Honey’s existence dates back to as far as we record, samples have even been found in Egyptian tombs from over 3,000 years ago and still edible! Yet this deliciously sweet preserve has more benefits to us than most realise.
I recall when I was younger and had caught the common cold, my mum would make me a hot lemon and honey drink. I never understood how something so sweet would soothe my coarse throat. Yet Honey is a brilliant antiseptic, antioxidant and has healing properties which aids tissue healing, reduce inflammation and scarring. As always, my mother was right, and soon my throat was soothed.
However, now honey is being used to treat the ‘hospital superbug’, MRSA, which has developed a resistance to penicillin and other antibiotics. Honey has four attributes that make it effective at battling infection:
- H2O2 which may be more familiar as hydrogen peroxide or bleach. Consuming or applying large quantities of H2O2 is not a good idea because it’s highly corrosive, but scientists have found that honey contains low levels of the chemical and it can kill MRSA bacteria.
- Dextrose and fructose (C6H12O6 in chemistry-speak, or sugars in chef speak). This makes up 75% to 85% of honey, which means that it doesn’t contain much water – and bacteria can’t thrive without water.
- Bee Defensin-1 This protein, also found in the bee secretion royal jelly, is a natural antibiotic.
- Methylglyoxal (C3H4O2, or sometimes simply ‘MGO’). This chemical compound inhibits bacteria’s ability to produce the proteins needed to survive, and makes honey a powerful remedy to infection and illness.
The list of Honey varieties can be confusing. The most renowned is Manuka honey, which is known for strengthening our immune system. Yet we shouldn’t forget Buckwheat which is healthier alternative to cough syrup, or Lavender Honey which is brilliant for pregnant women for suffer from calcium deficiencies as it encourages the body to use any calcium consumed. Darker honeys tend to have higher levels of antioxidants, and by opting for raw honey as these contain vitamins, minerals, and enzymes that are not found in refined honey.
So that’s plenty of food for thought the next time you have a slice of toast and honey.
#honey #ishoneygoodforus #ishoneyhealthy #benefitsofhoney #lovehoney
Kumud Gandhi is a Nutritional Food Scientist bestselling Author, Broadcaster, and Keynote Speaker on the subject of nutritional health for productivity & performance in the workplace. In 2010 Kumud founded ‘The Cooking Academy’ a cookery school that focusses on cooking for nutritional health and wellbeing. Kumud regularly presents to international audiences on a variety of topics such as ‘Eating for Immunity and a Lifetime of Wellness’. She is an expert in the field of Wellness in the Workplace and works with organizations to create transformational change in employee health & well-being through nutrition and health coaching.