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Honey, often described as the Nectar of the Gods, is a thick, sticky, golden liquid produced by bees. Honey is a natural sweetener, but it is not calorie-free. Every 100 grams of honey has about 300 calories as against sugar that has about 400 for the same quantity.
Made by honey bees using the nectar of flowers, honey is a gorgeous amber fluid that has been used as a natural sweetener for ages. Although honey is considered superior to sugar in terms of its nutritional value, the latter is still consumed over 40 times more. Fitness professionals should rather switch to the heavenly nectar for reasons more than one- and we are discussing them next!
What makes honey better than sugar?
Honey is natural and less refined than sugar. It is sweeter and so you would need less of it to sweeten things up. This nectar contains nutrients like Vitamin B, Zinc, and a ton of antioxidants that make it anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory. The body has to spend more energy digesting honey and it is less likely to be stored as fat when compared to sugar. Honey has a lower glycemic index than sugar and is suitable for diabetics. It doesn’t contain additives and preservatives, and last but not least, honey has more flavor than sugar.
How can honey help with weight loss?
One of the hottest weight-loss trends these days is honey, cinnamon, and lemon. Cinnamon is an appetite suppressant, lemon kick-starts digestion, and the natural sweetness of honey causes your brain to stop sending sugar-craving signals.
This makes the trio of honey, cinnamon, and lemon a potent weight-loss alternative, and it is perhaps the single most important metabolism-boosting detoxifying drink you can sip every day to lose weight. Maybe you could decide to try it someday.
When should honey be consumed?
You should aim to replace all refined sugar with honey. We recommend you start your day with a cup of this weight-loss elixir and here’s how you can do it:
Add half a teaspoon of cinnamon powder to boiling water, allow it to cool, add lemon juice, and stir with one teaspoon of honey. This liquid mixture provides a major fraction of the amino acids and minerals that you require for metabolism and digestive system. It shall also keep you energized throughout the day.
If you are craving for unhealthy foods, you could drink a cup of the above-mentioned potion of honey, cinnamon, and lemon to effectively control your appetite. While eating anything just before or immediately following exercise is not a good idea, this mixture is an exception. It is so because this potion provides instant energy and to amplify the effects of your workout.
Our metabolism is at its lowest when we are sleeping because our bodies recognize this as a state of rest. British pharmacist Mike McInnes found that taking a spoonful of honey in warm water at bedtime fueled the liver, speeded up metabolism, reduced the level of stress hormones, and cut down on fat storage.
What are the other benefits of honey?
Since ancient times, honey is known for its medicinal uses. Warm water with lemon and honey is used to soothe sore throats and disinfect the mouth. Honey is also used as a laxative and has been used to dress wounds, burns, and ulcers. Honey absorbs moisture and is even used as a cure for nappy rash.
Which honey is best?
Some of the better varieties of honey you can look for at your local health food store or supermarket are Sidr, Hymettus, Beech Honeydew, Heather, Tualang, Manuka, Ulmo, and Slovenian. Raw honey is considered superior to commercial honey, but may not be easy to source. Honey that is local to your region is more likely to boost immunity against seasonal allergies.
Should you like to know, organic honey from New Zealand is known for its exceptional quality and purity.
Honey will not make your weight magically disappear but it still makes for a great choice for those trying to get in shape. It has a distinct edge over the empty calories of refined sugar. This nectar can speed up a sluggish metabolism and satisfy sweet cravings. In combination with a healthy diet and plenty of exercise, honey can help you attain and maintain a healthy weight.
It's Honey vs Sugar
What’s spectacular about honey is that not only is it sweeter to sugar, it also comprises many elements and antioxidants required for the proper functioning of the body. It’s more than just a flavoring for your honey cakes and breakfast cereals. Unlike in the case of raw honey, sugarcane undergoes a series of vigorous processing, which eliminates its vitamins, minerals, proteins, and organic acids, which is why sugar, the end product, possesses no nutritional value- it’s just a mass of energy in the form of sucrose.
Honey, particularly the raw and unpasteurized one, offers a set of unique benefits that may be enough to make you replace sugar with honey in your diet for good.
1. Rapid energy source
Following a nutrient-dense, wholefood diet is vital for increased energy levels, improved metabolism, and overall health and wellness. If you’re looking for a quick energy boost before starting work or a workout, honey may do a much better job than a sugar-laden drink. It is so because this syrupy liquid contains more calories, with one teaspoon of honey containing 22 calories versus 16 calories per teaspoon sugar. This shouldn’t be worrying about weight-watchers because even though honey has more calories, you’ll consume less of it. After all, it’s sweeter and denser than table sugar.
But table sugar is essentially just sucrose, a product of one fructose and one glucose molecule bonded together. Therefore, your body has to use its enzymes to split the two. In the case of honey, fructose and glucose are already kept separated by an enzyme added by honeybees. Honey is beneficial because it releases fructose gradually into the bloodstream, thus providing sustained energy that lasts for hours.
2. Low glycemic index
Honey has a lower Glycemic Index (GI) than sugar, which means it is absorbed at a much slower rate than table sugar. Sugar’s high GI indicates that it increases blood sugar levels rapidly and thus causes sharp insulin spikes. This may contribute to weight gain, obesity, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and heart diseases.
3. A great remedy for cold and cough
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), honey is a demulcent or a substance that relieves irritation and soothes the throat and mouth by creating a protecting film. Research also shows that honey functions similar to dextromethorphan, which is commonly found in over the counter cough medicines to improve cough and related sleep problems in children.
4. Prevents allergy symptoms
Consuming locally produced honey introduces pollen spores carried by the bees from local plants into your system. The allergen in honey activates your immune system and helps the body build immunity against it naturally. Taking one tablespoon of honey per day before the pollen season can help your body be prepared for several types of allergies. However, it’s important here that you get locally produced raw honey.
Some researchers state that honey has potent antibacterial properties that may be handy in fighting different types of bacteria in the body. It may also be used to treat burns and wounds because it prevents infections and promotes healing.
Apart from being incredibly sweet and delicious, honey can have a remarkable impact on our overall health. The key is to remember that not all honey is going to be the same. While certain kinds of honey may have antibacterial properties and a nutritional value that is a hundred times more pronounced, others may just be clear, sparkling fluids that are just visually pleasing but not strong competitors against sugar due to their lack of nutritional importance.
To get the most out of your honey, stick to purchasing the least processed and raw types. These types should include organic honey and can range from the one made of flowers, fruits, or special types of leaves too. They all differ in their respective nutritious content and even in taste but that won’t stop them from creating a positive difference to your health, right from the word go!
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