Is honey good for you? Learn about the buzz here.

 Bees are, well, the bee’s knees. They are master pollinators. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, these busy pollinators “contribute to 35 percent of the world’s total crop production, pollinating 87 of 115 leading food crops worldwide.” 

And, they create honey – a sweet, sticky, natural substance that they make as food for themselves. It also provides all kinds of benefits for humans. Sweet! 

May 20 marks World Bee Day. We spoke with Kelly Morrow, MS, RDN, FAND, a registered dietitian and clinical affiliate of the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Washington, to find out everything you need to know about one of nature’s wonders.

What does honey do for your body?

Besides being yummy, there are health benefits associated with honey. It’s not just lore, studies have shown that honey can help relieve a sore throat. Additionally, Morrow explains that if the honey is local (containing local allergens) it may help reduce allergies. “Honey contains pollen, which if taken over time can help train the immune system to tolerate it,” says Morrow. 

Morrow also explains that honey is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory – and it contains trace amounts of vitamin B and minerals. 

Is honey healthy?

The Mayo Clinic lists the p

Which is healthier sugar or honey? 

Morrow says, “When it comes to sugar content, honey and table sugar are pretty close. While there are some studies that show it may have a smaller effect on blood sugar than table sugar, those with pre-diabetes, diabetes or unstable blood sugar will need to use it with caution and also make sure they balance it with some protein and fat. For example, honey-roasted walnuts.” 

otential benefits of honey: 

  • Antioxidants in honey might be associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • Evidence suggests honey might help relieve gastrointestinal tract conditions such as diarrhea associated with gastroenteritis.
  • It may be good for your brain! Studies suggest that honey may offer antidepressant, anticonvulsant and anti-anxiety benefits. Some studies have even suggested that honey has been shown to help prevent memory problems.
  • Topical use of medical-grade honey has been shown to promote wound healing, particularly in burns.

Are there any potential risks associated with honey?

Infants should not consume honey because their immune systems may not be ready to take on the bacteria that cause botulism, a paralyzing illness. The CDC says that honey is safe for anyone over the age of 1 year old. 

Additionally, as Morrow mentioned, the sugar content in honey is comparable to that of table sugar, which can be a problem if you have diabetes. This also means there are a high amount of calories in just small servings of honey. For example, a “spoonful” of honey (around one tablespoon) contains 64 calories, which could add up if used frequently or abundantly. 

In conclusion: is honey good for you? In moderation, yes! If you want to swap honey for sugar in your morning coffee or tea – make a beeline for it!

Read more about honey and vitamins here:

Fact check:A mix of honey and cinnamon may have some health benefits, more studies needed

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