Benefits of Honey
Honey is one of the most natural sweeteners you will find. There are no preservatives or added flavorings in honey. It is simply produced by honey bees from the nectar of plants. The variations in color and flavor of honey are dependent upon the nectar source. There are more than 300 unique flavors of honey in the United States.
Honey is a natural sweetener. It is slightly sweeter than sugar, so less can be used to achieve the same level of sweetness. Additionally, honey acts as an emulsifier. It helps to thicken dressings, sauces, and marinades. Lastly, it provides and retains moisture to foods. Honey has the capacity to act as a natural food preservative. It can reduce enzymatic browning in fruits and vegetables and prevent lipid oxidation in meats.
Not only does honey have several benefits in food preparation, but it also has numerous health benefits as well. Since honey is made from plants, it contains phytochemicals, which serve as a source of antioxidants. In general, darker honeys have a higher antioxidant content than lighter ones. The antioxidant properties of honey improve immunity and reduce inflammation. Furthermore, honey has qualities that improve gastrointestinal function. Honey contains a variety of oligosaccharides which can function as prebiotics. Bifidobacteria, which is considered good bacteria, is found in the gut and can be increased by consuming probiotics and prebiotics. Therefore, honey added to dairy products such as yogurt can enhance the growth, activity and viability of Bifidobacteria. Honey has also been used for healing wounds. Manuka honey, found in New Zealand, has been used to treat chronic ulcers and pressure sores.
Honey is produced in several different varieties from all over the world. It demonstrates amazing health benefits and is one of the purest sweeteners you will find. Next time you think about sweetening your tea, pancakes, or coffee; remember all the great things about honey.