Food

9 Honey benefits for health – Discover all types and their properties

The honey is fruit nectar of flowers and excretion of bees. One of the oldest foods in the world, the origin of honey is prehistoric. Archeological expeditions record product residues in domestic utensils in Egypt. Speaking of Egypt, it was in the country that the art of beekeeping (bee breeding) began. The peoples of Mesopotamia used honey for medicinal purposes.

Greece also contributed importantly to beekeeping. The philosopher Aristotle defined the characteristics of queen bees, worker bees and drones. Males fertilize the queen, who keeps the “house in order”. The workers carry out the maintenance and defense of the hives. It’s up to them to clean the hive, take care of the newborns, protect them from predators, help develop the combs and make honey and royal jelly.

If the Egyptians used honey for medicinal purposes, it was considered currency in Europe in the Middle Ages. In some countries, trees belonged to the government. The explanation? They were hive shelters and, when swarms appeared, their discoverer registered them in a registry office and left them as an inheritance.

THE HISTORY OF HONEY IN BRAZIL

Brazilian beekeeping began in 1839 with the Portuguese priest Antonio Carneiro. He brought from his country the African species Apis Mellifera. The first state to adopt the practice of beekeeping was Rio Grande do Sul. In 1831, the species Apis Mellifera Lingustica L. was introduced in the country.

Brazilian honey production took other directions with the accidental emergence of a species. In 1956, geneticist Warwick Kerr, a member of the US Academy of Science traveled to Africa and brought African bees at the request of President Juscelino Kubitschek. The animals were taken to a farm located 20 km from Rio Claro (SP). Through Kerr’s carelessness, 19 bees ran away. African bees crossed with males that were already on the farm. From this accident a more productive species emerged.

The biggest producers are Argentina, New Zealand and China. Brazilian honey has international quality seals. The approximately 350 thousand beekeepers guarantee the position of 8th country that most exports honey in the world. Much of the national production is sold to Canada, Germany and the United States.

HONEY BENEFITS

Honey was one of the most consumed foods in Ancient Greece. In the Roman Empire, the use of honey as a medicine was widespread. And it’s no wonder that its medicinal properties have been perpetuated for centuries. Honey is a source of carbohydrates, potassium, calcium, phosphorus and magnesium. Other qualities are the presence of antioxidants, antibacterial and antimicrobial action. Discover the 9 benefits of honey and see why it should be part of your diet.

  1. Strengthens the immune system –  Ascorbic acid (vitamin C), gluconic acid, flavonoids and phenolic acids are antioxidants. These substances promote cleaning and expel toxins that attack the defense cells. Consuming honey regularly helps fight colds, flu and even more serious illnesses like Alzheimer’s and cancer.
  2. Gives energy –  Honey has carbohydrates and fructose (type of sugar). Fructose takes time to be digested, which guarantees extra doses of energy. Food helps to increase the performance of athletes. Cyclist Robert Marchand covered nearly 30 km in an hour. The 105-year-old athlete who started pedaling at 68 says that the secret is to drink water with honey during the rides.
  3. Soothes sore throats –  The antibacterial action of honey helps fight the bacteria Streptococcus pneumoniae and Klebsiella pneuminae ( pneumonia), Mycobacterium tuberculosis (tuberculosis) and Haeophilus influenzae (sinusitis). The tea with garlic, lemon and honey alleviates the discomfort of colds. The action of the drink is enhanced by propolis.
  4. Leaves skin healthy –  You may have heard that honey is good for the skin. Flavonoids, phenolic acids and carotenoids prevent premature aging. Because of this, the food is present in several cosmetics. Honey also helps to heal wounds, burns and ulcers.
  5. Moisturizes hair –  Honey is also a holy remedy for hair. One alternative is to mix it with your moisturizing cream. You can also make a hair mask with honey and extra virgin olive oil. Apply the mixture to the strands after washing the hair, let it act for 30 or 40 minutes, rinse with cold water and apply conditioner.
  6. Protects the heart –  Antioxidants in honey reduce bad cholesterol. Food also helps to reduce the amount of C-reactive proteins associated with heart problems. But beware of excess! The recommended daily serving of 25 grams contains 77.25 calories. Also, honey has a high glycemic index, meaning it is quickly absorbed and can cause spikes in glucose.
  7. Soothes –  Honey helps sleep because it is a source of magnesium, a powerful natural relaxant. What’s more, the food improves the production of serotonin, the famous wellness neurotransmitter.
  8. Improves bowel function –  The combination of fiber and honey is an ally of the bowel. The pair does not let bad microorganisms enter the blood and stimulates the action of good intestinal bacteria. This improves stool consistency and facilitates evacuation.
  9. Reduces the risk of urinary infection –  The antibacterial action of honey helps fight the bacteria Streptococcus faecalis, pseudomonas aeruginosa and proteus species, which are involved in urinary infections.

TYPES OF HONEY

Honey is a food with many varieties. The differences between the types of honey are due to origin, color and perfume. Check each species:

  • Wild honey : the most popular honey in Brazil comes from several flower species. It has antioxidant and calming properties. It’s great for intestinal, respiratory, and skin problems;
  • Orange blossom honey: clear, delicate flavor, soothing action and improves bowel function;
  • Eucalyptus flower honey: dark and with a strong flavor, this honey alleviates symptoms of urinary and intestinal infections and respiratory problems;
  • Broom blossom honey: from orange, raspberry blossom and buckwheat. Indicated for airway problems;
  • Bracatinga honey: dark color and bitter taste. It acts on circulatory, stomach and intestinal problems;
  • Honey from the assa-peixe flower: light in color, it is in the formulation of various syrups. This type also heals insect bites and burns.

HOW TO CONSUME HONEY?

First, always buy honey with a Federal Inspection Service (SIF) seal. This certification guarantees quality in the production and sale of products of animal origin. With a quality product, you can consume it with yogurt, fruit, in the preparation of cakes, biscuits and pies. But, did you know that there are combinations to increase the nutritional action of honey? Find out what they are:

  • Honey and Fruit: great duo for carbohydrate source and pre-workout snack option;
  • Honey and cereals: both improve bowel function;
  • Honey and milk: both are sources of tryptophan, an amino acid that increases well-being and stimulates the production of serotonin, a well-being neurotransmitter. The combination improves sleep quality.

RECIPES WITH HONEY

Honey cannot be heated to continue its properties. However, if necessary, the National Health Surveillance Agency (ANVISA) recommends heating up to 70°C. Now that you know this secret, learn 4 honey recipes for every meal.

WHOLEMEAL LIGHT GINGERBREAD

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of honey tea;
  • 2 and a half cups of all-purpose flour;
  • 1 teaspoon of yeast;
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda;
  • 130 grams of semisweet chocolate;
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon;
  • 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder;
  • ½ coffee spoon of powdered cloves;
  • ½ nutmeg coffee spoon;
  • ½ teaspoon of powdered ginger;
  • 2 cups of coconut water tea;
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence.

Preparation mode

Blend everything in a blender, except for the semisweet chocolate. Grease and sprinkle a rectangular dish with whole wheat flour. If you like, use cupcake pans . Bake the blender mixture in a preheated oven at 190°C for 25 minutes. Cut the chocolate into squares and melt in a bain-marie. Take the cake out of the mold and place the melted chocolate in the dough. When cold, place in refrigerator and leave for 20 minutes.

HONEY AND MUSTARD SAUCE

Ingredients

  • 2 heaped tablespoons of honey;
  • 2 tablespoons of mustard;
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil;
  • 1 tablespoon of white vinegar;
  • 1 pinch of black pepper;
  • 1 glass of orange juice.

preparation mode

Mix all the ingredients well and, if necessary, mash them with a fork.

ROASTED CHICKEN WITH HONEY AND ORANGE

Ingredients

  • 4 skinless and boneless chicken fillets;
  • ½ cup of honey tea;
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper;
  • ½ teaspoon of paprika;
  • 1 teaspoon of curry;
  • 60 ml of oil;
  • 180 ml of orange juice;
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice;
  • 1 teaspoon of salt.

Preparation mode

Mix juices and spices well. Leave the steaks submerged in this broth overnight. Preheat the oven to 180°C and grease a mold with oil. Roast the chicken for 20 or 25 minutes.

HONEY AND OAT COOKIES

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon of melted coconut oil or whatever you have at home;
  • 2 tablespoons of honey;
  • 1 egg;
  • 2 tablespoons of water;
  • 1 teaspoon of yeast;
  • 1 cup of quinoa tea;
  • 1 cup of whole wheat flour.

preparation mode

Mix ingredients until dough is thick. Shape as desired and shape with aluminum foil. Bake for 25 minutes in a preheated oven at 180°C.

Now that you know what honey is for, you have no excuses! You can’t even ask, “but where to buy honey?”. Supermarkets and natural food stores sell the product. Search for your favorite store and enjoy our consumption tips.

What benefits of honey did you know? Tell us how you use honey and enjoy our healthy eating tips.

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Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.

Robert Asprin

Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.

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