Why should we take honey every day?

Honey is a syrupy liquid that bees make from the nectar of plants. Loved around the world for its sweetness and depth of flavor, it is used in many foods and recipes.

The smell, color and taste of honey vary depending on the type of flowers it is made from, so there are countless varieties available. Honey has a number of potential health benefits and plays a role in many home remedies and alternative medicine treatments.

How is honey formed?

We assume that this food is generated by bees, but we are sure that you do not know how it is actually produced. It is logical to think that it is natural, since it is formed from the nectar of flowers. Bees visit hundreds of flowers and ingest their nectar into “stomachs” intended for honey. There, digestive enzymes act on the sucrose in the nectar to break it down into glucose and fructose.

Attention to this process : each bee will regurgitate this nectar and spit it into the mouth of another bee and the process will be repeated separately (for about 20 minutes) until the nectar is fully digested into raw honey. The bees spit the raw honey into the honeycomb cells, flap their wings to dry it, and then seal the product with wax. Chemically speaking, 17-20% of honey is made from water, but the rest of its flavor and color depends on the flower it came from.

The composition of honey has been carefully studied and it is thought that there are more than 200 compounds. About 90-95% is sugar, followed by water, organic acids and mineral compounds. Sugars present include monosaccharides (fructose and glucose); disaccharides: maltose, sucrose, maltose, turanose, isomaltose, laminaribiose, nigerose, kojibiose, gentiobiose and B-trehalose; and trisaccharides (maltotriose, erose, melezitose, centose 3-a5, isomaltosylglucose, l-kestose, isomaltotriose, panose, isopanose, and theanderose). All of these are present regardless of the type of honey we consume.

Furthermore, honey also contains between 4 and 5% fructo-oligosaccharides . Fructooligosaccharides are non-digestible substances that can support digestive health, as they are a good source of prebiotics. Other compounds found are amino acids , vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B6 and C), calcium, iron, zinc, and potassium, among many others.


The nutritional content of raw honey varies depending on its origin and other factors. It also contains smaller amounts of calcium, magnesium, manganese, niacin, pantothenic acid, phosphorous, potassium, riboflavin, and zinc. Additionally, raw honey is a source of varying amounts of amino acids, enzymes, and other beneficial compounds.

One tablespoon (20 grams) of honey contains:

  • Energy: 61 calories
  • Fat: 0 grams
  • Protein: 0 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 17 grams
  • Fiber: 0 grams
  • Riboflavin: 1% of the daily value
  • Copper: 1%

Honey is essentially pure sugar, with no fat and only trace amounts of protein and fiber. It contains small amounts of some nutrients, but most people do not normally consume enough honey to make it an important dietary source of vitamins and minerals. Still, it’s worth noting that honey is rich in health-promoting plant compounds known as polyphenols.

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The mouth and the rest of the body have always been taken as two different systems; that is, dentistry focuses on some problems and medicine on different ones. Actually, although they are different, they are very influential to each other.

Our mouth is the beginning of the digestive system, although it also has functions such as speaking and chewing; so it is important to enjoy good oral health. Some studies confirm that honey can be a good ally against any oral problem.

Rich in antioxidants

Raw honey contains a variety of plant chemicals that act as antioxidants. Some types of honey have as many antioxidants as fruits and vegetables. Antioxidants help protect the body from cell damage caused by free radicals.

Free radicals contribute to the aging process and can also contribute to the development of chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease. Antioxidant compounds in raw honey called polyphenols have anti-inflammatory effects that could be beneficial in protecting against a number of conditions associated with oxidative stress.

Mitigates Streptococcus mutans infections

According to some observations, there are between 500 and 700 different microbial species on different surfaces of our oral cavity, which depend on the oral health and hygiene of each person. Healthy mouths tend to have more gram-positive bacteria and simpler colonies; poorly healthy mouths tend to have more anaerobic, gram-negative bacteria and complex colonies.

Studies have shown that honey was effective in combating nearly 60 species of gram- positive, gram-negative, anaerobic, and aerobic bacteria. One of these is Streptococcus mutans, which is a pathogen involved in dental caries. Unlike antibiotics, science has so far found that bacteria do not become resistant to honey. So it is very useful to know what infections honey can be used against. This food stops the growth of microbes due to its high sugar content and low pH, in addition to killing bacteria through its antibacterial factors.

for dental plaque

Dental plaque is a thin biofilm, which accumulates on the surface of the teeth. Bacteria in plaque (particularly mutans streptococcus) metabolize fermentable carbohydrates (such as sucrose) in food and produce acids. These acids are responsible for demineralizing and disintegrating the dental structure. This prevents the cleaning actions and the remineralization of saliva, thus favoring the initiation and progression of dental caries.

Contains simple sugar

When looking for mid-race fuel, ideally you want to stick to simple carbohydrates, which are quickly broken down by the body and immediately available for use as energy. Honey, whether in a jar of pure honey or as the key ingredient in a chew, stick or gel product, is considered a combination carbohydrate. It contains the sugars fructose and glucose, making it an excellent source of the simple sugar your body needs while you’re on the move and during recovery, which is just when your muscles’ glycogen stores are depleted.

Ideally, you should consume approximately 100 calories, or 30-60 grams of carbohydrates, per hour for races that are longer than 60 minutes. Honey has about 17 grams of carbohydrates per tablespoon. This fueling strategy will keep glycogen in your muscles at a maximum, delaying fatigue.

When we think of longer workouts, you probably move a little faster than you would on foot. That means you can extend those fueling intervals.

Honey alone does not offer electrolytes, which are necessary to promote muscle function. For that, you’ll need to supplement with a sports drink or foods with electrolytes, such as sodium and potassium.

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Soothes sore throat and cough

Honey is an old sore throat remedy that relieves pain and can help with a cough. It can be added to hot tea with lemon when a cold virus strikes. Although more research is needed, one study suggested that honey might be superior to other forms of care in improving upper respiratory tract infections.

One study also suggested that the antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties are effective in relieving sore throats. Cough is a common problem for children with upper respiratory infections. These infections can affect sleep and quality of life for both children and parents.

However, common cough medicines are not always effective and can have side effects. Interestingly, honey may be a good alternative, with evidence indicating that it is an effective treatment option. A review of several studies on honey and cough in children found that honey appears to be more effective than diphenhydramine for cough symptoms. It can also help reduce the duration of the cough.

Improves wounds and burns

Topical honey treatment has been used to heal wounds and burns since ancient Egypt. The practice is still common today. Some studies have found it to be more effective for healing partial thickness burns and wounds that have become infected after surgery.

Honey is also an effective treatment for diabetes-related foot ulcers, which are serious complications that can lead to amputation. Researchers theorize that honey’s healing powers come from its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects.

Additionally, it can help treat other skin conditions, such as psoriasis and herpes lesions. Manuka honey is considered especially effective in treating burns. However, if you have a serious burn, we must seek medical attention immediately.

is easily absorbed

In addition to being able to break down quickly, honey is absorbed by the body more efficiently than other sugars. A 2011 study published in the Journal of Sports Sciences found that products containing mixtures of different carbohydrates could maximize carbohydrate absorption. Honey, which is made up of two different types of sugar, fits the bill perfectly.

Since honey is made up of glucose, fructose, and water, it’s perfect for digesting as soon as you put it in your mouth. This kind of efficiency ensures that your body gets the fuel it needs as quickly as possible.

Help in sports recovery

Once the sugar from honey, or any carbohydrate source, is used for immediate energy needs and to replenish glycogen stores in the muscles, the excess sugar is stored as fat. This means that honey and honey-focused products can fuel your body to aid in recovery and fuel us with energy.

Additionally, at least one study found that athletes who consumed mixed glucose and fructose beverages during recovery were able to run approximately 30% longer compared to runners who consumed only glucose for recovery.

A proper recovery snack or meal should also include protein. A good option is toast with nut butter and a little honey.

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solution for gingivitis

Gingivitis is the inflammation of the gingival tissues in response to the presence of bacteria in the plaque biofilm. It is characterized by pain and bleeding in the gums, which are usually inflamed by the edge of the teeth. Gingivitis is reversible if we follow good oral hygiene practices, but if it is not corrected, it can progress to irreversible tooth loss.

This swelling is similar to that found in inflamed wounds; Coincidentally, for many years, honey has been used to rapidly remove bacteria from wounds. There was a study involving 20 orthodontic patients to learn how honey affected pH, bacterial counts and bacterial growth compared to sucrose. It was shown that the pH did not fall below the pH threshold of 5.5, it reduced bacterial counts and inhibited bacterial growth. With only 20 patients, the scientists recognized that the study was limited and that additional studies should be carried out to know the real possibility of honey.

Eliminates bad mouth odor

The bad smell in the mouth (halitosis) is usually detected when a person speaks and has an unpleasant smell. Inside the mouth, the anterior part of the dorsum of the tongue, subgingival areas, poorly made restorations (leaky crowns and bridges), dental implants or dentures are most prone to halitosis.

In these cases, honey can combat odor, although it may not be effective on silver-plated pieces. According to studies, honey combats bacterial colonization in wounds and provides nutrients for bacteria so that they produce lactic acid during metabolism instead of foul-smelling gases.

prevents cancer

Honey has been studied for its anticancer properties. Some have shown that treatment of carcinomas with various concentrations of Tualang honey was effective in causing a dose- and time-dependent cell death. The inhibitory concentration of 50% was found to be at 4% and the maximal inhibition of cell growth was at 15%.

The studies also showed that honey promoted a time- and dose-dependent inhibitory effect . More research is still needed to understand honey as an anticancer agent.

Mitigates the harmful effects of cancer treatment

Radiation is a very useful tool to treat different types of cancer, it is even often used after surgery or chemotherapy. This therapy has been shown to be effective in increasing survival rates up to 5 years, but it has significant side effects. When side effects cause a need to stop treatment, the therapeutic benefit of radiation is also reduced.

Some research looks at the effects of honey in preventing or improving mucositis, xerostomia, and wound healing, and it appears to provide benefits in this area.

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How is it taken?

Honey is easy to add to the diet. To get a little boost of antioxidants from honey, we can use it the way we normally would use sugar. It is excellent for sweetening natural yogurt, coffee or tea. We can also use it for cooking and baking.

Experimentation is key when substituting honey for sugar. Baking with honey can cause excessive browning and moisture. As a general rule of thumb, we will use ¾ cup of honey for every cup of sugar, reduce the liquid in the recipe by two tablespoons, and lower the oven temperature by 3ºC.

As a home remedy, it can be applied directly to minor burns or wounds, or taken orally for coughs. However, we must remember that we should not give honey to babies under one year of age due to the risk of botulism.

In addition, we must bear in mind that honey is a type of sugar, so consuming it will cause blood sugar levels to rise. Even eating large amounts of honey, especially consistently over a long period of time, can contribute to weight gain and increase the risk of diseases such as type 2 diabetes or heart disease. Therefore, it is recommended to consume at a low to moderate amount.

How to choose the best honey?

Raw honey will have a label that says “raw honey.” If the label doesn’t include the word “raw,” or it doesn’t come directly from a farmer or beekeeper who can confirm that it’s raw, it’s likely the manufacturer has pasteurized it.

The label may also describe the type of flowers that the bees pollinated to make that honey. The type of flower determines the flavor, color, and antioxidant and vitamin content of the honey.

Many types of pasteurized honey have labels that say “pure honey.” Others may say “clover honey” or may claim to come from a local area. Even products labeled “organic honey” may not be raw, as some manufacturers pasteurize organic honey.

Some processed honey products contain high fructose corn syrup or other additives. Check the label to make sure the honey is pure.