Honey or Shahad is a natural sweet liquid product manufactured by the honey bees using the nectar from different flowers by the regurgitation and evaporation process. Almost 80 % of the honey is included with the monosaccharides, fructose, maltose, sucrose, glucose which makes it a sweet taste. It is a very good source of minerals and vitamins like iron, sodium potassium, calcium, magnesium, chlorine, phosphate, amino acids, C, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6 and etc. Some of the top countries like China, Turkey, Ukraine, United States and Russia are famous for producing the natural honey. Honey has many medicinal health benefits to people who use it regularly. Its antiseptic and antibacterial property helps the people in many ways. I have used the honey for many years and felt its beneficial effects as well as its harmful effects in my daily life to my heart. After many years of study, use and experience, here I am pointing few benefits of having the honey daily.
Benefits of Honey/Shahad
Prevents from Free Radicals
- Acidic nature of the honey (pH level 3.2 to 4.5) helps in preventing the bacterial growth (kill bacteria lies in a defensin-1 protein), prevent the Gastro esophageal reflux as well as its antioxidant nature helps in cleaning up the free radicals.
Treats Gastroenteritis and Bacterial Diarrhea
- It is very helpful to use as an oral rehydration solution among children, treat the newborns with gastroenteritis and bacterial diarrhea.
Treats Diabetic Ulcer
- Honey is helpful in effectively treating or healing wounds of diabetic ulcers when the patient does not respond to the antibiotics.
Promotes Wound Healing
- Shahad also helps in successfully healing the wound of burns (Medihoney).
Treats Seasonal Allergies
- Honey, a natural mixture of 600 compounds, is really very helpful in treating the seasonal allergies like cough (reduces the frequency) due to upper respiratory infection, throat irritation, ocular allergies, asthma, hay fever and etc.
- A type of honey called Manuka honey prevents dermatitis which is radiation-induced in the patients of breast cancer.
Reduces Risk of Cancers and Heart Diseases
- Natural honey is full of flavonoids, antioxidants which effectively help in reducing the risk of cancers and heart diseases.
Acts as Anti Fungal and Anti Bacterial Agent
- Honey is a good anti fungal and anti bacterial because of the availability of hydrogen peroxide (honey bees add an enzyme which is able to make hydrogen peroxide).
Improves Body Stamina
- Honey maintains the glycogen levels in body and thus improves the body stamina and performance during sport in the athletics.
Treats Various Body Disorders
- Regular uses of honey improves the eyesight, reduces weight, cure bronchial asthma, impotence, urinary tract disorders, early ejaculation, diarrhea and nausea too.
Maintains Blood Sugar Level
- Instead of being full of sugar (not like white or artificial sugar), honey plays a great role in maintaining blood sugar level because of its simple sugar contents like fructose, glucose, sucrose and maltose.
Full of Friendly Bacteria
- Honey is full of friendly bacteria and has around 6 species of the lactobacilli as well as 4 species of the bifidobacteria that’s why it has many mysterious therapeutic benefits.
Moisturizes and Nourishes Skin
- As it moisturizes and nourishes the skin, reduces dryness and wrinkles, used as home beauty treatment for years by various women.
- Taking honey (1 tsf) with warm water in the morning with empty stomach is beneficial for the weight loss.
Maintains Hair Growth
- Honey is very beneficial for the hair growth if it applied to the hair scalp by diluting it with water, as it provides the moisture and nourishment to the hair and maintains the hair growth.
Types of Honey
There are many varieties of are found (40 types) each with different taste and properties, some of are:
- Orange Blossom
Nutritional Benefits of Honey/Shahad per 100 g
(Source: USDA Nutrient Database)
Energy: 304 kcal
Sugar: 82.12 g
Dietary fibers: 0.2 g
Protein: 0.3 g
Fat: No fat
Carbohydrates: 82.4 g
Water: 17.10 g
Vitamin C: 0.5 mg
Riboflavin or vitamin B2: 0.038 mg
Niacin or vitamin B3: 0.121 mg
Pantothenic acid or B5: 0.068 mg
Vitamin B6: 0.024 mg
Folate or vitamin B9: 2 μg
Calcium: 6 mg
Iron: 0.42 mg
Zinc: 0.22 mg
Magnesium: 2 mg
Phosphorus: 4 mg
Sodium: 4 mg
Potassium: 52 mg
How to Choose Best Honey
If you want to make your kitchen friendly with honey, it is very necessary to have raw and pure honey to your kitchen instead of refined honey. Raw and pure honey is full of natural enzymes, vitamins and minerals. Dark and thick honey is full of higher antioxidant and antibacterial level.
Disadvantages of Honey
- Eating honey more than the daily upper limit can cause some gastric problems including stomach cramps, diarrhea and bloating.
- Eating more honey may interfere with the absorption of nutrients in the small intestine because of its fructose content which can lead to the abdominal discomfort.
- Eating more honey may cause long-term harmful effects on gastrointestinal tract.
- As it is of acidic nature, prolonged use of acidic foods may cause cavities, tooth decay, corrode the tooth enamel as well as the linings of stomach, intestines and esophagus which may lead to the acid reflux disease.
- Honey is full of glucose; taking excess amount of it may cause insulin insensitivity.
Precautions about Honey
It is best to avoid feeding honey to the infants as it may contain the spores of Clostridium botulinum which is not hazardous to the adults or older children. But it may cause some serious illness (infant botulism, a paralytic disorder) to the infants (below one year). It may suppress the immune system to grow and develop against infection in the infants.
Do not heat above 108 degrees Fahrenheit as it gets transformed to the glue-like material (a toxin, ama) which is very hard to digest as it sticks to the tissues. So, it is best to avoid cooking the honey required for some recipes.
How Much Honey to Eat Daily
Generally, eating 3 to 5 tsf of honey daily is enough for an adult person. Normally it is taken in the morning with empty stomach and at the bedtime. 1 tsf of Honey provides around 60 calories, so getting 180 calories (3 tsf) a day is enough to maintain its beneficial effects and normal functioning of the body organs. Eating more than limitations leads to the serious illness whether it is adult or children. However, a person already suffering from any health disorder must consult by the physician.