The Miracle Food: Health Benefits of Honey

Honey is a sweet product made from flower nectar combined with an enzyme secreted by honey bees, concentrating by reducing the moisture in the honeycomb cells. The answer to the question “Are there how many types of honey in the world?” is unknown. Honey type changes according to the structure of the bees and the region. Among the benefits of honey, besides its antiseptic and antibacterial properties, there are important factors for human health such as controlling cholesterol levels, managing diabetes, treating stomach problems, fighting infections, and increasing energy.

It has recently been discovered that honey has been used to heal infected wounds since ancient times and has increased interest in this topic. In the early 20th century, the wound healing properties of honey began to be investigated. The introduction of antibiotics in the 1940s temporarily prevented the use of honey for therapeutic purposes. Concerns about the development of resistance to antibiotics have led to the search for alternative treatment options and increased interest in both the antimicrobial and wound healing properties of honey. The antimicrobial effect of honey is due to the high sugar content, low moisture content and acidic properties, as well as hydrogen peroxide, flavonoids and phenolic compounds (caffeic acid and ferulic acid) it contains (Khan et al., 2009: 1705).

  • Regulates cholesterol

High cholesterol is a frightening health problem. Many studies have proven that honey is a healthy source for controlling high cholesterol levels. One study reported that consuming 70 g of honey regularly for 30 days could reduce these levels by 3%. With the help of honey, you can also increase your good cholesterol levels.

  • Natural sweetener

It can be used as a substitute for sugar in many foods and beverages. It contains about 69% glucose and fructose and is a better natural sweetener than normal white sugar.

  • Help to lose weight

Although it has more calories than sugar when consumed with warm water, honey helps digest the fat stored in your body. Similarly, honey with lemon juice or cinnamon helps in losing weight. Just mix honey with warm water and you can add lemon juice and cinnamon optionally, and your drink is ready!

  • Nature’s energy enhancer

The benefits of honey go beyond its wonderful flavor. Honey is a great source of natural carbohydrates that provide power and energy to our body and is known to be effective in improving athletes’ performance, endurance, and muscle fatigue instantly. Natural sugars play an important role in preventing fatigue during exercise. Glucose in honey is quickly absorbed by the body and provides an immediate increase in energy, while fructose is absorbed more slowly by providing more energy. It is also known that blood sugar levels remain quite constant compared to other types of sugar as a result of the use of honey.

  • Strengthens the immune system

Among the many health benefits of honey, the most impressive thing is that honey is a powerful immune system booster. Antioxidant and antibacterial properties help improve the digestive system. It is effective in keeping you healthy and fighting diseases. In the cases of cold and flu, honey is also effective for you to heal faster.

  • Honey is Anti-Cancer

Can honey help fight cancer? Yes, honey has carcinogenic preventive and anti-tumor properties. There are many studies indicating the potential role of honey in the prevention and progression of tumors and cancer.

  • Honey strengthens the brain

Studies have shown that honey has natural antioxidant and therapeutic properties that can prevent cognitive decline and dementia and enhance the cholinergic system and circulation of the brain.

  • Treating Gastric Problems

Stomach problems are common in children and adults. Thanks to the antimicrobial and antioxidant components found in honey, you can treat stomach complications organically.

  • Reduces diarrhea time

Research on honey has shown that honey reduces the severity and duration of diarrhea. Honey also increases potassium and water intake, which is particularly useful in case of diarrhea. It has also been shown that honey demonstrates the ability to block the effects of pathogens that commonly cause diarrhea.

  • Rich in vitamins and minerals

Honey commonly contains vitamins C, calcium, iron, phosphate, sodium, chloride, potassium, magnesium, vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6.

  • Antiseptic property

Honey has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, so it is used as a natural antiseptic in traditional medicines.

  • Antioxidant properties

It contains nutraceuticals which are very effective in removing free radicals from the body.

  • Cleanses skin

Due to its anti-inflammatory and bacterial cleansing structure, honey is among the natural products recommended for acne treatment. Honey facial masks help improve acne in a shorter period of time while preventing acne and acne formation. In addition, it captures moisture to make the skin softer.

  • Honey for infections

Bacteria are the main cause of various types of infection. You can prevent your body from these infections by simply adding honey to your daily diet. Thanks to its antibacterial properties, it acts as a shield against various infections that prevent further damage to your body.

Nutritional Values, Calories, and Nutrients of Honey

People have known that honey is an important indispensable food source for thousands of years (Çakmak, 2014: 3). Honey, which we use for its nutritional properties, has an important place, especially in child nutrition. Inadequate iron in mother’s and cow’s milk can be met by eating honey. In addition, honey contains enough vitamin C, which is the daily necessity of people. 50 g of honey taken at breakfast regulates daily emptying of the intestine, as well as showing beneficial effects on children’s cough, bronchitis, summer diarrhea, and intestinal laziness (Güneş, 2003: 225).

Honey, which is a very healthy food, unfortunately, has a very high calorie and a high glycemic index. Therefore, those who have diabetes or those diagnosed with prediabetes and those who have weight problems or who strive to lose weight should consume honey, taking into account the sugar content and calories. Excessive consumption of honey can bring harm rather than the benefit and may cause weight gain in the long term. The benefits of honey come from macro and micronutrients and various phytochemicals.

The table of calories and nutritional values of honey is as follows:

Nutritional Values ​​of Honey (Source: US National Nutrition Database) 
Food Nutritive value Percentage
Energy 304 Kcal 15%
Carbohydrate 82.4 g 27%
Protein 0.3 g  1%
Total Fat 0 g  0%
Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
Dietary Fiber 0.2 g  1%
Sodium 4 mg  0%
Potassium 52 mg 1%
Carotene -beta 0 µg 
Cryptoxanthine -beta 0 µg 
Vitamins contained in honey
Food Nutritive value Percentage
Folates 2 µg  0%
Niacin 0.1 mg  1%
Pantothenic Acid  0.1 mg 1%
Pyridoxine 0 mg  0%
Riboflavin 0 mg  2%
Thiamine 0 mg  0%
Vitamin A 0 IU  0%
Vitamin C 0.5 mg 1%
Vitamin E 0 mg  0%
Vitamin K 0 µg  0%
Minerals contained in honey 
Calcium 6 mg  1%
Copper 0 mg  2%
Iron 0.4 mg  2%
Magnesium 2 mg  0%
Manganese 0.1 mg  4%
Phosphorus 4 mg  0%
Selenium 0.8μg 1%
Zinc 0.2 mg  1%

As seen, there is no fat and cholesterol in the honey. Energy and sugar density is high. Besides, the difference of honey from normal sugars with a pH of 3.29-4.87 due to the various acids it contains is that it enters the blood without being digested. Choline in honey is a substance that prevents liver fat. The most common vitamins in honey are Vitamin B, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, and Vitamin E. Many minerals such as copper, iron and calcium are present in trace levels. Protein content and quality are not sufficient. Despite this, the benefits of honey are numerous.

Effects of Antimicrobial Properties of Honey on Human Health

It is scientifically proven that honey is a sacred or healing food in the inscriptions of many civilizations and holy religious books and contains many nutrients important for human health (Güneş 2001). Honey has positive effects in the treatment of nearly 500 diseases such as ulcer and other stomach diseases, heart failure, palpitations, bone diseases, cough, allergy, bronchitis, anemia, sore throat, nervous diseases, and certain skin and nervous system diseases. It is also known that it relieves constipation, cleanses the blood in the body, dilates vessels and facilitates blood circulation, strengthens the heart, facilitates fat digestion, and heals wounds and burns (Molan 2000).

Honey has been used medically for thousands of years against current bacterial infections and gastrointestinal diseases (Mundo et al. 2004). Today, antibiotics have replaced honey. However, the continuous use of antibiotics leads to the formation of antibiotic-resistant agents. In addition to pharmaceutical products, there is an increasing opinion that bacteria are becoming increasingly resistant to antibiotics and that synthetic drugs and antibiotics are not used because of the adverse effects they cause. To solve such problems, researchers are constantly researching and synthesizing new drugs. Unfortunately, the price of such drugs is very high and the production rate is low. This confusion re-activates alternative treatment methods such as apitherapy (treatment with bee products).

Nowadays, the increase in the return to nature affects this situation positively. The products produced by bees, commonly food/health contributions, revive the medical use of honey (Garedew et al. 2004). Therefore, most of the researches in recent years has focused on plants and aromatherapy products (Lusby et al., 2002). The importance of honey antimicrobial properties for human health stems from the fact that it does not allow the development of food pathogens and degrading microorganisms and helps in the healing of infections.

According to a survey conducted in the United States in 2000, it is seen that 65% of consumers regularly eat honey and 1/3 of these people prefer honey for healing. It was also observed that, in this 1/3 slice, 73% of the consumers used honey against sore throat, 18% against colds, 4% against allergies and 2% against cough. According to the survey, 39% of the 274 consumers ate honey once a week and 31% once in 2-3 months. It is also stated by the survey participants that honey is also used for making face masks thanks to its moisturizing properties (Anonymous 2000).

Along with antimicrobial and antioxidant activities, high viscosity, stimulation of the immune system and anti-inflammatory properties of honey, when it is applied to the organism externally, it prevents the breathing and accelerates the healing of wounds and burns (Lusby et al., 2002). The use of honey in burns and infected wounds ensures that the wounds become clean and sterile, thus closing wounds more quickly. Cleaning the wounds with honey is also beneficial for seeing the inside of the wound more clearly. It provides convenience in case of medical intervention (Molan 2000).

The medical effect of honey in infected wounds and burns is widely reported in the literature in Egypt, Greece, and India. In burns, honey is mixed with grease or animal oils as 1/3 honey and 2/3 oil and applied on the wound. The Greeks make ointments by adding vinegar, honey, plant stalk, sodium carbonate and a small amount of bile in addition to oil, thus preventing the wound from inflammation. This mixture, called Enhemes, has antiseptic properties due to the osmotic pressure of honey, and alkali PH of sodium carbonate and bile (Lusby et al. 2002).

When the wounds are treated by applying honey, the dead cells are easily separated from the wound. In addition, honey can be applied to the non-dry crusts formed in burns. In addition, when a bandage is applied to a wound with honey, it is stated that dirt is removed with the bandage when the bandage is removed and therefore the wound is cleaned. Infected wounds, especially anaerobic bacteria can smell bad. In such cases, the deodorizing feature of honey is utilized (Molan 2000).

Findings from a recent study have focused all the attention on honey. During colon cancer treatment performed through laparoscopy from the abdomen, tumors usually occur around the incision in the abdomen where the device is used (Hamzaoğlu et al. 2000). They injected tumor cells into 60 mice to study the effect of honey application to this region. Honey was applied to the incision site of 30 of them and not to the other 30. As a result, tumors occurred in 30 mice that had no honey applied to the incision canal, but only 8 of the 30 mice that had honey introduced into the incision canal had tumors. Scientists working on colon cancer have stated that a substance contained in honey can cause the destruction of cancer cells (Anonymous 2004a). Swellam et al. (2003) reported that honey shows antitumor and antimetastatic properties in bladder cancer.

In the symposium on “Beneficial Foods for Oral Health” organized by the American Dental Research Association in Chicago (Illinois), honey was declared to prevent tooth decay. Dr. Molan, who works at the Honey Research Unit at Waikato University in New Zealand, stated that honey significantly reduces the amount of acid produced by Streptococcus mitis, Streptococcus Sabrinus, and Lactobacillus Casii, the bacteria responsible for dental caries. It has been reported that this is due to the inhibition and antibacterial effect of honey on the production of dextran in the dental plaque, and this effect of honey can be utilized in the treatment of inflammatory infections of the gums. Swelling and pain are also reduced by the anti-inflammatory components of honey (Anonymous 2004b).

Honey is a very special, nutritious and healthy food. It is recommended that honey be consumed regularly every day due to its benefits, and that consumption of honey should be done carefully and controlled in special cases such as allergies, diabetes, and obesity. In summary, little is known about the ability of honey to inhibit food degrading microorganisms. Naturally, it has been determined by various studies that some honey have the effect of slowing and/or stopping the development of pathogen and food degrading microorganisms. Investigation of these properties and incorporation of honey into food for preservation purposes will provide great benefit to human beings, especially considering the desire to consume natural food today. Therefore, there is a need to investigate the effect of honey antimicrobial and antioxidant properties when honey is used with various foods.

Honey as an Antioxidant

The oxidation reaction caused by the interaction between food components and oxygen in the air can cause undesirable problems such as color, taste and odor changes in foods, often with reduced nutritional value. Substances that are naturally present in food or added externally and which inhibit oxidation reactions are generally defined as antioxidant substances. Honey is a food that naturally has antioxidant properties.

The antioxidant content of honey varies depending on the vegetable source from which the nectar is produced and seasonal and environmental factors. The antioxidant properties of honey are caused by enzymes such as glucose oxidase, catalase, peroxidase, flavonoids, phenolic acids (benzoic, ferulic, coumaric and caffeic acid), carotenoids, tocopherols and vitamins such as thiamine, riboflavin and ascorbic acid. It was reported that the antioxidant properties of honey were related to the total phenolic content and that the antioxidant properties of honey increased with the increase of total phenolic substances. Furthermore, it has been reported in various studies that the phenolic content of dark honey is generally higher than that of light honey and therefore their antioxidant properties are higher.

In a study examining 16 honey samples collected from various regions of the world between 2006-2007, it was reported that the antioxidant capacities of dark honey such as blueweed, cedar, pine and vetch honey were higher than light honey. In another study conducted on Bangladesh honey; It was stated that the colors and proline amino acid content of different honey samples collected were indicative of antioxidant capacity. In the same study, it was found that multiflora honey samples had higher antioxidant capacity than monofloral honey samples depending on the phenolic acid and flavonoid types and amounts.

It has been reported that honey prevents enzymatic browning reactions in fruits and vegetables and oxidation reactions that occur in lipids and cause rancidity due to its antioxidant properties and polyphenol oxidase enzyme activity. In addition, honey has a protective effect on health by keeping metal ions which accelerate the formation of free radicals resulting from oxidation reactions.

  • The Effect of Honey on the Digestive System

In addition to the antioxidant and antimicrobial effects of honey, it has been shown that the metabolites in its composition have positive effects on the digestive system. Honey has been reported to inhibit the development of Helicobacter pylori, the main causative agent of gastric ulcer, and reduce the effect of the disease. In another study conducted on rats, it was found that the gastric lesions of honey-fed subjects decreased in daily diet.

  • Effect of Honey on Cancer

It is stated in the studies that honey is a natural food that has inhibitory or slowing effects on cancer cells and tumors since it contains natural metabolites of nectar and bee secretions collected from different regions. It has been reported that the inhibitory effect of honey on cancer cells is caused by bioactive components such as phenolic acids and flavonoids, and these compounds inhibit the formation of cancer-causing free radicals and oxidative stress. Due to these features, many studies have indicated that honey consumption has positive effects on the treatment of stomach, colon and liver cancer.

Health Benefits of Pine Honey

Pine Honey is a type of honey known as secretory honey. It should not be confused with normal pollen honey because it has very different properties in terms of benefits. We have written for you the benefits of Pine Honey from the other honey varieties in terms of healing.

  • The Benefits of Pine Honey to Hair: Pine honey has a corrective effect on the hair roots and weak roots. Pine Honey nourishes hair and contributes to the strengthening of hair follicles.
  • Effect of Relieving Fatigue: Pine honey has content that fulfills the energy of a human being and thanks to this feature, no symptoms of fatigue are observed in people who consume frequently. The energy of pine honey causes the fatigue to be relieved and the sluggish feeling to be disappeared.
  • Benefits of High Blood Pressure Patients: High blood pressure is one of the most common diseases in the world. With the special mineral and healing properties of pine honey, it is very beneficial for people with high blood pressure to lower blood pressure and keep it in balance.

  • Help to our digestive system: Pine honey normally contains an acidic structure, although, in terms of sugar, it contains fructose and glucose substances. Even though the pine honey contains high acid, it is easy to digest even for the most sensitive stomach. Pine honey does not cause indigestion and has a stomach-healing structure.
  • Treating Wounds: Pine honey has the ability to absorb moisture from the air. In this way, the extracts contained in the contents dissolve the wound and inflammation, accelerating the regeneration activity of the cells. This acceleration takes place through a special structure that feeds cells and skin.

Other Benefits of Pine Honey:

  • It is good for flu, cough and throat diseases.
  • Treats eye disorders and improves eyesight.
  • Eliminates irregularities that break heart rhythm.
  • It is good for anemia and strengthens the immune system.
  • It has a full effect on those suffering from vascular occlusion. It enlarges veins.
  • Prevents stomach discomfort.
  • Prevents allergic reactions and prevents allergies.
  • Corrects diarrhea.
  • It has a natural painkiller effect that prevents pain.

External Use and Effects of Pine Honey:

When pine honey is mixed with warm water, it has a significant weight loss effect. In particular, people who suffer from obesity can consume pine honey to solve their stomach problems. It also provides a sense of satiety by reducing appetite. Therefore, pine honey has a structure that can fully meet all kinds of health needs as natural healing for humans.

  • It increases the production of collagen fibers that increase the healing process in wounds.
  • It has an anti-inflammatory effect which reduces puffiness or swelling around the wound.
  • It is good for dry eye syndrome, ie itching, and turbidity in the eyes.

Nutritional Values ​​of Pine Honey:

  • In 100 g of honey;
  • There are 288 calories.
  • It meets 5 mg of potassium need,
  • 0.4 mg of iron need,
  • 23gr of water need,
  • 11 mg of sodium need,
  • And 0.4 mg of protein need.

Take 1 teaspoon of honey and melt it in 1 teaspoon of warm water. Continue to heat until it reaches the consistency of a lotion and then apply it to your eyes after cooling and leave for half an hour and rinse. Consuming pine honey by mixing it in warm water is good for stomach diseases and prevents the feeling of hunger. It is absolutely dangerous for pine honey to be consumed by infants under 1 year of age. Because since the pine honey is acidic, the stomach of a baby will not be able to digest the honey, and thus, it will cause harm.

Health Benefits of Chestnut Honey

Chestnut honey is known as a type of honey obtained by bees from chestnut flowers since June. I have researched the benefits of chestnut honey which is very delicious honey with its unique taste and consistency. Chestnut honey is known to accelerate blood circulation and make the blood move more easily in the body. Here are the benefits of chestnut honey:

  • It has a germicidal effect. With this feature, it can be a supportive treatment method in many diseases in the body.
  • It makes the body resistant to diseases that occur in cold months.
  • It has a curative effect on throat infections.
  • It has a softening effect on dry cough problems.
  • With its antioxidant effect, it prevents harmful oxidative processes in the body and allows the body to be cleaned.
  • It shows therapeutic properties in lung diseases.
  • It is a preventive therapy option against cancer types.
  • Heals wounds in the mouth.
  • Prevents excessive gas accumulation in intestines.
  • It facilitates digestion and makes it easier to digest food consumed during the day.
  • Chestnut honey can be used to treat constipation since it keeps water in the intestines.
  • It regulates blood sugar and prevents people from fasting during the diet.
  • Urinary bladder infections can be treated with chestnut honey.
  • It is curative in bone tissue injuries.
  • It can be used in the treatment process of asthma.
  • Chestnut honey may be preferred to treat diarrhea-related abdominal pain problems.
  • Chestnut honey relieves stomach burning in ulcers and gastritis problems.
  • It can be applied to skin wounds in the form of ointment and can provide rapid healing.
  • It can be applied as a compress on the skin in mild and moderate burns.
  • Chestnut honey accelerates blood circulation and allows blood to move more easily in the body.
  • It is an effective preventive treatment option against jaundice.
  • Chestnut honey can be consumed to eliminate hemorrhoid problems.
  • Chestnut honey stops prostate growth.
  • It is effective in expelling kidney stones.

In addition to all these, it can be said that the benefits of chestnut honey are not limited to those mentioned above. Accordingly, those who wish to learn more about the benefits of chestnut honey may also review the following information:

  • Chestnut honey removes halitosis.
  • It can be applied to the painful area in a local application and can be pain-relieving.
  • It can prevent problems such as arteriosclerosis.
  • It can protect blood vessels against many diseases by preventing blood clotting.
  • Chestnut honey is known for its cholesterol-lowering effect.
  • It allows the heart to work healthier and stronger.
  • It removes the general weakness of the body and makes it more energetic.
  • Chestnut honey relieves muscle cramps and allows relaxation.
  • Chestnut honey is a natural treatment for men who want to increase sperm count.
  • It enhances sexual power and allows both men and women to perform much better.
  • It is perfect for balancing blood pressure.
  • When chestnut honey is mixed and consumed with cress, it becomes a natural expectorant mixture.
  • Chestnut honey can provide relief for people struggling with shortness of breath.
  • It allows you to sleep more comfortably.
  • When chestnut honey is applied to the face in the form of a mask, it eliminates acne problems on the skin.
  • Chestnut honey prevents exfoliation on the skin.
  • Chestnut honey removes wrinkles on the skin caused by aging.
  • Chestnut honey allows eyes to see better.
  • It can be a source of protective healing against eye diseases such as cataracts.
  • It has the effect of relieving tooth pain.
  • Chestnut honey is effective in removing stains on the skin.
  • It is a good treatment option for rheumatism problems.
  • Chestnut honey can be preferred as a natural therapy for sciatica problems.
  • It is therapeutic in psoriasis.
  • Chestnut honey is good for tonsillitis.
  • Relieves the feeling of pain in the chest.
  • Chestnut honey is good for headaches.
  • Chestnut honey strengthens the memory.

Best Honey Products You Can Buy Online

  • Rowse Pure & Natural Honey 1.36kg – Pack of 6 (Price: $184.40)

  • Cameron Highlands Wild Honey 500g (628MART) (12 Count) (Price: $186.88)

  • Stockin’s Pure Natural Honey, 5 Lb. Bottle (Case of 6) (Price: $188.98)

  • Wedderspoon Raw Premium Manuka Honey KFactor 16+, 52.8 Ounce (Price: $187.48)

  • Honey Creamy California Yellow Star Thistle – 1 Gallon (12-Pound) Bucket (Price: $189.00)

Savaş Ateş

I like eating honey a lot. We have a huge interest in bees and how they make honey. I have visited honey farms. I have talked to a lot of honey sellers. I read a lot of books about them. I want to share my knowledge with you.

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