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Friday, 11 August 2017

How honey acts as a powerful antioxidant and enables good sleep

Honey is the popular sweet yellow liquid produced by bees; it has often been dubbed food of the royals, liquid gold, etc because of its many great attributes. And interestingly and above all, honey is renowned for its many healing benefits, chiefly amongst them being its antioxidant and sleep promoting attributes.

Honey as a powerful antioxidant

According to a publication in the Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine, the “medicinal importance of honey has been documented in the world's oldest medical literatures, and since the ancient times it has been known to possess antimicrobial property as well as wound-healing activity.” Modern research findings have proven indeed that raw honey taken on a daily basis increases the levels of the antioxidants which promote health in your system. Antioxidants are substances that inhibit oxidation or hold back reactions promoted by oxygen or peroxides; they help block free radicals in the body that cause infections and sicknesses.

Harvesting Honey

Honey boosts the immune system, working as a blockage against many number of incapacitating diseases. This precious liquid contains polyphenols, which are highly potent antioxidants that have proven to reduce the risk of heart disease as well as cancer.

Studies reveal that the healing property of honey is as a result of its ability to offer antibacterial activity, and maintain a moist wound condition during treatment. It also possesses a high viscosity which aids in providing a protective barrier thereby warding off infection. Honey’s immunomodulatory property is very important in healing of wound researchers say. Meanwhile the antimicrobial activity in most honeys comes from the enzymatic production of hydrogen peroxide. There is also another kind of honey, non-peroxide honey or manuka honey which shows great antibacterial effects even when the hydrogen peroxide activity is stopped.

Honey as natural medicine

In a research done with some 25 people, they were given about four tablespoons of honey each day for 29 days while taking their regular diets. At the end of the study, there was a marked difference in their blood samples taken before and after; result showed association with honey consumption and an improved level of disease-fighting polyphenol present in the blood. Flavonoids, pinocembrin, pinostrobin and chrysin, which are potent disease fighting antioxidants, are greatly contained in honey. 

The Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine further lends credence to the disease-fighting activities of honey and how it does it. It states that the mechanism of honey “may be related to the low pH level of honey and its high sugar content (high osmolarity) that is enough to hinder the growth of microbes. The medical grade honeys have potent in vitro bactericidal activity against antibiotic-resistant bacteria causing several life-threatening infections to humans. But, there is a large variation in the antimicrobial activity of some natural honeys, which is due to spatial and temporal variation in sources of nectar.”

Honey aids in good sleep

An ancient Chinese saying encourages “eating honey every night.” Even folk healers in Europe advise you drink a cup of warm milk with a teaspoon of honey just before retiring to bed - since the Middle Ages. Also, traditional Mexican healers for many years have recommended a teaspoon of honey taken with chamomile. Fact is raw honey in two major ways is able to make you sleep and wake up rejuvenated in the morning.

Firstly, try eating honey before you go to bed at night; it has the ability to replenish the liver’s glycogen supply as well as prevent the brain from activating a crisis search for fuel, which can hinder sleep. Also, consuming raw honey promotes the release of melatonin in the brain, slightly raising your insulin levels, and this brings about the release of tryptophan in the brain. This is an amino acid that occurs in proteins, essential for growth and normal metabolism, and a precursor of niacin. It converts to serotonin, which is in turn converted to melatonin.

Restorative sleep

Raw organic honey has been described as a real miracle food to eat directly prior to going to bed; it helps your body break down fat and allows your liver to successfully process poisons and contaminants in the body. 

The hormone, Melatonin which is secreted by the pineal gland promotes the body’s immune system and aids in the restoration of tissues in times of rest. On the other hand poor sleep has been known to give rise to hypertension, overweight, type 2 diabetes, heart problems, stroke as well as arthritis. In that honey reliably aids good sleep simply implies that it is able to work against all of these health problems.

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