Honey is one of the most complex naturally-found substances that you can eat. It has a tonne of vitamins, minerals, compounds like ascorbic acid and riboflavin, potassium, calcium and a whole lot more. Overall it is one of the power foods found in nature.
You may already know the benefits of drinking warm water with lemon in the morning, but for those looking for a sweeter kick, here are some reasons why mixing honey with hot water can benefit your body.
- Reduces inflammation
Honey contains “substantial amounts of compounds such as flavonoids and other polyphenols which may function as anti-oxidants”(1), which means that it helps fight bad inflammation and reduces chronic inflammation. The reason your body gets inflamed is that it produces hormones like prostaglandins, which is made to fight off infections and help heal your body, but sometimes your body creates these hormones when not needed, and they do damage rather than help. Ingesting honey will help remove these non-used substances that cause inflammation.
- Helps keep you ‘regular’
Honey is known as a mild laxative(2), and honey mixed with lemon and warm water stimulates mucus production in the intestine, aiding in flushing of toxins. It is also known to help with mild constipation due to these properties. This means that drinking a small amount each morning would benefit you by keeping your body on a regular cycle!
- Gives you an energy boost
Honey is full of natural sugars, which can give you more energy, in a healthier way than artificial sweeteners. Mixed with water, which will give your body more hydration, and increases blood flow to the brain. If you add in lemon juice as well, it helps push toxins out of your digestive system, which are a source of lethargy.
- Fights bacteria
Honey is a well known antimicrobial, which means it has properties that help fight bad bacteria including pathogenic and non- pathogenic micro-organisms. The natural acidity of honey actually inhibits the growth of pathogens, which normally have a negative effect on your health.(3)
- Boosts your immune system
Along with having a direct antibacterial effect, honey may help clear out infection through stimulating the body’s immune system to fight infections. The natural glucose in honey also helps with what is called a ‘respiratory burst’, which is the action your cells take when they find bad bacteria, and is essential to helping your immune system.(4)
- It helps with chronic allergies
Research has indicated that drinking a composition of water and honey trigger an immune system response to the pollen and spores within the honey. This causes your body to create antibodies naturally, to fight the pollen, which then makes your body more immune to atmospheric allergy triggers. Essentially, drinking water with honey makes your body more immune to environmental allergies, so if the spring or summer make you stuffed up and sneezy, this could help you out! (5)
- Helps with weight loss
Think of the honey/water drink as an alternative to soda. When you’re craving something sweet to drink, make a honey/water mixture and you’ll benefit from natural sugars over the empty calories of artificial sweeteners. I find too that if I feel the need for something sweet, a simple teaspoon of honey will stop that craving, and you get the added benefits listed above! Use honey instead of reaching for that chocolate bar or soda and over time you’ll be saving yourself some pounds!
Why mix honey with hot water?
You can just grab a spoonful of honey and get the health benefits, but mixing it with warm water helps it enter your system faster, since it is broken down more than just pure honey. The addition of water also helps hydrate your body, increases blood flow and makes it so the nutrients can get moving around your body faster.
For those of you who want the whole package, try mixing lemon and honey in your warm water every morning. Just fill a tall glass with warm water (as hot as you can tolerate, but don’t burn yourself!), squeeze in the juice of 1/2 a lemon and add 1 teaspoon of honey to it. Stir well and drink!
There are a number of books and resouces available on Amazon to help you learn more about how honey is beneficial to your body and your health. Check them out and really help your health!
Edit – September 20, 2017:
If you’re in the US, there’s a really cool website that shows you where to find local honey: https://www.honey.com/honey-locator
Header image by: Crispin Semmens
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