Did you know that it takes about 60,000 bees, collectively traveling up to 55,000 miles and visiting more than 2 million flowers, to gather enough nectar to make one pound of honey? Once the nectar is gathered, the bee stores it in its extra stomach where it mixes with enzymes, and then passes it to another bee’s mouth, via regurgitation. This process is repeated until the nectar becomes partially digested and is then deposited into a honeycomb. Then the honeybees fan the liquid nectar with their wings, helping the water to evaporate and create the thick substance you know as ‘honey’.
Natural Energy Booster
Noticed how a sugar high leads to a rapid energy crash and burn often? It is time to ditch the energy drinks and forget your coffee fix. Use honey instead of sugars and sweeteners in your tea, baked goodies, or spread to it on a hot toast. Its natural sugars even prevent fatigue during exercise, so it is also good for improving athletic performance. The glucose in honey is absorbed by the body quickly, giving an immediate energy boost, while the fructose provides sustained energy since it is absorbed more slowly. Honey has also been found to keep levels of blood sugar constant in comparison to other types of sugar.
According to a 2012 study published in the Journal Paediatrics (and my grandmother), just two teaspoons of honey can help cure a persistent cough. Thanks to its antimicrobial properties, honey not only soothes the throat but also kills certain bacteria that cause the infection. If you do not wish to eat honey straight up, you can add Manuka UMF honey to warm water. What is Manuka UMF honey? Manuka Honey is produced in Australia and New Zealand from the nectar of the manuka tree, and UMF stands for Unique Manuka Factor i.e. a grading system that assures purity and quality of manuka honey.
Do you lie awake all night staring at the ceiling, tossing, and turning? Use the famous milk and honey remedy to fall asleep quickly. All you need to do is add a teaspoon of honey to a glass of hot milk. Honey releases serotonin (a neurotransmitter that improves your mood), and “the body converts serotonin into melatonin (a chemical compound that regulates the length and quality of sleep”, says Dr. Manoj K. Ahuja, Sukhda Hospital. You can also add a teaspoon (or two) of honey to a cup of chamomile tea if you would prefer.
Treats Wounds and Burns
Honey is made up of mostly glucose and fructose that absorb water if applied on wounds. It helps promote healing, making it a natural first-aid cure for wounds, burns, and cuts. Honey’s antiseptic properties inhibit the growth of certain bacteria and help keep external wounds free from infection. It helps reduce swelling, pain, and even scarring as it works as an anti-inflammatory as well. A 2005 study published in the British Journal of Surgery showed remarkable improvement after applying honey to the affected areas.
Honey’s antioxidant and antibacterial properties help improve the digestive system and boost immunity. It is also a powerhouse of antioxidants, which are highly effective for the removal of free radicals from the body. “Start your day by adding a spoonful of honey and lemon juice (from half a lemon) to a cup of warm water. Drink this cleansing tonic before breakfast to reap the benefits”, says Delhi-based Nutritionist Anshul Jaibharat.