10 Surprising Health Benefits of Honey For Skin, Hair, And Health | Fitness Factory
Honey is a sweet, thick liquid made by honeybees.
The bees collect sugar — mainly the sugar-rich nectar of flowers — from their environment (1).
Once inside the beehive, they repeatedly consume, digest and regurgitate the nectar.
The end product is honey, a liquid that serves as stored food for bees. The smell, color and taste depend on the types of flowers visited.
Nutritionally, 1 tablespoon of honey (21 grams) contains 64 calories and 17 grams of sugar, including fructose, glucose, maltose and sucrose.
It contains virtually no fiber, fat or protein (2).
It also contains trace amounts — under 1% of the RDI — of several vitamins and minerals, but you would have to eat many pounds to fulfill your daily requirements.
Where honey shines is in its content of bioactive plant compounds and antioxidants. Darker types tend to be even higher in these compounds than lighter types
High-quality honey contains many important antioxidants. These include organic acids and phenolic compounds like flavonoids (5).
Scientists believe that the combination of these compounds gives honey its antioxidant power (5).
Interestingly, two studies have shown that buckwheat honey increases the antioxidant value of your blood (6, 7).
Antioxidants have been linked to reduced risk of heart attacks, strokes and some types of cancer. They may also promote eye health
The evidence on honey and diabetes is mixed.
On one hand, it can reduce several risk factors for heart disease common in people with type 2 diabetes.
For example, it may lower “bad” LDL cholesterol, triglycerides and inflammation while raising “good” HDL cholesterol (9, 10, 11).
However, some studies have found that it can also increase blood sugar levels — just not as much as refined sugar (10).
While honey may be slightly better than refined sugar for people with diabetes, it should still be consumed with caution.
In fact, people with diabetes may do best by minimizing all high-carb foods (12).
Keep in mind, too, that certain types of honey may be adulterated with plain syrup. Although honey adulteration is illegal in most countries, it remains a widespread problem
High LDL cholesterol levels is a strong risk factor for heart disease.
This type of cholesterol plays a major role in atherosclerosis, the fatty buildup in your arteries that can lead to heart attacks and strokes.
Interestingly, several studies show that honey may improve your cholesterol levels.
It reduces total and “bad” LDL cholesterol while significantly raising “good” HDL cholesterol (9, 10, 11, 17).
For example, one study in 55 patients compared honey to table sugar and found that honey caused a 5.8% reduction in LDL and a 3.3% increase in HDL cholesterol. It also led to modest weight loss of 1.3%
Topical honey treatment has been used to heal wounds and burns since ancient Egypt and is still common today.
A review of 26 studies on honey and wound care found honey most effective at healing partial-thickness burns and wounds that have become infected after surgery (20).
Honey is also an effective treatment for diabetic foot ulcers, which are serious complications that can lead to amputation (21, 22).
One study reported a 43.3% success rate with honey as a wound treatment. In another study, topical honey healed a whopping 97% of patients’ diabetic ulcers (22, 23).
Researchers believe that honey’s healing powers come from its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects as well as its ability to nourish surrounding tissue (24).
What’s more, it can help treat other skin conditions, including psoriasis and herpes lesions
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