Honey: The Nature’s Gift
Honey is known for many of its benefits, such as its ability to soothe a sore throat, relieving all kinds of digestive problems and beautify your skin complexion. However, one of the lesser-known benefits of honey is actually its application in medical setting to heal wounds and fight infection, which is a highly valuable trait even until today. People have use honey to treat wounds resulted from burns or a cut with remarkable improvement afterwards. This can be attributed to honey’s powerful anti-bacterial properties which help to prevent infection and also its ability to aids in tissue regeneration. However, can honey provide the same effect when it comes to supporting our immune system inside the body?
Immune Booster Backed by Science
Since honey has such an impressive use on treating wounds, naturally we can assume that honey can exert the same type of benefits even when consumed. In fact, numerous studies have proved honey’s potential healing capability against many concerned health problems, including diabetes, hypertension, bacterial and fungal infections. Flavonoids and polyphenols, which act as antioxidants, are two main bioactive molecules present in honey. These active compounds contribute to antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antiproliferative, anticancer, and antimetastatic effects that make honey an immune booster. 1More importantly, honey has proved its ability to kill virus on several enveloped viruses such as HIV, influenza virus and herpes simplex, which mean it could be beneficial for patients with COVID-19 by boosting their immune system and anti-viral activities.
Not All Honeys Are Created Equal
The immune-boosting ability of honey can not only be attributed to its powerful anti-bacterial and anti-viral effect, but also its high content of phytonutrients. Phytonutrients are compounds which can only be found naturally in plant, and has a range of benefits from delay aging and fighting inflammation to providing protection against cancer. However, these important phytonutrients can only be found in raw honey as they are being destroyed by heavy processing in a bottle of heavily-processed honey. Therefore, always look for raw, unfiltered honey to reap the most benefits out of your honey including giving a boost to your immune system.
Not the Be-All and End-all Answer to Good Immunity
Before you rush to the organic shop to purchase yourself a good ol’ bottle of raw honey, I still have to remind you that the most important thing you can do for your immune system is to sleep well, eat a balanced diet, de-stress and exercise regularly. No food, not even one as good as honey can save you from your declining health if you choose to ignore the lifestyle factors which contribute the most to your health and wellness. Besides, don’t forget that honey is a sweetener and too much of it can cause some trouble for you as well. Always remember that moderation is always the key and then you can enjoy any food and have the good health you so desire.
This article is written by KC Lim (Nutritionist) for Green Image Organic Enterprise Sdn. Bhd
1Samarghandian et al. Pharmacognosy Res. 2017; 9(2):121-127.