Honey, the benefits you don’t expect
Reading time: about 4 minutes
Honey is a viscous sugary substance made from flower nectar processed by bees. Each type of honey originates from the flowers or plant secretions, resulting in a unique set of floral aromas that contribute to a distinctive taste experience, known since ancient times.
How is honey classified?
There are various types of honey that can be differentiated according to the origin of the nectar (acacia honey, linden honey, chestnut honey); by color (white honey, blond honey); or depending on the extraction method (raw honey, centrifuged honey, pressed honey).
Honey in ancient times
The earliest processing of honey was carried out by the Egyptians. In Ancient Egypt, honey was reserved for the higher classes, it had a ritual value, and it was employed in medicine to treat digestive disorders, burns, and wounds. Over the years, honey became increasingly widespread, and each civilization began to utilize it, exploiting its various qualities. For instance, the Sumerians used honey for cosmetic purposes, while the Babylonians and Assyrians discovered its beneficial properties in treating skin ailments, eye conditions, and digestive issues.
Honey started to be used in the preparation of delicious dishes, and it was particularly consumed by athletes, as Pythagoras considered it an elixir for ensuring a long and healthy life. Throughout the Middle Ages, honey continued to play a significant role in the culinary realm and began to be employed as a preservative. During the Renaissance, honey became a true protagonist in the culinary field, used in various ways to sweeten and add flavor to casseroles, meats, and stews.
What does science say?
Actually science asserts that honey is a potent energizer as it is rich in B-vitamins. This is why it is often recommended for individuals engaged in sports, as it is abundant in non-complex carbohydrates. Additionally, honey provides a small supply of trace elements, such as vitamin C and iron. Being a highly sugary food, known as "empty calories," honey is frequently advised in the diets of children, athletes, and debilitated individuals.
Let's explore the health benefits of honey:
- Antiseptic: It can counteract the action of bacteria resistant to antibiotics, making it very useful in cases of cough and sore throat.
- Decongestant: It can act on intestinal bacterial flora.
- Anti-anemic, improved blood circulation: Anemia is caused by a deficiency of iron in the blood; if honey is mixed in warm water and consumed, it has a positive impact on red blood cells, gradually increasing their count. It also promotes improved heart rate.
- Skin aid: It can have emollient, soothing, and purifying effects, promoting tissue renewal.
- May stimulate memory and concentration.
- Can alleviate anxiety and stress.
Application of honey against seasonal ailments
- Milk and honey: A remedy for sore throat, cold, pharyngitis, and influenza that takes advantage of the decongestant and antibacterial properties of the product.
- A spoonful of honey for cough: It thins mucous secretions, soothes irritation of the airways, and has sedative properties.
Honey as an alternative to sugar consumption.
Sugar has often been associated with numerous health problems. Honey is considered a better alternative to sugar because it has a lower glycemic index, meaning it has a lesser impact on blood sugar levels, making it a more balanced choice for those seeking to manage their diet consciously.
Honey is appreciated for its delicious flavor and diverse culinary applications as a natural sweetener in a variety of dishes, adding a distinctive touch of flavor and providing health benefits. In desserts, replacing sugar with honey is advantageous, as honey is more liquid and easy to caramelize. On the palate, honey preparations are more aromatic and golden and they stay soft and fresh for a longer time.
Would you like to substitute sugar with honey? Here are some sweet recipes perfect for this purpose:
- Honey and Walnut Cake: Replace sugar with honey in the walnut cake recipe. Its rich flavor pairs perfectly with chopped walnuts for a moist and nutritious cake.
- Honey and Cinnamon Cookies: Add honey as a substitute for sugar, accompanied by cinnamon, perfect for enhancing flavors.
- Baked Pears with Honey and Cocoa: Sprinkle halved pears with a mixture of honey and cocoa powder before baking. Serve them with chopped hazelnuts.
- Honey Tiramisu: Replace part of the sugar in the mascarpone cream with honey for a uniquely and aromatically sweet version of the classic tiramisu.
In summary, this natural sweetener not only satisfies the palate with its enveloping flavor but also significantly contributes to the overall well-being of the body. By using honey, we can experience benefits for the immune system and diet.
Read the instructions for use carefully.
Read the instructions for use carefully.
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