Did you know that about honey? It’s true; honey really is an antioxidant rich food. And in fact, recent studies have shown that the regular consumption of honey can help to protect your heart.
Those Pesky Free Radicals
You’ve probably heard of them. They are unstable molecules that rampage through the body, causing all kinds of damage. They inflict damage to the body at the cellular level, and have been shown to contribute to aging and many diseases and illnesses, including heart disease and cancer.
We can’t avoid playing host to these bad guys, but we can help to minimize the damage they cause by also playing host to antioxidants. Because when a free radical molecule encounters an antioxidant molecule, it’s no longer free or radical. It’s neutralized. So one of the best things we can do for our health is to consume foods containing lots of antioxidants.
This involves eating lots of fruit and vegetables. And, as we now know, honey too.
Honey and Heart Health
In 2003, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign conducted a study that proved that honey has a “mild protective effect” upon heart health.
The study showed that just 4 tablespoons a day of honey helped to significantly decrease the level of LDL cholesterol in the blood, reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke. So by simply substituting honey for refined sugar as a sweetener in your tea or coffee, you can significantly improve your level of antioxidant protection.
Interestingly, the researchers also found that darker honeys are a better antioxidant source than lighter honeys. Of the different honey varieties they tested, buckwheat, a very dark honey, offered the highest level of antioxidants.
A Sweet Deal!
There have been other studies confirming that honey is an antioxidant rich food. Of course, honey is also a calorically dense food, so you’re not going to be able to get a huge percentage of your antioxidant needs through consuming honey.
But as the study showed, simply substituting honey for sugar will allow you to increase your intake of antioxidants without increasing caloric intake. Of course, honey offers other nutritional advantages over sugar, as well. And don’t forget the rich variety of flavors honey offers.