Hey honey bee, please don't sting me, I'm allergic to you, and my epipen is MIA. By the way though, it's pretty safe to say many of us are fans of your product, and there is good reason for this. It's delicious, and can be quite nutritious! So thank you honey bee, in all your glory, let's talk about 7 reasons why I'm one of your biggest fans, and 1 reason why some may need to be careful when it comes to consuming honey.
Honey is a supersaturated sugar solution, predominately composed of fructose. This means it is mostly a carbohydrate, however raw, unprocessed honey contains some protein (a variety of amino acids), vitamins and minerals, and enzymes.
Honey, in its more natural form, is a rich source of antioxidants including vitamin C, as well as flavonoids and alkaloids. Antioxidants help fight free radicals, therefore they can help prevent oxidative stress and inflammation (which is linked to chronic disease). Raw honey contains pinocembrin, an antioxidant compound that may be helpful for cardiovascular and cerebrovascular health.
It contains B vitamins (energy production), and vitamins A and E (antioxidant vitamins), D (bone health, and deficiency has been linked to everything from mood disorders, to digestive disorders, to heart disease, to cancer, to weakened bones and osteoporosis, to asthma), and K (bone health and blood clotting).
Other nutrients in honey include magnesium (cofactor for more than 300 enzymes), sulfur (detoxification), phosphorus (necessary for bones), iron (needed for your red blood cells to carry oxygen), calcium (bones and muscle contraction), potassium (regulates blood pressure and heart rate), iodine (thyroid hormone synthesis), copper (red blood cell production), and manganese (cofactor for antioxidant enzymes).
Raw honey is loaded with enzymes like amylase, which helps digest carbohydrates.
Honey contains antimicrobial and antibacterial compounds and has been used to treat skin rashes, burns, and scrapes, as a moisturizer, and for treating colds and coughs, as well as sore throats.
You maybe wondering about the sugar factor. If you are healthy, active, and aren't trying to lose weight, unprocessed raw honey is better for you than sugar!
Here's that note of caution: if you have weight to lose, have diabetes, problems with fructose and carbohydrates, or other reasons you are avoiding sugar, minimizing your intake of honey is recommended.