Honey: Nutrition Facts, Health Benefits and More


Honey is a staple in homes all over the world since ancient times. Some people use it as a healthier alternative to sugar, while others like it because of the many health benefits it offers. Some studies suggest that it can be used to calm coughs, relieve asthma, improve bone growth, etc.

Honey-Nutrition-FactsDue to its unique set of amazing properties, honey is becoming a huge hit in various industries. One of them is the cosmetic industry. Honey contains a unique set of health benefits, making it an extremely sought after ingredient in the personal care sector. According to Mintel, more than 75% of women are likely to buy personal care items containing honey, such as hair care items, moisturizers, and soaps.

Have you ever wondered what honey is made of? Can it be used as natural medicine? Here’s everything you need to know.

Honey Nutrition Facts

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, a tablespoon of honey contains:

17g sugars

64 calories

17g carbs

0g protein

0g fats

0g fiber

1.      Sugar

Honey-Nutrition-FactsHoney contains 80% natural sugar, mainly glucose and fructose. The high level of fructose makes honey taste sweeter than regular sugar.

2.     Carbs

The calories in honey are from carbs, more specifically sugar. The GI (glycemic index) depends on the type of honey but in general, it’s between 45 – 64. Just for comparison, the GI of regular sugar is around 65. It’s important to note though, that the GI of honey is healthy, which means that its sugars are gradually absorbed into the bloodstream and result in improved digestion. That being said, foods with high GI should be avoided because they result in an elevated release of insulin.

3.     Protein

Honey-Nutrition-FactsHoney contains only traces of protein, which means it can’t satisfy your daily protein requirements.

4.     Water

Honey contains about 18% water. Beekeepers believe that the lower the amount of water, the better the honey’s nutrition value.

5.     Vitamins and Minerals

Honey-Nutrition-FactsHoney contains 2% vitamins, minerals, protein, and pollen.

The vitamins and minerals present in honey help fats and cholesterol in the organism to get metabolized, thus preventing weight gain and improving the overall health.

Honey contains the following vitamins: pantothenic acid, thiamin, vitamin B6, riboflavin, niacin, as well as amino acids. As far as minerals are concerned, the list includes iron, calcium, magnesium, copper, manganese, zinc, phosphorus, sodium, and potassium. Generally speaking, darker types of honey are richer in minerals than their lighter counterparts.

6.      Antioxidants

Honey is rich in flavonoids and phenolic acids which are a great source of antioxidants. Antioxidants are thought to reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease.

Health Benefits of Honey

Honey has been used as a medicine throughout history. Here are some health benefits high-quality honey can offer.

1.     Source of antioxidants

Honey-Nutrition-FactsAs mentioned earlier, honey is rich in antioxidants that prevent cell damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals can contribute to the development of chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer and speed up the aging of the skin.

2.     Rich in phytonutrients

Phytonutrients are plant compounds that protect the plant from dangers like harmful ultraviolet radiation or insects. In honey, they’re responsible for the antioxidant, antifungal, and antibacterial properties. Phytonutrients are also believed to give honey its anti-cancer and immune-boosting properties.

3.     Antifungal and antibacterial properties

Honey-Nutrition-FactsResearchers have found that good-quality honey can efficiently kill harmful fungus and bacteria. This is because it contains a natural antiseptic called hydrogen peroxide.

4.     Remedy for sore throat

Honey is an efficient natural remedy for sore throat. All you need to do is add it to a cup of hot tea with some lemon. It’s can also be used to ease a cough. Studies have found that honey is as effective as dextromethorphan, an ingredient found in OTC cough drugs.

5.     Help treat digestive problems

treat digestive problemsHoney can help with a number of digestive problems like diarrhea. It can also help treat Helicobacter pylori bacteria which causes stomach ulcers. Honey is also a powerful prebiotic, which means that it boosts the growth of good intestinal bacteria thus improving gut health.

6.     Heals wounds

Some types of honey, like Manuka, are used in hospital settings to heal wounds. Research has found that Manuka honey can reduce infection and speed up healing due to its ability to kill germs and facilitate tissue regeneration. It should be noted, though, that the honey used in medical settings is sterile and inspected.

Common Questions About Honey

1.     What different types of honey are there?

Honey-Nutrition-FactsHoney can be obtained from various flowers including blueberry, clover, sage, buckwheat, lavender, etc.

Honey can be also pasteurized or raw. Pasteurized honey is processed, heated, and filtered to create a product that is clear, easier to pour and package. Raw honey isn’t processed in any way, i.e. it comes straight from the beehive.

2.     Why does honey crystallize?

Crystallization of honey is a natural рhеnоmеnоn by which hоnеу transformsfromliquidintoѕеmі-ѕоlіdѕtаtе. Crуѕtаllіzаtіоn of honey often causes confusion among consumers. Many of them believe that if the hоnеу сrуѕtаllіzеѕ, it is low quality, unnatural, or not stored properly. The truth is, сrуѕtаllіzаtіоn іѕ аn аttrіbutе оf рurе nаturаl hоnеу. Сrуѕtаllіzаtіоn doesn’t affect the honey’s quality, it only changes its texture and color.

3. How to store honey?

Honey-Nutrition-FactsStore honey in a cool place, away from direct sunlight. It’s best to keep it in a tightly sealed container, preferably the original one. If this isn’t possible, use a plastic or glass container but avoid metal because it can oxidize.

4.  Is honey healthier than sugar?

Due to the presence of vitamins and minerals, it is safe to say that honey is healthier than sugar. Studies have even shown that honey is much better for people suffering from diabetes. Be sure to buy honey from reputable manufacturers, because some lower-quality ones may contain syrup.

Article Submitted By Community Writer

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