Honey is very likely the world's most ancient sweetener and has been in use throughout the world across the millennia. Honey's popularity and versatility is evident from the variety of uses it has enjoyed throughout history. From ancient times, honey has not only been used as a sweetener but as a natural beauty agent and has been employed by some cultures for its medicinalattributes.
It can be a good substitute for sugar in our drinks and food. But it is also good for many other things and treating many other conditions.
Although it is available throughout the year and because of its antibacterial properties, pure honey can be preserved indefinitely.
Honey belongs to the carbohydrate group of foods (sugars and starches). Honey is composed of two main sugars,levulose and dextrose. These sugars do not need to be broken down by the digestive process, so honey is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream, giving a quick energy boost to the body. honey is easily digested by the most sensitive stomachs, despite its high acid content. It helps kidneys and intestines to function better. So honey is composed primarily of carbohydrates and water, and also containssmall amounts of a wide array of vitamins and minerals, including niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium and zinc.
Of recent interest is the antioxidant content of honey.
Honey contains a variety of flavonoids and phenolic acids
which act as antioxidants, scavenging and eliminating free
radicals. Generally, darker honeys havehigher antioxidant
content than lighter honeys.
Let’s see how honey is good for our health:
HONEY AND SPORTS
Honey has been fueling athletes for centuries. According to ancient folklore, Greek and Roman athletes used honey to increase strength and stamina. Today honey can be found on training tables before the big game and in carbohydrate replacements for use during exercise.
Thebenefits of carbohydrate (CHO) consumption prior to, during and following endurance exercise are well-documented. In addition, recent research supports the benefit of CHO consumption prior to and during high-intensity exercise of shorter duration (e.g., soccer matches, swimming competitions, and even high-volume resistance exercise). Carbohydrates eaten before and during exercise help maintain bloodglucose levels and prevent premature fatigue. After exercise, carbohydrates are necessary to replenish muscle and liver glycogen and prepare the athlete for the next training bout.
Honey is a natural source of readily available carbohydrates providing 17 grams of carbohydrates per tablespoon, It´s a rich source of carbohydrates and provides a quick source of energy.
Honey and AntioxidantsAntioxidants are nutritive and non-nutritive substances that can retard or inhibit oxidation and/or neutralize the effects of damaging "free radicals". In humans, oxidative stress is implicated in an ever growing number of chronic diseases including cardiovascular disease and cancer. Thus, increasing the body's antioxidant content may help protect against cellular damage and the development of chronicdiseases. Research indicates that honey contains numerous phenolic and non-phenolic antioxidants, the amount and type of which depends largely upon the floral source of the honey. Darker honeys (e.g., buckwheat) are generally higher in antioxidant content than lighter honeys and have been shown to be similar in antioxidant capacity to many fruits and vegetables on a dry weight basis.
Dailyconsumption of honey raises blood levels of protective antioxidant compounds in humans, according to research presented at the 227th meeting of the American Chemical Society in Anaheim, CA, March 28, 2004. Biochemist Heidrun Gross and colleagues from the University of California, Davis, gave 25 study participants each about four tablespoons buckwheat honey daily for 29 days in addition to their...