If you open up your pantry, you probably have a jar of honey. For many of us, honey is a household staple that can be used for just about anything. Honey has a long list of health benefits and has been used by ancient civilizations like the Greeks, Egyptians, Romans and Chinese as a remedy to treat everything from wounds to diseases.
Honey has long been known to improve the well-being of hair and skin. Lately, researchers have found that regular consumption of honey may even benefit your cardiovascular health by cutting your risk of a heart attack. The findings suggest that the antioxidants found in honey make it a great sweet treat to help your heart.
Honey helps reduce risk of heart attack
The study was conducted by Iranian researchers in 2008 that looked at 38 overweight or obese individuals. Each person was given 70 grams of natural honey over the course of 30 days. Body weight, body mass index (BMI), body fat weight, and total cholesterol were all measured prior to the study and after it was completed.
The researchers found that honey led to mild reductions in body weight and body fat, and a greater reduction in cholesterol. The study concluded that consuming natural honey can help reduce cardiovascular risk factors, which may contribute to heart attack.
In an alternative study by Egyptian researchers, raw honey was found to decrease venous blood pressure, which is the blood pressure from the right ventricle. When venous blood pressure is reduced, it lowers the congestion in the venous system.
To maximize the benefits of honey for cardiovascular health, opt for the raw or natural kind, and not the processed variety. If possible, buy from local bee farmers to get the honey that is freshly removed from the hive.
Honey is very simple to consume as well. If you want to begin ingesting 70 grams daily, it can easily be incorporated into warm water or tea, or spread over a toast. You can also add a pinch of cinnamon for extra health benefits.
It is important to note that if you are diabetic, you should speak to your doctor prior to consuming honey, as it may cause radical shifts in your blood sugar levels.
Alternative benefits of honey
Aside from boosting cardiovascular health and cutting your risk of a heart attack, honey can work in numerous other ways to improve your health. Here are some alternative benefits of honey you may or may not have known about. Honey:
- Possesses antibacterial and antifungal properties
- Increases athletic performance
- Reduces throat irritation and cough
- Helps regulate blood sugar
- Can be applied to burns and wounds to promote healing
- Acts as a natural probiotic
- When combined with other ingredients, can be used to moisturize and promote healthy skin
As you can see, there are numerous reasons to enjoy honey, as it can work in many different ways to improve overall health.