What makes honey so special?
Honey contains specific nutrients, such as antioxidants, amino acids, and vitamins, that can make it a healthful addition to the diet. Honey naturally contains sugar. A little more than half of the sugar in honey is fructose. One tablespoon or 21 grams of raw honey approximately contains 64 calories and 16 g of sugar. Honey may offer a protective effect against diabetes and some types of honey may help improve cholesterol levels.
People who have diabetes or who are on sugar-restricted diets may choose to eat honey in moderation to avoid significant changes in their blood sugar levels. Pure honey has a medium effect on blood sugar levels.
Natural honey naturally contains small amounts of the following vitamins and minerals:
The benefits of honey for digestion
Honey is a popular home remedy for all kinds of digestive problems, including constipation and ulcers. For a homemade digestion aid, try tea with honey and lemon. Honey has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years to treat a variety of ailments. Some research and anecdotal evidence suggests that honey may soothe the throat and ease acid reflux symptoms. Research says that acid reflux can happen due to radicals which damage cells lining the digestive tract. Consuming honey here can play an imperative role as it controls damage by removing free radicals. You don’t have to take honey by itself, you can mix it with a glass of warm water or tea. Drinking a glass of milk or eating some yogurt may also give you the same soothing effect.
Honey contains many minerals, enzymes and amino acids. People have known the health benefits of honey due to it’s anti-bacterial and healing properties, and use it for curing variety of conditions like treating sore throats, nourishing the skin, relieving coughs, reducing inflammation, maintaining your cholesterol levels, and it is very good for digestion.
Benefits of Honey for Digestion :
- Honey contains certain enzymes that acts as a catalyst in the digestion process, especially, to disintegrate the carbohydrates and sugars.
- Honey helps in getting rid of diarrhea because of its slow passage than other regular sugars, through the stomach and intestine. Research show that the intake of honey by babies and infants have exponentially reduced the frequency of diarrhea.
- There are some good bacteria, collectively known as gut flora, present in the digestive system, which is responsible for a good digestive system.
- Honey contains a compound called methylglyoxal that provides honey the anti-bacterial properties. This helps in curing bacterial infections in stomach. The main bacteria that causes digestive disorders is the Helicobacter pylori. Studies have shown that honey is proven to control the growth of this bacteria in the stomach.
- Honey helps in boosting the immune system that helps in preventing any stomach related disease in the future
- In treating diarrhea, raw honey may have a soothing effect on digestion, helping with symptoms of diarrhea. To help treat mild diarrhea, try taking a teaspoon of raw honey or mixing honey with a drink. Avoid taking too much honey because excess sugar can make diarrhea worse.
Various ways of using Honey for Digestion :
- Have one or two tablespoons of honey every day.
- You can also consume hot water by adding a tinge of honey (one tablespoon) every morning.
- You can make a paste of honey and cinnamon powder. Apply this paste on your bread, instead of applying jelly or jam. Eat this bread for breakfast every day for effective results.
- If you are a yogurt fan and have yogurt with very meal, add 1-2 spoons of honey to help you with problems of acid reflux and indigestion.
- A mixture of vinegar and honey for digestion has been popular since many years. Add 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and 1 tablespoon of honey to 8 ounces of water and drink it before every meal.
Probiotics and Prebiotics
We need to eat foods with the “good bacteria,” also known as probiotics, your gut needs to be healthy. In addition to supporting our digestive systems, probiotics also help with constipation, mental sharpness, diarrhea, anxiety and depression, as well as keeping our immune system strong, among other benefits that are beneficial to adults. The thing about probiotics, however, is that they are pretty picky with what they need to eat to stay healthy while they do their job of keeping us healthy. What is needed are prebiotics, which have a resistance to gastric acidity, an ability to be fermented by the probiotics in your gut, and stimulation of the growth and/or activity of the intestinal bacteria associated with health and well-being.
This is where raw honey comes in. Raw honey is an excellent prebiotic. It contains compounds called oligosaccharides which are not digestible in the small intestines. They reach the large intestine where the good bacteria utilize them to make nutrients that we can use. Another thing that makes raw honey special is that it is a non-dairy probiotic product. This is a huge advantage if you are lactose intolerant or allergic to dairy products. Since dairy products are the ones that typically have probiotic/prebiotic properties, raw honey is an excellent alternative source for prebiotics.