Honey contains small amounts of niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium chlorine, sulfur, copper, iodine and zinc. Honey also contains vitamins B1, B2, C, B6, B5 and B3.
Depending largely upon the floral source of the honey, darker honeys are generally higher in antioxidant content than lighter honeys and have been shown to be similar in antioxidant capacity to many fruits and vegetables on a dry weight basis.
If you are trying to lose weight, honey can be of great help to you. Common refined dietary sugars in our food supply lack minerals and vitamins and are called empty calories for this reason. They need nutrients from our bodies in order to metabolize our cholesterol and fats. When our bodies lack these nutrients, metabolism is impeded. Honey contains 22 amino acids and a variety of minerals essential for its metabolism and therefore helps you in reducing weight.
Eating honey raises your blood sugar level slightly. This results in a controlled increase of insulin, which then causes the amino acid tryptophan to enter your brain. The tryptophan is converted into serotonin, which promotes relaxation. Finally, in the pineal gland, with the aid of darkness, the serotonin is converted into melatonin, a well-known cure for sleeping disorders. Honey also contains the ideal 1:1 ratio of fructose to glucose making it a super food for glycogen storage. Sufficient glycogen storage is necessary for restful sleep. When your liver runs out of glycogen at night, your brain starts to trigger stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenalin to convert protein muscle into glucose.
Several studies have shown that buckwheat honey is as effective as over-the-counter cough suppressants. Parents frequently report that it helps children sleep without coughing all night. Honey is remedial in cases of persistent coughs and sore throat. The strong antibiotic properties it contains coats the throat and reduces irritation. Note: Pediatricians do not recommend giving honey to children under 1 year of age because of the risk of botulism spores.
Raw honey makes a sterile, painless and effective wound dressing. Apply it directly to open cuts, abrasions and burns then cover. The results will occur quicker than with conventional alternatives, such as salves and creams.
The enzymes present in honey aid in digestion of food, especially raw sugars and starch. The difference between common sugar and honey is that, the sugars contained in honey are predigested by the bees and can be quickly and easily absorbed in the human digestive tract. Thus it is quite useful for digestive disorders. Honey can help to heal ulcers and upset stomachs. It has also been proven to regulate intestinal function, alleviating both constipation and diarrhea.
Ancient Greek athletes took honey for stamina before competing and as a reviver after competition. Honey is known for its effectiveness in instantly boosting performance, endurance and reducing muscle fatigue. The glucose in honey is absorbed by the body quickly and gives an immediate energy boost, while the fructose is absorbed more slowly providing sustained energy and is especially useful in fitness for energy and stamina.