Honey is probably the oldest known sweetener for human kind. A healthy replacement for sugar, honey also has tremendous nutritional value and health benefits. Honey can also be used as a beauty aid and has medicinal value too. Honey is obtainable all through the year but is special in summer and fall when it is collected fresh. Read on to find out how you can partake of the benefits of honey.
Nutritional value of honey
Honey contains sugars like fructose and glucose, minerals such as potassium, magnesium, calcium, sulfur, chlorine, sodium, phosphate and iron. Vitamins B1, B2, B6, B3, B5, and C are predominant in honey. Based on the quality of the nectar and the pollen, these values keep differing. Several hormones are also present in honey and apart from all these small quantities of copper, iodine and zinc are present in honey.
Benefits of honey
- Honey is broadly used as an anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal.
- Honey has wonderful wound healing capacities. It can cure burns, ulcers and wounds and is used as an antiseptic curative agent.
- Honey can improve performances in athletes. The ergogenic aid present in honey helps in this.
- Honey improves blood quality by keeping a check on the free radicals.
- Honey is great substitute for sugar in people with type 2 diabetes and is good for cholesterol patients.
- Honey relieves nasal congestion, helps digestion, gives relief from cough and helps in conjunctivitis. It acts as a sleeping aid when taken with hot mug of milk.
- Honey is known to soothe tissues and help retain calcium in the body.
- Honey is known to be effective in countering anemia.
- Consumption of honey can rev up your immune system.
Honey as a beauty aid
- Pat your skin with honey while you go for a shower and keep patting till the honey gets really sticky, this helps improve blood circulation and lends a glow to the skin.
- Rinse your hair with honey and lime; this will add shine to your hair.
- Add ¼ teaspoon of honey to your bath and this will bring a glow to your skin.
- Mix honey with oatmeal and ground almonds, this will make for an excellent face cleansing scrub.
- When apple and honey are blend together and applied on the face for about 15 minutes, it acts as a brilliant moisturizer while also making the skin firm and soft.
- As a facial mask mix 2 tsp. of honey and 2 tsp. of milk and leave it for 10 minutes, this will get your skin glowing.
- Honey acts as a lotion for dry skin, mix ¼ tsp lemon, 1 tsp vegetable oil and 1 tsp honey and leave it for 10 minutes.
Flavor deserts and fruits using honey
- Honey is widely used to flavor deserts and fruits. The acidity prevailing in honey helps the fruit retain its original color. While using honey for fruits ensure that you use mild one lest the honey overpowers the fruit flavor.
- To preserve fruits for the coming winter season, add honey to the crushed or sliced fruit and freeze it. For whole fruits, add 1 cup of water and two cups of honey till the fruit is covered.
- Honey can be used as a topping for fruit puree.
- Yogurt and honey make for a great desert.
- Substitute honey for sugar while you make pancakes, it will taste great.
- Banana with some honey to top it makes for a great pudding.
- Mix honey and butter and sprinkle over your desert like cakes, this gives it a sugary and glossy look.
Recipe for a quick desert with honey
Fried bananas and honey
Bananas cut lengthwise
Drizzle lemon juice over the bananas. Melt butter in frying pan and cook bananas till brown on both sides. Transfer to serving plate, add almonds to the remaining butter in the pan and cook till light brown. Mix honey, heat a little and spread over the bananas, serve hot.
Buying honey and storing it
Top of the Page: Benefits of Honey
- Buy honey that is labeled 100% pure.
- Darker the color of honey, the better will be the flavor and quality.
- Buy honey that has not been pasteurized, clarified or filtered. Get it straight from the farm.
- Honey should be stored in airtight jars lest it absorb any moisture from the atmosphere.
- Store in a cool dry place.
- Honey exposed to cold temperatures tends to thicken. Honey exposed to high temperatures tends to get darker in color.