Do you often use honey in tea ? This is a very common custom, even more so when considering the properties found in honey.
It is popularly believed that honey is an important agent against infections, inflammation and stomach problems.
In addition, it is very rich nutritionally, making it considered the healthiest substitute for sugar, even for diabetics.
However, is it worth changing sugar or other sweeteners for honey when sweetening teas?
Keep reading, as Tea Benefits has prepared a complete article to help you discover the answer to this question and also know what the main health benefits of honey are.
After all, is it worth using honey in tea?
Yes, honey is a very nutritious and healthy food and that’s why you can use it to sweeten your favorite tea . Besides that it has a characteristic flavor, being ideal for infusions with more bitter flavors. (1)
Phytochemicals such as phenolic acids and flavonoids, ascorbic acid, carotenoids, amino acids and proteins are also found in small amounts in the sweetener. (two)
Combined with these and other compounds, honey has many health benefits, and you’ll discover seven of them below. Check out!
Prevents and treats infections
Honey has strong bactericidal, antifungal and antiviral properties . This makes it very effective in preventing and treating different types of infections, especially those that affect the respiratory tract.
As such, it is often used in home treatments for the flu . (3, 4)
This is because the food has an action similar to antibiotics. It can even fight bacteria that have created resistance to this type of drug. (5)
Protect the organism
In addition to helping to prevent infections, consumption of honey also protects the body from damage caused by free radicals. That’s because it is rich in several substances known as antioxidants .
In the body, they prevent the action of radicals, which are produced by the body itself, but bring a series of harm to health. Among them are the increased risk of developing cancer, heart disease, inflammation and chronic problems. (6)
It has more nutrients than sugar
Each tablespoon of honey contains vitamins such as ascorbic acid, known as vitamin C , thiamine, riboflavin, pyridoxine, pantothenic acid, biotin and even folic acid.
In addition to having about 80% of its composition formed by fructose, sucrose or glucose, natural sugars that provide more energy to the body. (7) The sweetener is also rich in minerals, the main ones being: calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus and selenium. (8)
This composition makes it a healthier alternative to white sugar, which has no nutritional properties. Which is why it’s called an empty calorie product.
Strengthens the immune system
Consuming honey in tea can also be a great way to naturally boost your body’s immunity. That’s because the food stimulates the multiplication of the main defense cells , thanks to vitamin C.
In practice, this makes the body better able to defend itself against external attacks and mutations, which often happen inside cells.
Honey also provides a supply of glucose, an essential substance for cellular respiration. In addition to being used to produce hydrogen peroxide, the main weapon of macrophages against infections. (9)
It is a natural calming and relaxing
Have you ever felt a lot more relaxed after having a hot cup of honey tea? Well, know that this happens because the food has a mild sedative effect , which helps to relax and calm you.
This effect derives from the action of phytochemical compounds found in honey, which act directly on the central nervous system. There, they stimulate the production of substances that induce sleep and a feeling of well-being .
Therefore, drinking tea with honey before going to bed is the right recipe for a peaceful sleep , especially if it is a calming tea. (3)
Protects the gastrointestinal tract
Due to its bactericidal effect, honey is able to fight different types of bacteria that cause gastrointestinal problems. One of them is Helicobacter pylori , which is the cause of stomach ulcers . (3)
The food also fights bacteria that cause intestinal infections and can cause diarrhea . In addition to serving as a form of nutrition, it contains a high level of sugars.
Thus, it helps to prevent dehydration , which is a common complication arising from the loss of body fluid during diarrhea. (10)
Healthier Option for Diabetics
Honey is a natural sweetener that can be used by type II diabetics, which is when the body does not produce enough insulin. However, it needs to be used in moderate amounts .
This is because it is basically formed by fructose, a type of sugar that is more slowly absorbed by the body.
As a result, the substance is released in small amounts into the bloodstream. Unlike glucose, which is absorbed quickly and dramatically increased blood sugar levels. (10)
However, even if honey is released, it is important to pay attention to the amounts ingested throughout the day, as it is made up of 80% sugars and is rich in carbohydrates. (7)
Thus, in large amounts it is also considered dangerous for those suffering from diabetes and other sugar-restricted illnesses.
Does honey make you fat?
Yes, when consumed in large quantities as it is rich in carbohydrates and sugars. (7) This makes it quite caloric, with each cup containing about a thousand calories . (8)
Thus, eating one or two scoops a day, an amount that guarantees an average intake of 100 calories of food, is not harmful and is quite healthy.
Already ingesting in larger amounts can provide an exaggerated weight gain and even bring consequences for health, such as increased blood glucose, for example. (1)
How to use honey in tea?
Ideally, use one tablespoon of honey for each cup of tea. This amount is enough to sweeten the drink, provides only 61 calories and the many benefits of this sweetener.
Honey is a sweeter food than sugar . Therefore, you need to use less of it for sweetening and you end up consuming small amounts throughout the day. Which is an advantage for those who want to lose weight, as it reduces caloric intake. (1)
What are the precautions and contraindications?
Honey should not be offered to children under one year of age under any circumstances, due to the high risk of contamination by botulism. This prohibition happens because until this age of the intestinal flora, bacteria that live in the intestine and protect the organism, is not yet fully developed.
Honey is also a food that has several micro-organisms in small quantities, which use the environment with low pH and a lot of sugar to multiply. Among them may be botulism spores, which are not completely eliminated even in the cooking process.
Some people can also have allergic reactions when using honey, which can be related to the pollen used by bees or the proteins that insects secrete during production. (9)
Finally, honey should not be used in tea in large amounts. Small portions of food are enough to sweeten and limit the calories and carbohydrates ingested daily. (1)