Nurse Mia Ross questions her daily honey habit and asks, “Is honey good for you?” Nope, not really. Few honey benefits.
I am an honest person, so I will confess that I love honey. Growing up, my neighbor kept honeybees in his backyard and every so often he would bring over a piece of honeycomb for me to devour. I grew to admire the work of the honeybee and understand its importance in the realm of pollination and agriculture.
As a nurse, I have a slight problem when honey is touted as an indigestible medical treatment. When honey is consumed, enzymes in the mouth and acid in the stomach negate any anti-tumor, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antibacterial benefits that are thought to exist. The truth is, store-bought honey has not been shown to have any significant medicinal benefits nor does it contain any nutrients. Research shows that honey slightly lowers the frequency and duration of coughing fits in children* and adolescents. It has also been shown to minimally decrease wound healing time when applied to the skin.
Honey is SUGAR. It may look different than its crystallized counterpart, but don’t be fooled. Both honey and sugar pose the same health risks; excess sugar consumption is linked to metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance and, now, hypertension.
One tablespoon of honey has approximately 65 calories and 17 grams of carbs. Sigh. I’ve had to abort my daily tea and honey habit. Now, I keep it in my kitchen cabinet** and use it sparingly. I want to believe that honey will make me invincible (trust me, I would put it on absolutely everything), but there aren’t significant health benefits to justify my behavior.
*Children under 1 year of age run the risk of acquiring infantile botulism from a bacteria that often contaminates honey.
**Honey NEVER expires!