Honey is not only sweet and flavorful, it’s also packed with health benefits our bodies can enjoy. In this article, let’s dive deeper about the goodness that is honey water!
Honey is derived from bees and is in a dense golden liquid form. It is produced using nectar extracted from flowering plants which is then saved inside beehives for consumption should there be a shortage of food. But how is honey really made?
Bees have long tube-like tongues which they use for nectar extraction from flowers. Then, the nectar is stored in their extra stomach or in their crop where they get mixed with different enzymes changing the chemical composition and the pH of the liquid. This certain process increases the lifespan of nectar.
The next thing that takes place is that honeybees pass this nectar to other bees and this is called regurgitation. This happens again and again until nectar is deposited into the honeycomb. The bees then begin fanning the filled honeycomb with their wings to eliminate excess water then they seal it using a liquid secreted from their stomach. Then, it’s time for humans to harvest the resultant honey!
What is honey for?
Honey is mostly used for culinary purposes. From your beverages to your salad dressings, honey can make just about anything extra sweeter!
Health benefits of drinking honey water
Honey is known to have the following properties:
Moreover, here are more health benefits your body can enjoy from honey water consumption:
1. Aids in weight loss
First off, water consumption is known to boost our metabolism and makes us feel fuller. That alone helps in shedding some pounds. Now throw honey and lemon to the mix and your water will have an increased fat-burning capability. Experts suggest consuming honey water on an empty stomach first thing in the morning to reap the maximum benefits. Also, you may drink honey water in moments when you’re craving for sugary sodas and sweetened drinks. A 12 oz. can of soda with 30g sugar has 110 calories while honey and lemon water only holds 25.
2. Maintains your body’s hydration
Another excellent advantage of warm water and honey is that they both have moisturizing effects. As a result, if you drink this cocktail first thing in the morning, your body will naturally keep hydrated throughout the day. This also speeds up the fat-burning process, resulting in faster weight loss. When your body is hydrated, all of your other critical systems begin to function much more effectively, which is a terrific place to start on your journey to a healthy mind and body.
3. Enhances digestive health
Water and honey can enhance the digestive process. In fact, honey water is known to help with a bout of an upset stomach and consuming it before meals help with digestion tremendously.
4. Stronger immune system
Not all honeys are the same and we’re better off consuming a raw organic one than any pasteurized options in the market. Raw honey holds antimicrobial power and is riched in essential minerals and vitamins. In fact, the Society of General Microbiology in the United Kingdom found that Manuka honey can even reverse antibiotic resistance. Also, it houses antioxidants that fight off free radicals and diseases.
5. Prevents allergies
Honey also houses some anti-allergic properties. Unlike most allergic medications like Claritin which reduce allergy symptoms, honey water actually aids our body to acclimate to the allergens, especially pollens decreasing the susceptibility to various allergens.
6. Energy booster
Since honey water will keep you hydrated, it will significantly boost your energy levels too! Think of yourself as a houseplant. A houseplant that has not enough hydration loses beauty and gets droopy. On the other hand, a hydrated houseplant blooms and emits energy. Same goes with humans. Since raw honey is a great source of carbohydrates and simple sugars, you can expect it to help increase energy levels.
7. Relieves sore throat and cough
Drinking a warm glass of honey water with added two tablespoons of raw honey is a great home remedy for sore throat and irritating cough. To maximize the benefits, sip the beverage slowly. However, you should keep in mind that honey is not supposed to be given to infants less than a year old. The reason for this is that honey houses a bacterium called Clostridium botulinum and it does not fare well with infants. But, for people more than a year old, honey water is definitely a great remedy and kids sure love it more than those cough syrups.
8. Flushes out toxins
Regular consumption of honey water eradicates toxins in your system. Try consumine one for a week and you’ll see differences such as a glowing skin and an enhanced bowel movement. You can also throw in some lemon into the mix to make your drink even healthier!
9. Prevents gassy issues
A warm honey water can soothe that bloatedness as honey is known to neutralize gas. Honey also has antiseptic properties that fights off acidity since honey promotes mucus production which serves to neutralize acidity. Additionally, honey water keeps the colon hydrated and that can help improve bowel movement.
10. Lowers cholesterol levels
As per a research study, honey consumption decreases LDL, a.k.a. bad cholesterol, levels by 6-11% and lowers triglycerides by up to 11%. Not only that! Honey can also increase HDL levels which is the good cholesterol which helps prevent clot formation in the blood. Honey really is good for the heart!
11. Cures a hangover
It’s a familiar sensation… a heavy head, uncontrollable thirst, waves of nausea, hypersensitivity to light and noise? It’s that awful hangover! Don’t worry, honey is on the way to save you. Because fructose helps speed up the oxidation of alcohol by the liver, a few tablespoons of honey will assist speed up your body’s metabolism and help you beat that hangover. According to the NYU Langone Medical Center, consuming honey orally can “improve the body’s ability to metabolize alcohol, hence minimizing drunkenness and lowering alcohol blood levels more rapidly.”
12. It helps to keep heart disease at bay.
Consumption of natural honey boosts polyphonic antioxidants in the blood, which helps avoid heart illnesses.
Evidences suggest that vitamins C and E, and beta-carotene, a precursor to vitamin A, may reduce the risk of some forms of cancer, heart disease, strokes, and cataracts and may slow the aging process, according to National Honey Board.
13. Aids in healing
Because of its antibacterial characteristics, honey has long been used to treat wounds and burns. It has been shown in lab experiments to have potent antibacterial activity against a variety of bacteria. More research is needed to determine whether it has the same effect in humans.
Some honeys have been used to treat burns, skin ulcers, and inflammation. It has also been used successfully on skin transplants.
14. The skin clears and becomes clean
Its antimicrobial characteristics aid in keeping the skin clean and fresh. When combined with lemon, the combo aids in blood purification and boosts blood cell production.
15. Decreases inflammation
From acne to small scrapes and bruises, the anti-inflammatory ingredients in a glass of warm water with honey can help reduce swelling and inflammation. Furthermore, the antibacterial characteristics inhibit the spread of microorganisms and lower the likelihood of illness. So, if you have acne-prone skin or skin that bruises easily, we recommend using this magical potion on a regular basis and seeing the effects for yourself!
16. Dandruff Treatment
Honey can provide brief comfort to the scalp by targeting dandruff, according to a 2001 study published in the European Journal of Medical Research. According to the research, applying honey diluted with 10% warm water to problem areas and letting it on for three hours before rinsing resulted in itch relief and no scaling within a week. Skin blemishes healed in two weeks, and patients’ hair loss improved as well.
17. Good night’s sleep
Consuming warm honey water prior to your bedtime can pave the way for a restful eight hours of sleep. The scientific reason for this is that honey restocks the liver with glycogen which prevents crisis triggers in the rain.
Also, the natural sugar in honey aids in the increase of insulin level which will result into tryptophan entering your brain. Then, this is transformed to niacin or vitamin B3 which plays a vital role in serotonin production. Now serotonin is a requirement in the production of melatonin, which is also known as the sleep hormone.
Yes, a good night’s sleep without feeling sluggish the morning after. Thanks to honey water!
Honey’s disadvantages and hazards
The following are some of the most common downsides and hazards connected with honey:
A lot of calories
One tablespoon of honey contains 64 calories, which is more than one tablespoon of sugar, which contains 49 calories per tablespoon.
Infant botulism is a risk
Not suitable for infants. Honey should not be given to babies under the age of one year. This is due to the risk of botulinum, a serious type of food poisoning.
The bacteria Clostridium botulinum causes botulism (C. botulinum). It causes the release of a neurotoxic, which is a poison that damages your neurological system.
In older children and adults, the spores that cause botulism in newborns are harmless. Infant botulism symptoms include:
indigestion, overall weakness, and a weak cry
It can cause paralysis and be fatal, but it is quite rare.
The effect on blood sugar levels and the risk of sickness
Honey has the same effect on blood glucose levels as sugar. This is especially troubling for persons who have diabetes or insulin resistance.
Too much honey can also cause blood sugar problems in healthy persons, raising the risk of:
Obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease
Is honey in hot water poisonous?
But I heard, adding honey to anything warm can be dangerous for you
In some alternative communities, it is claimed that when honey is heated, it becomes toxic. Certainly, high heat kills the enzymes included in raw honey, just as it kills the enzymes present in fresh fruits and vegetables when they are cooked. However, this would not render it toxic.
Ayurvedic wisdom holds that honey becomes harmful when heated above 140 (or 104 – I’ve seen both numbers). Heating honey is considered to cause “Ama,” or undigested stuff in the body, which is thought to be the origin of disease. This idea would be consistent with the common belief that all disease begins in the stomach.
According to a study published, honey becomes hazardous at a temperature of 140 degrees. When honey is mixed with boiling milk or water, it becomes hot and poisonous.
Furthermore, experts have revealed that honey includes natural carbohydrates. The problem is that heating anything containing sugar might cause the production of 5-hydroxymethylfurfural, or HMF, which is thought to be carcinogenic in nature.
More on Ayurvedic knowledge, honey, and Ama
Ayurveda, a 5,000-year-old system of traditional diet and holistic treatment with roots in India’s Vedic culture, considers honey to be an essential medicine and nourishment. Both Tibetan medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine have Ayurvedic roots. Furthermore, many notions documented in traditional Ayurvedic medical literature stretching back thousands of years were adopted by early Greek medicine.
While Ayurveda recognizes honey’s many dietary and holistic benefits, the dietary rules of this ancient health system strongly warn against boiling it for any reason. The reasons are both practical and medical in nature.
First, according to Ayurveda, boiling honey to 104°F/ 40°C or higher creates a negative chemical shift that causes it to become bitter and glue-like.. In compared to other natural sweeteners such as unprocessed cane sugar or fruit, this makes it unsuitable for culinary application.
What does science say?
Science demonstrates that heating or frying honey damages it, removing many of its beneficial properties. This is concerning because the vast majority of honey sold in supermarkets has already been heated, whether or not you opt to cook with it at home!
The most noticeable difference between hot honey and raw honey is the loss of enzymes and probiotics. The temperature at which damage occurs is higher according to research than according to Ayurveda. Rather than the Ayurvedic limit of 104°F/ 40°C, boiling honey to 118°F/ 48°C or higher causes undesirable chemical changes. Foods that have been heated above this essential temperature, even for a short length of time, are said to be cooked, or more appropriately put — dead.
Worryingly, a considerable increase in hydroxymethyl furfuraldehyde (HMF) occurred in heated honey samples at only 140°F/60oC. The negative effects were amplified when the heated honey was mixed with ghee, prompting the study authors to conclude that the rise in HMF “may create harmful effects and serve as a toxin in due course.”
What is the chemical formula for hydroxymethyl furfuraldehyde (HMF)?
HMF is almost non-existent in fresh food, but it is naturally produced in sugar-containing foods after heat treatments such as drying or cooking. HMF is generated in the Maillard reaction, as well as during caramelization, along with numerous other flavor and color-related compounds. It is also slowly produced in certain foods during preservation. The production of HMF is aided by acidic environments. HMF is a well-known ingredient in baked goods. When bread is toasted, the amount increases from 14.8 (5 min.) to 2024.8 mg/kg (60 min)
So, can I drink honey water everyday?
Yes and no. There’s no reason for you to skip your honey water consumption.
So, here are some options for you.
Unless we are also avoiding all other hot carbs and coffee, there is no reason to forgo honey unless we are also rejecting all other Ayurvedic dietary advice.
Buying and ingesting raw or unprocessed honey is the best option. Yes, it may require more research and work to obtain it, but nothing compares to the purity that raw honey can provide.
Raw honey is delicious in anything that will not be heated above 110 degrees.
Honey provides numerous health benefits such as increased skin health, improved metabolism, hydration, and so on.
Even though it is natural, it contains a lot of sugar and calories, which can cause a lot of difficulties. As a result, it is better not to overdo it with honey and to drink it in moderation.
Is it good to drink honey with hot water?
Honey mixed with warm water and lemon has been used for centuries and is recommended by professionals as one of the most effective weight-loss methods. It is claimed that drinking warm water first thing in the morning eliminates toxins from your system and helps you lose weight in the long run.
While drinking honey with warm water stirs no problem and is even enjoyed by a lot of people, mixing honey and boiling water is not as recommended. Too high of a water temperature can reduce the health benefits the beverage offers.
When should we drink honey-sweetened warm water?
Drinking warm water with honey first thing in the morning is highly recommended. You can also add a dash of lemon juice to this mixture to boost its effectiveness.
Can we drink honey with hot water during pregnancy?
Yes, it is safe to consume honey while pregnant.