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Nutrional Value and Health Benefits of Honey

Author:   Peter Sedesse MD

Reasons to use Honey as a sugar substitute

One of the main uses for honey is as a sweetener. While honey contains a large amount of sugar, it also contains many vitamins, minerals and other important nutrients that simple table sugar lacks. Another important difference is that honey contains many complex carbohydrates and generally more complex types of sugar. This means that the energy from honey is released over a longer period of time, which can help prevent sugar spikes which can happen with normal sugar.

Honey contains Protein including the Amino Acids Lysine and Tryptophan

Honey also contains amino acids, which are the building blocks for protein and muscle. While the amounts found in honey are moderate, honey does contain two very important amino acids called Tryptophan and Lysine. The reason these two amino acids are important is because they are not found in fruits and vegetables, only animal sources. This can make honey an important food for vegetarians or for those who try to limit their meat consumption. Our bodies need these two amino acids, and the lack of them is what causes many of the health problemss of strict vegetarian or vegan diets.

Honey contains almost all Vitamins and Minerals

Honey contains most vitamins and minerals that are needed by humans in small amounts. Honey does contain significant amounts of B-complex vitamins, Vitamin C and Potassium. Potassium is a mineral that many people do not consume enough of. Potassium helps to regulate blood pressure and water retention, and in many ways counteracts the harmful affects of high sodium consumption. B-complex vitamins are used to convert food into energy, and Vitamin C is used in the immune system and for proper skin and mucus membrane integrity.

Other Health Benefits of Honey

Besides being a delicious food, honey also has some benefits to fight certain conditions. Honey will help sooth a sore throat. Because honey contains Tryptophan, it also can help with insomnia. Finally, honey contains certain beneficial bacteria that are called probiotics. These bacteria are needed by the body in the intestines to help digest food. These probiotics are similar to the bacteria found in yogurt.

Summary of the Health Benefits of Honey

Honey is a great substitute for table sugar in that it contains complex carbohydrates that delay the release of energy over a longer period of time. Honey also contains B-comples vitamins along with Vitamin C in moderate amounts along with potassium, a very important mineral to help prevent heart disease.

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