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Let's Thank the Bees for Honey

By Paul Rothbart

In addition to supplying us with meat, the animal kingdom produces a number of byproducts that also benefit our health. Milk from several different animals provides cheese, butters and other types of dairy. From the insect world, we have honeybees who supply us with, not surprisingly, honey. Sweet and tasty, it's good to cook with, on toast, and excellent in tea. Honey is a good natural sweetener. It also has many health benefits of which you may not be aware. Here are some ways honey can improve health. 

Upper Respiratory Tract Infections

Researchers at Oxford University found that honey lowered the frequency and frequency of coughing in patients with upper respiratory tract infections. It is thought that honey may serve as a less expensive option than antibiotics for some people. The research was started due to concern over bacterial resistance to antibiotics building up due to their overuse. A 2017 study at the University of Illinois at Chicago found that honeybees produce an antimicrobial compound that is contained in honey. This is the source of honey's potential to fight infection and is being considered as a way to develop new antibiotics.

Prevent Hardening of the Arteries

One of the leading causes of death worldwide is artery hardening. A paper published in 2019 stated that honey contains more than 180 substances. These include natural sugars and a large number of vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals. The researchers came to the conclusion that these compounds have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that contribute to arterial health and help prevent arteries from hardening. Honey also fights oxidative stress, another factor in hardening. Other research has shown that replacing sugar with honey raises the antioxidant content of the blood which is very good for circulatory health.

Fight Metabolic Syndrome

Metabolic syndrome is related to five factors: a large waistline, high blood pressure, a high level of blood triglycerides, a low level of good cholesterol, and high blood sugar. This condition, found in about one-third of adults in the U.S., is quite dangerous. Researchers have found a number of ways that honey fights these conditions. With a low glycemic index, honey won't spike blood sugar or insulin and improves insulin sensitivity. Honey also has been shown to combat weight gain and reduce triglycerides while increasing good cholesterol. That is a ton of benefit from just one food.

Nature supplies humans with pretty much everything we need to survive and stay healthy. Even small creatures like bees can produce a food source with huge impact. Honey is one of the better choices as a natural sweetener and will come with many health boosts. 

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Annapolis, Md.

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