Honey, or Shehad, or Madhu, as it is popularly known in India, has a special place in Ayurvedic medicines. While it has been a reliable home remedy for cough, weight-loss, and even skincare for centuries, the multitude of honey benefits is being backed by modern science as well. Let us look at this superfood in detail and understand how it can help senior citizens.
What is Honey?
Honey is a golden, thick liquid made by bees with the nectar of flowering plants and stored by them in their hives. It has an array of benefits and has been recognized with ample healing properties in Ayurveda.
Difference between Raw and Organic Honey
There are, in general, three kinds of honey -
1. Raw Honey – This kind of honey is not processed or pasteurized in any way. Simply said, it is the pure honey, extracted from the honeycomb. This is then filtered by a thin cloth to remove necessary impurities like bee’s wax.
2. Organic Honey – This honey comes from a bee farm that meets organic livestock standards. Simply put, the bees, flowers, and honey are not exposed to pesticides and other chemicals.
3. Regular Honey – This kind of honey is subject to further processing like pasteurizing and filtering. And, may sometimes be stripped of its core nutrients.
How to Identify Adulterated honey?
While it is tough to identify if the honey is entirely pure, there are a few tests that can help you –
1. Take a drop of honey on your thumb – Pure honey will stay intact; however, if it is adulterated, it will spill or spread.
2. Add a teaspoon of honey to water – Adulterated or fake honey will dissolve in water, but the pure honey will settle at the bottom.
3. Take a matchstick and dip it in honey – Now, try to light it by striking the stick against the matchbox. If the honey is pure, the matchstick will light up, and if it’s impure, it won’t light up due to the moisture present.
4. Heating the honey – If you cook pure honey, it will caramelize, while impure honey may not caramelize and can become foamy on heating.
Benefits of Honey for Senior citizens
Honey’s benefits are well known in the Indian household, and it is regularly used as a home remedy. There are several health benefits that senior citizens can derive from this golden liquid – let’s look at a few of them-
1. Stimulates Memory – According to a study in New Zealand, the regular intake of honey can help in better memory retention. Ageing is associated with memory loss or impairment – including honey in the daily diet can help mitigate this problem naturally.
2. Reduces Anxiety – Reducing anxiety is essential for maintaining a good quality of life. While anyone can experience anxiety attacks, they tend to be more prevalent as we age. So, consuming honey can help keep anxiety at bay.
3. Suppresses Cough – Weather changes bring in illnesses, accompanied by cough and cold. This is where honey can help and is well-known as a cough suppressant. Simply having a teaspoon of honey or drinking it with warm water can offer relief. As honey is natural, it can be used frequently to relieve allergies, seasonal cough, and other chronic lung issues.
4. Boosts Gut Health – Honey has anti-bacterial properties and is a rich source of probiotics. It can also help senior citizens manage their gastrointestinal health. Apart from age-related gut issues, many medications may harm the good bacteria in the digestive tract. The regular consumption of honey can maintain good gut health.
5. High in Antioxidants – Honey contains a high number of important antioxidants. These antioxidants can help reduce the risk of heart attacks, strokes, and certain types of cancer.
6. Honey improves Cholesterol – Several studies have shown that regular consumption of honey can help reduce LDL (high LDL cholesterol levels are a risk for heart disease) and boost HDL (good cholesterol) cholesterol levels.
Tips for Buying the Best Quality Honey
1. Always look at labels to ascertain if they contain added sugar and preservatives.
2. Buy darker coloured honey as it contains a higher number of antioxidants.
3. Choosing raw honey over processed honey is better; however, that is true only if you are sure about the source.
An important aspect of honey is that its taste and aroma largely depend on the kind of flowers from where the bees have extracted the nectar. So, honey prepared from the nectar of lavender fields will be distinct from the honey that was produced in the forest plains.
Here are 10 Varied Honey Products that Will Surely Benefit You!
1. Himalayan White Honey
It is one of the rarest forms of unpasteurized organic honey that’s collected from the forests of Kashmir. Accompanied by distinct colour and taste, this honey is rich in antioxidants and helps boosts the immune system.
2. Signature Saffron Honey
This sumptuous blend of honey and saffron is loaded with vitamins, minerals, and proteins. It is also rich in anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It is also found to aid weight loss and can be a good sugar alternative for people with diabetes.
3. Pure Honey and Nuts Honey
This product offers the tastiest blend of honey and nuts. The combination of dry fruits with 100% pure honey works as an excellent source of energy.
Winter mornings will feel much warmer with this honey’s immunity-boosting powers – just a spoonful-full will go a long way!
4. Raw Honey
True Element’s raw honey’s glucose content work as quick energy boosters. This honey helps control the blood sugar levels and is rich in vitamins, minerals, and essential amino acids. It can also assist in nourishing the skin while healing wounds, reducing infection, and keeping acne at bay.
5. Sunflower Honey
As the name suggests, this honey is sourced from bees that collect their nectar from sunflowers. This honey is packed with exceptional nutritional value and healing properties as it is unheated, unprocessed, unpasteurized.
6. Pure Cotton Honey
This honey has a distinct mild flavour that imparts an irresistible natural taste. Its sweet taste makes it a great choice for baking and cooking. This seasonal honey helps maintain health, makes you stay fit and young, and also improves digestion
7. Raw Unprocessed Forest Honey
The mesmerizing fragrance and flavours offered by this honey come from the rare herbal and medicinal plants found in the forests. So, it is obvious that the daily consumption of this honey increases immunity and helps maintain good health.
8. Pure Wild Berry Honey
Free from chemicals and pesticides, this honey is produced from wild berry flowerings. It is very good for stomach related problems and can also help cure digestion and constipation problems. This can be a great addition to your desserts, juice, and toasts.
9. Pure Acacia Honey
Collected by the bees from the white flowers of Acacia, this authentic acacia honey is made from the nectar of Black Locust tree flowers. Taking this honey with milk or water can keep you fresh with high energy levels throughout the day. It is high in antibacterial and antifungal properties and can help reduce liver and intestine damage by deeply cleansing your body.
10. Ajwain Honey
This honey is 100% natural and is collected by placing bee colonies in the Ajwain blossoms. This dark coloured honey has an intense flavour and can be substituted for processed sugar for baked goods like cakes, muffins, and cookies.
So, the next time you think of adding a spoonful of sugar, stop and think about this superfood called honey!
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