Raw honey is considered a medicine in Ayurveda and helps to balance kapha dosha. The ancient medicinal practice recommends to consume between fall and spring which also includes winter. Also known as madhu or shahad, raw honey can keep the lungs and gut healthy. Honey shouldn’t be added to hot beverages or while cooking considering cooked honey leads to toxin creation which could be harmful for your health. (Also read: Ayurvedic rules to consume honey: Health benefits, how to eat, dos and don’ts)
In winters, honey can be added to ginger juice for cough relief. It can also be used as a dressing for your salad as well as drizzled on top of your toasts or pancakes. Adding it to your cereal or smoothie is also a good idea instead of sugar.
“The best option for preventing infections and increasing immunity, particularly during the winter, is honey because it is a powerhouse of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. By eliminating toxins and giving the skin and hair the nutrients, they need, it is also beneficial for keeping healthy skin and hair,” says Dt. Sheenam Narang, Dietitian & Founder of dietbysheenam.
Benefits of honey
The dietitian also lists amazing benefits of consuming honey in winters.
Help soothe a sore throat: Infections of the respiratory tract, sore throats, and coughs are a few typical issues that accompany the colder months. Tea or warm lemon water with honey is a traditional remedy for sore throats.
Fights diabetes, ageing: Honey contains a number of antioxidants, including phenolic acids and flavonoids. Reactive oxygen species (ROS), which can collect in your body and harm cells, are fought by antioxidants. Conditions including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and premature ageing can all be made worse by this injury.
Improves heart health: A study involving more than 4,500 adults over the age of 40 found that women who consume moderate amounts of honey have a lower risk of developing high blood pressure. Honey may also help lower blood pressure, regulate heartbeat, improve blood fat levels, and prevent the death of healthy cells.
Strengthens immune system: The immune system of the body is strengthened by honey consumption. Studies support the claim that consuming honey on an empty stomach protects the body from external threats like illnesses.
“Because it contains healthy substances like propolis and antioxidants, honey has a number of potential health advantages. It’s a fantastic substitute for sugar, but you should only use it sparingly because it still has the same effects on your body as sugar,” says Narang.
“Be aware that honey carries a risk of botulism and should not be consumed by children under the age of one,” says the expert. According to CDC, botulism is a rare but serious illness caused by a toxin that attacks the body’s nerves and causes difficulty breathing, muscle paralysis, and even death.
How to check purity of honey
“Many sellers claim that they sell pure honey; one can check purity of honey by adding 1 teaspoon of honey into 1 glass of water. The honey is pure if it forms a lump at the bottom of the glass. Light a honey-dipped matchstick as a flame test. Your honey is tainted if it isn’t lit,” says Narang.