Luckily, nature provides a solution. Foods such as tea, berries, and honey are full of flavonoids, or plant chemicals that can help treat oxidative stress, which is caused by an imbalance of antioxidants and free radicals. “Just relax, and don’t move.” “Okay. Ugh. This is the most stressed out I’ve ever been in my life.” Nothing runs in the human body without the heart, so it’s important to keep the blood-pumping muscle in tip-top shape. We know benefit your heart is, you guessed it, honey. In addition to helping to rid your body of toxins, the antioxidants and flavonoids in honey could be associated with reduced risk of heart disease. Not only do they widen the coronary blood vessels, but they also decrease the ability of the platelets in the blood to clot. Additionally, flavonoids prevent the oxidation of LDLs that could contribute to the hardening and narrowing of your arteries. Chock full of carbohydrates, honey is an important natural, nutritional, and energy-giving food source. That’s why athletes around the world turn to the substance to aid in athletic performance. When in training mode, many athletes reach for sports gels to help replenish glycogen and improve endurance, but it turns out honey is a natural alternative. Regarding a recent study of honey vs. sports gels, Richard Kreider, a principal investigator at the University of Memphis Exercise and Sport Nutrition Laboratory.
In another rat-based study in 2017, researchers found that honey produced better results than a drug meant to control obesity. The study also noted that the two kinds of honey used were not created equal, as Gelam honey performed better than Acacia honey in the attempt to squelch weight gain. Hangovers are the worst. A fun night out can deplete us, de hydrate us, and keep us in bed for the whole day with the blanket over our heads. Fortunately, honey may help keep hangovers at bay. A 2009 study on fructose and alcohol metabolization found that, “[Honey] reduced the duration of alcohol in to xication by 30.7%, and accelerated the elimination of alcohol from bloodstream by 44.7%.” The sugars in the sweet snack deliver a speedy dose of glucose to the bloodstream, helping you to feel less irritable. If you’re struggling with sleep, eating honey is an ancient trick that can help you fall asleep and stay there. From Europeans drinking warm milk and honey, to folks in Mexico sipping warm chamomile tea with honey before bed, there are plenty of ways to harness the power of honey to get rest. For centuries, humans have been using honey to relieve stress and help soothe anxiety, mixing it into calming teas and adding it to warm milk as a pre-sleep aid. There are oodles of stress-relief beverages from all over the world that include honey. Some of the key ingredients in Moon Milk are ashwagandha, nutmeg, and, you guessed it, honey. There are several types of cholesterol found in the human body, but when we hear the initials LDL, we know we’re talking about the bad kind. High levels of LDL, or low-density lipoprotein cholesterol can lead to plaque build-up in the arteries of the heart, increasing our risk for heart attacks and strokes. There are many ways to prevent that dangerous build-up, including medicine, exercise, and making changes to diet. One such change you can make to help lower your levels of heart-hurting LDL is to eat more honey. In a 2009 study, it was found that participants who ate honey had lower body-mass indexes, which has been correlated with lower LDL numbers. While female participants who ingested a sugar solution were found to have increased LDL levels, the women who ate honey did not. An additional 2013 study showed that consuming natural honey can limit the rise in blood glucose in healthy young adults, while significantly decreasing their levels of total cholesterol, LDL, and triglycerides What we eat affects how well many of our body’s systems function, and our brains are no exception. Dr. Francine Grodstein of Harvard Medical School told Harvard Health, “We know [LDL cholesterol is] bad for your heart. High LDL levels also contribute to an increased risk for strokes, which are caused by a disruption in blood flow to the brain, and can lead to significant brain damage. By keeping your LDL levels low through regular consumption of honey, you can help keep your brain healthy and functioning at its best. Acid reflux is not only an annoying condition to have to endure on a day-to-day basis, but it can also be incredibly painful. The symptoms of acid reflux can range from a burning sensation in the chest to a lump in the throat, chest pain, issues with swallowing, and regurgitation. A bad case of acid reflux can make it hard to get through your day, and can even disrupt your sleep. Known for both its anti-inflammatory and wound-healing properties, honey can potentially quell the painful symptoms that arise when stomach acid begins to irritate the esophagus. According to the Indian Journal of Medical Research, honey’s high density, high viscosity, and low surface tension all work together to enable it to remain in the esophagus longer, coating the mucus membrane and providing lasting relief. With thousands of bacteria working deep in our bellies, if anything is out of whack, it can make us feel really crummy. Fortunately, the antibacterial properties of honey can help rid the digestive tract of unwanted visitors, and can even help protect the body against dangerous microorganisms like E. coli and salmonella. In addition, a 2006 study showed that by substituting the sugars in processed foods with honey, we can reduce the harmful effects of mycotoxinson our bodies while also improving our gut microflora. Honey has also been proven to fight off the pesky bacteria that can lead to dyspepsia and gastric ulcers in humans. This is because honey contains hydrogen peroxide, a component that is present due to a natural enzyme bees have in their stomachs called glucose oxidase. This natural remedy is so effective that it’s still pervasive today, and there’s real science behind why honey works to help calm a persistent cough. In one 2010 study, honey was found to be a more effective cough suppressant than the active ingredients in several common over-the-counter cough medicines, such as Benadryl and Robitussin.
However, in a 2018 article in New York Magazine in which professional singers offered their best quick fixes for sore throats, many of the musicians listed honey as part of their solutions. Three-time Grammy Award winner Angelique Kidjogargles with warm water infused with fresh thyme, a tablespoon of butter, and a table spoon of honey whenever her throat begins to hurt. Meanwhile, singer-songwriter Aaron Livingston, who goes by the stage name Son Little, recommends a teaspoon of Manuka honey mixed with “as much chopped up garlic as [he] can handle,” as a surefire way to soothe a scratchy throat. It’s a well-known old wives’ tale that including local honey in your diet can help ward off the effects of allergies by gradually exposing allergy sufferers to local pollens, helping them build up an immunity. Unfortunately, according to The New York Times, there is no evidence to back up this claim. However, while local honey may not do much for your seasonal allergies, eating a spoonful of honey every day can aid in boosting your immune system. Your immune system is incredibly complex, and can be compromised by a variety of factors such as lack of sleep, improper diet, travel, stress, and poor gut health, many of which we already know can be improved through the regular ingestion of honey. And in addition to honey’s beneficial antioxidant and anti-bacterial properties, there’s plenty of evidence that eating honey every day also helps boost your immune system. So if you haven’t been feeling your best, try adding a spoonful of honey to your daily routine, and see how much better you feel.