What looks like liquid gold is one of the oldest sweeteners on Earth. Not only does honey taste good, but it has lots of health benefits as well. Produced from the nectar of flowers that bees swallow, digest and regurgitate, honey contains almost 600 compounds. Here, we will take a look at a few quick statistics about honey and enumerate what its health benefits are.
Statistics About Honey Production in the US
According to Statista.com, the top 10 honey producing states in the US are:
- North Dakota
- South Dakota
For the past few years, here is the amount of honey produced in the US, according to the US Department of Agriculture. The highest was in 2010 when around $220 million worth of honey were produced:
- 2012 = 147,092 pounds
- 2011 = 148,357 pounds
- 2010 = 176,462 pounds
- 2009 = 146,416 pounds
- 2008 = 163,789 pounds
For 2009, approximately 141,000 short tons of pure honey were used in the national food and beverage industry. According to BeeSource, the typical honey profile looks like this:
- Fructose = 38.2%
- Glucose 31.3%
- Maltose = 7.1%
- Sucrose = 1.3 %
- Water = 17.2%
- Higher Sugars = 1.5%
- Ash 0/2%
- Other/undetermined = 3.2%
What Are the Health Benefits of Honey?
The earliest known use of honey as a recipe for healing is around 4,000 years ago when it was found in Sumerian clay tablets. Almost one-third of the ancient medical treatments used by Sumerians included honey. The same thing holds true in India, ancient Egypt, and other ancient cultures.
Today, scientists are still discovering the many uses and health benefits of honey. To give you an idea about what its top health benefits are, take a look at the following list:
1. Honey is good for the blood.
There are many ways that honey can be used for healthier blood. When mixed with tepid water and taken as a drink, honey can help increase the red blood cell count. It also helps with anemia and can even be taken by chemotherapy patients as therapeutic honey.
2. Honey is the best, most natural substitute for sugar.
We put sugar in practically everything, but white sugar is not necessarily the healthiest sweetener. By replacing sugar with honey, you have a natural sweetener that is very healthy to consume as well. Honey contains 30% glucose and 40% glucose, as well as a starchy fiber called dextrin. These components make for a healthier sweetener and even help regular blood sugar levels.
3. Honey has antibacterial and antiseptic properties.
According to a study released by the Honey Research Unit at the University of Waikato in New Zealand, all honey is antibacterial. This is because the bees add an enzyme that makes hydrogen peroxide so honey makes for a perfectly natural antiseptic. It has antioxidant agents, it helps stimulate antibodies and combats harmful microbial activity. Unprocessed honey, in particular, can be used to treat wounds and patients with leg ulcers.
4. Consuming honey boosts energy.
Instead of eating protein bars or energy bars, you can simply consume honey because it is a natural energy booster. Unlike sugar which gives you a temporary high, honey contains separate sucrose and fructose. Glucose acts as an instant energy source. Honey also has other vitamins and minerals in small amounts, like iron, niacin, riboflavin, calcium, copper, iron, pantothenic acid, phosphorus, zinc, and potassium.
5. Honey helps promote digestion.
Consuming just a tablespoon of natural honey can treat constipation, gas and bloating. Instead of popping a pill, honey can serve as a mild, natural laxative. If you love yogurt which has probiotics or friendly bacteria, honey has that, too. This means that the golden liquid helps aid digestion and settles your stomach in a natural way.
6. Honey helps fight skin and scalp infections.
Those who have dandruff, seborrheic dermatitis, and other skin or scalp conditions can use honey as a natural treatment. Diluted crude honey can be applied on the affected area for two to three minutes. Rinse off with warm water and doing this continually will help relieve scaling and itching, as well as lesions on the skin.
7. Honey helps kids sleep better.
Parents with kids who have trouble sleeping at night can use honey as a natural treatment. Use it as a natural sweetener for milk, or have your kid simply consume one tablespoon of the golden liquid before going to bed. It will help them sleep better.
8. Honey is a natural solution for acid reflux.
Honey is 125.9 times more viscous than distilled water. This means that honey can help prevent gastroesophageal reflux or acid reflux. This was from a study from the MGM Medical College in India, as published at the British Medical Journal.
9. Honey helps heal wounds and burns.
Due to this antiseptic properties, honey can be used to heal wounds and burns. Topical application of honey on minor wounds or burns would have positive effects on the skin. There are also initial medical studies which show that honey can alleviate the symptoms of recurring cellulitis and can be used as a substitute for oral antibiotics.
10. Honey helps treat allergies.
If you or a member of the family is suffering from seasonal allergies, you should definitely stock up on honey. Consuming just a tablespoon of honey per day during the months of the year when pollens from the air or the varying temperature outside resulting to allergies can be combated by the liquid gold from the bees.
11. Honey boosts your immune system.
It is highly recommended that you consume raw, organic honey if you would like to use it as a natural way to boost your immune system. Honey is loaded with vitamins, enzymes, and minerals which protect the body from bacteria. It also helps boost the immune system, so much so that it has become the go-to natural medication for coughs and colds.
12. Honey can be used with weight management.
You’ve probably seen a lot of posts on social media about how drinking lemon water with lemon and honey can help with weight management. The drink can be used for detoxification as it helps cleanse the liver and remove harmful toxins from the body.
13. Honey helps reduce the risk of heart disease.
Mix honey with cinnamon and you have a natural way to revitalize the arteries and veins of the heart. It can even help reduce cholesterol in the blood by as much as 10%. Take the natural mixture on a daily basis and you can reduce the risk of heart disease for those who already suffered from strokes or heart attacks in the past.
14. Honey helps clear up the skin.
If you are suffering from acne even as an adult, you can use acne to clear up your skin. Honey has anti-fungal and anti-microbial properties which help clear those stubborn zits from the skin. It can also be used for other skin conditions like ringworm, eczema, and psoriasis; sine honey helps soothe any inflammation on the surface of the skin while also relieving dryness and eliminating the itch.
15. Honey is a natural remedy for coughs and cold.
Tea with honey, warm water with honey – these are the age-old medications that your parents may have given you when you had coughs and colds as a child. You can still use it as an adult because studies show that honey is a natural remedy for coughs and colds. If you don’t want to consume it with a hot drink, simply take two tablespoons of honey thirty minutes before going to bed. It will keep cough away while also soothing the nose from itchiness as a result of colds.
16. Honey helps boost your memory.
Initial studies have shown that menopausal women who consumed 20 grams of honey per day recalled one extra word out of 15 presented to them on a short-term memory test. Although the test is small, the results are definitely promising as it shows how honey can help boost your memory.
17. Honey potentially prevents low white blood cell count.
Small trials in cancer patients showed that honey can be a promising and inexpensive way to prevent low white blood cell count, which is usually the result of chemotherapy. Consuming two tablespoons of honey as part of daily therapy will greatly help cancer patients.
18. Honey may help metabolize alcohol.
Those who are fond of drinks will be glad to know that honey when taken orally, may increase the body’s ability to metabolize alcohol. This means that intoxication and alcohol blood levels can be limited or minimized.
19. Honey is a great substitute for sugar-infused energy drinks.
If you’re up for a day at the gym, you can use honey to boost your performance levels. It’s an excellent, natural substitute for sugar-infused sports or energy drinks.
20. Honey is an excellent source of antioxidants.
Finally, honey has nutraceuticals which are very effective in removing free radicals from the body. As you can see, there are a multitude of benefits from consuming honey. Make it a part of your daily food consumption to enjoy these health advantages and more.