Honey is a very complex subject – said one famous bear. Although, it would seem that what could be more familiar and understandable than this Golden, transparent, fragrant product from our childhood? However, if you dig deeper, it is just a unique substance. Don’t believe it? Let’s figure it out.
Let’s start with organoleptics. First, the uniqueness of honey is that it is quite difficult to accurately describe its taste, avoiding the banal term “sweet”. In this regard, there is even a special definition of taste — “honey”. This concept characterizes a very wide range of sensations of our receptors. Secondly, the aggregate state: in one form it is a liquid with a high viscosity, in the other it is almost a solid. In this case, the border of the transition can be very blurred. Third, a huge range of this product with different taste, color, aroma, and consistency.
In addition to the organoleptic properties, the origin of this substance is also very interesting. On the one hand, it is the result of insect activity, which means that it is an animal product; on the other hand, it is extremely far in its composition and properties from such types of food as milk and its derivatives, and even more so from slaughter products. So, honey can not be completely attributed to either animal or vegetable products. That is, it occupies an intermediate position. Also, the uniqueness of honey is shown in the fact that it is one of the few nutritious products that are absorbed by 100% (for example, the same indicator for milk is only 91%).
There are hundreds of different types of this product in the world, but in General there are two main varieties:
Bees collect pollen from plant flowers. A liquid with a very high sugar content, which is known as “nectar”. Usually consists of various sugars, their number can reach up to seven. The volume, concentration of sugar and taste of nectar depend on a number of factors and on the characteristics of the biological properties of the plant. For example, at the very beginning of flowering, the nectar is much sweeter, and when the pollination process comes to an end, the sugar content decreases sharply. There is also an interesting dependence on the humidity level of the environment. The higher the humidity, the greater the volume of nectar, but the lower its sweetness and Vice versa.
A specific liquid with a high sugar content — pad is collected from the leaves and other parts of plants. It can be of both animal and vegetable origin. Very often, the fall is simply a different selection of insects that eat the juice or nectar of the plants on which they live. Bees collect these secretions and process them into honey. Honeydew honey is usually darker than the flower.
Benefits of honey for the human body
In order to understand how honey affects the body, you first need to understand its composition and active elements. Of course, first of all, honey is sugar, which is represented by simple sugars (monosaccharides) and their compounds: 32-35% glucose and about 40% fructose. In addition to the fact that it is an excellent source of “fast” energy for the body, it is also a means for regulating metabolism, heat exchange, improving urination, normalizing blood pressure, expanding blood vessels, and proper nutrition of the heart muscle. And as an additional bonus, there is also an improvement in the nervous system and the ability to quickly stop bleeding. In addition to sugars, honey contains a large number of vitamins (carotene, E, K, C, B6, B5, B3, B2, B1) and trace elements (potassium, calcium, chlorine, iron, iodine, zinc, fluorine, copper, cobalt, manganese, magnesium, sodium, sulfur, phosphorus, as well as lithium, aluminum, lead, silver, antimony, titanium, chromium, molybdenum, strontium, boron, Nickel). The vitamins that make up honey are much more effective than artificially obtained ones, since they are already in combination with natural salts and bioactive substances that significantly enhance their effect. A wide range of trace elements in honey has a significant impact on almost all processes occurring in the body, at all levels: biochemical, histological and physiological. Thanks to these nutrients, hematopoietic functions are significantly enhanced, the synthesis of the necessary amount of insulin is maintained, humoral regulation is improved, redox processes are normalized, and vision is positively affected.
Honey helps the body to clear itself of dangerous radionuclides that provoke the formation of cancer cells; it supports the hepatobiliary system, increases the immune system, and helps eliminate signs of allergies. It is known that when sugars are consumed in the oral cavity, they break down into lactic and other acids under the influence of bacteria, which, in turn, destroy the enamel of the teeth. With honey, everything is the opposite — due to its antimicrobial action, it promotes oral hygiene, as well as thanks to its hemostatic function, it helps heal small ulcers and wounds. To do this, it is recommended to rinse your mouth with a 10-15 % solution of honey in water. The antimicrobial effect is due to the high content of natural phytoncides in honey, so it is also harmful to many bacteria, bacillus, coccus, protozoa, such as Trichomonas and amoebas.
Separately, you can emphasize the specific benefits of honey for different sexes. The benefits of honey for men are mainly due to the fact that the active components of honey purify and improve the body, significantly contribute to the elimination of both chronic and acute diseases, improve the metabolic processes and thereby prolong the active and healthy life of a man. In addition to the General strengthening effect, honey will help to cope with such scourges of men’s health as impotence, prostate adenoma, prostatitis, atherosclerosis, hypertension. For women, honey is useful not only as a cosmetic, but also as a cure for a number of diseases: adnexitis, parametritis, colpitis of various nature. It helps with cervical erosions, fibroids, cysts, thrush, mastopathy, endometriosis, and also significantly improves the situation with menopausal disorders.
Benefits of honey for children
Of course, all of the above positive properties of honey are relevant for children. But at the same time, there are a number of features. First of all, these are age restrictions and dosage. Currently, pediatricians differ in their estimates of the age at which children can be given this product. This is due to the potentially high risk of allergies and the possible situation of the child’s consumption of an inferior product-honey with an admixture of starch or sugar patok. There have even been cases of child botulism, since its spores can be present in honey. In children under three years of age, due to certain age-related physiological features, these spores can accumulate in the intestine and form a very dangerous toxin that is fatal to the child’s body. About the dosage: it is recommended to start giving honey in minimal portions (at the tip of a spoon) and carefully monitor the reaction of the body in order to avoid allergies. For older children, honey can be added to cereals and drinks (preferably non-hot) or given as a pure dessert. Here are the main advantages of including it in the child’s diet: help with stunting growth and development in children, increasing hemoglobin, improving appetite, helping digestion, tonic properties, treatment and prevention of respiratory diseases. Also, honey usually has a positive effect on the Central nervous system, helps with inflammation of the stomach and digestive organs.
Methods and possibilities of using honey
There are many different recommendations for using this unique product. Honey is used in different dosages and at different intervals, together with other substances and separately. In particular, for people suffering from insomnia, the benefits of using honey before bedtime have been proven. They should just eat or drink a little honey just before going to bed. Honey carbohydrates dramatically increase the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that is responsible for maintaining a good mood. It is converted in the body, in turn, into melatonin-a chemical that is extremely important for starting and maintaining sleep processes. Additional melatonin is also produced when the body processes tryptophan from honey into this hormone.
Milk mixed with honey always helps to neutralize excessive acidity in the stomach, which is also especially useful before going to bed. Honey is also useful in the morning. Folk medicine recommends using a spoonful of honey in the morning on an empty stomach. The advantage of this method is that when taken on an empty stomach, honey has a protective effect on the walls of the stomach, helps to start metabolic processes, since fast carbohydrates of honey produce the effect of natural energy, providing a pronounced stimulating, invigorating effect. Doctors also recommend using a spoonful of honey on an empty stomach in the morning in order to significantly increase the likelihood of getting rid of gastritis, which is especially important at the initial stage of its development. The most useful for the stomach is lime honey. It has very pronounced antibacterial properties, so a teaspoon of lime honey on an empty stomach is also indicated for various types of colds. With all the positive aspects of taking honey on an empty stomach, you need to remember one important rule — after a spoonful of honey, there must be a Breakfast! In its absence, there may be a number of negative consequences, since in this case, there is first a sharp increase in the blood sugar content due to fructose of honey, and then-the same sharp decrease. As a result, the state of health worsens; to avoid this, you need to eat something within 20-30 minutes after the honey has been consumed.
The use of honey with ginger
This combination is usually used not only as a General tonic, but also as a treatment for a variety of complications and pathologies. The effectiveness of honey with ginger is significant due to the combined strengthening effect of these products. This effective mix of biologically active nutrients helps to cope with a number of health problems. It reduces the risk of cancer, relieves cold symptoms (sore throat, cough, and inflammation), enhances the functioning of the immune system, improves digestion, relieves intestinal irritation, and helps in clearing blood vessels. Ginger with honey also eliminates pain, treats arthritis, and nourishes hair and skin. And also when following the recommendations for proper nutrition, honey in combination with ginger dramatically speeds up all metabolic processes, which, in turn, normalizes weight.