with honey to heal and promote natural healing. Both the Romans and the Greeks used honey as a way of cooking, but in the late 17th century, honey was used primarily as a sweetener.
So how do bees make honey? The process begins in the flower when the bee collects the nectar from the flower. Most of the nectar is water and a minority are complex sugars. Bees need to store and make sugar usable, so bees alter nectar into pure honey for sale . To complete this task, a worker bee that has a stomach full of nectar flies to the hive to regurgitate nectar modified for a bee from the hive. The hive then ingests the nectar to break down the sugars. Once the hive bee has completed that task, it regurgitates the nectar into a cell in the honeycomb. The bees in the hive are responsible for flapping their wings to evaporate the remaining water; once complete, the sugar turns into honey. Throughout its life, a worker bee produces 1/12 of a teaspoon of honey, but when the bees in a colony work together, more than 200 pounds of honey are produced in one year.
The hard work of bees provides us with healthy and beneficial food. In general, it is made up of 80% natural sugars, 18% water and 2% vitamins, minerals and pollen. Note that honey does not expire because it does not harbor bacteria, so you can keep it on your shelf for as long as needed.
Health benefits of honey
It is nature’s energy booster due to its carbohydrates; These carbohydrates provide energy in addition to strength. Athletes, in particular, benefit from honey because of its ability to create endurance and decrease fatigue. The glucose found in honey also plays an important role, as it is absorbed quickly by the body to provide immediate energy. On the other hand, the fructose in honey is absorbed at a slower rate to provide sustained energy. Unlike refined sugar, honey keeps the body’s sugar levels somewhat constant, rather than raising blood sugar, causing a drop in energy.
It is antibacterial, antiviral, and contains antioxidants to help boost the body’s immunity. Raw honey has approximately 5,000 enzymes and numerous vitamins, amino acids, and minerals. Honey helps fight respiratory problems and has improved the quality of life for cancer patients.
Unlike refined white sugar, it does not contain empty calories. Use honey instead of white sugar to reduce blood sugar spikes and fill those empty calories with vitamins and minerals. Also, honey has been observed to suppress appetite. One teaspoon of honey contains about 21 calories and is sweeter than sugar, which means you can use less for the same sweetening effect that potentially promotes weight loss.
When applied topically, the properties of honey have the ability to heal wounds, including burns and ulcers. The two sugars found in honey, fructose and glucose, attract water so that when honey is applied to a wound, the honey absorbs the water in the wound. This action dries the wound to inhibit and deter bacterial growth.