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6 Unknown Health Benefits of Raw Honey

Raw honey is more than just a natural sweetener; it can heal wounds and reduce inflammation. Here are 6 health benefits of raw honey that most people don't know about.

Laavanya Arya
Raw Honey
Raw Honey

Raw honey has been used as a remedy for centuries and has a wide range of health benefits and medical applications. It is even used as a wound treatment in some hospitals. Many of these health advantages are unique to raw or unpasteurized honey.

The majority of honey sold in supermarkets has been pasteurized. High heat kills unwanted yeast, improves color and texture, removes crystallization, and increases shelf life.

Many of the beneficial nutrients, however, are also destroyed in the process. Here are some of the health benefits of raw honey:

An Excellent Source of Antioxidants

A daily dose of raw honey has been shown in studies to increase the levels of health-promoting antioxidants in the body. Antioxidants protect the body from free radical damage, as well as boost the immune system, and act as a preventer of a variety of debilitating diseases.

Polyphenols, a type of antioxidant found in honey, have been linked to a lower risk of heart disease and cancer. 

According to research, honey contains the disease-fighting antioxidant flavonoids pinocembrin, pinostrobin, and chrysin. Pinocembrin promotes enzyme activity, and numerous studies have shown that it induces apoptosis (programmed cell death) in a variety of cancer cells.

Nutritional Value of Raw Honey

The nutritional value of raw honey varies depending on its origin and other factors. In general, one tablespoon (21 g) of raw honey contains 64 calories and 17 grams of sugar.

Raw honey also has trace amounts of the following micronutrients:

  • calcium

  • magnesium

  • manganese

  • niacin

  • pantothenic acid

  • phosphorous

  • potassium

  • riboflavin

  • zinc

Furthermore, raw honey contains amino acids, enzymes, and other beneficial compounds as well.

Acts as a Sleep Promoter

Raw honey promotes restorative sleep in two different ways. The first would be by consuming honey before bedtime. Your body will use it to replenish the liver's glycogen supply, preventing your brain from triggering a crisis search for fuel, which can cause you to wake up. So no more late-night snacking!

The second way that honey promotes melatonin release in the brain is by causing a small increase in insulin levels.

Melatonin also boosts immunity and aids in tissue repair during sleep, which has been linked to a reduction in risk factors for hypertension, obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and arthritis. Furthermore, serotonin is a naturally occurring chemical in your brain that, when increased, can aid in the treatment of depression.

Lowers the Risk of Diabetes 

Consumption of raw honey has been shown to lower the risk of developing diabetes and help treat diabetes. Raw honey raises insulin levels, lowers hyperglycemia, and has been shown to lower plasma glucose levels in diabetics.

When combined with cinnamon, raw honey can be especially beneficial to healthy blood sugar management. Some believe that the insulin-boosting power of cinnamon can counteract the naturally occurring glucose levels in honey, making your honey and cinnamon mixture a low glycemic index food combination as well.

Natural Cough Syrup

Raw honey is just as effective as over-the-counter cough syrups in treating coughs. In one study, honey was just as effective as diphenhydramine and dextromethorphan, both of which are common ingredients in over-the-counter cough medicines. A single dose of honey has been shown in studies to reduce mucus secretion and coughing. A half teaspoon to two teaspoons of honey at bedtime is a well-researched and recommended dose for anyone over the age of one.

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