Honey has been used as a food, medicine, and preservative for years, but the sticky sweet liquid has many more health benefits for aging individuals. Sit back, grab a spoonful of honey, and learn about the benefits of raw honey for seniors!
Physical Benefits of Honey for Seniors
The most known benefit of raw, local honey is that it can help lessen seasonal allergies, but the sticky golden liquid also does so much more. Because of its thick, gooey consistency and antibacterial properties, raw honey makes an effective and all-natural cough suppressant. It’s antiseptic properties and ability to release hydrogen peroxide via an enzymatic process also make honey a great salve for healing minor cuts and burns, which are increasingly common as people age and their skin becomes more fragile. Honey’s calcium and iron content can also help strengthen seniors’ bones, which often weaken with age.
Honey includes probiotics, flavonoids, and nutraceuticals, as well, which can prevent and provide aid for a variety of illnesses. Probiotics may help seniors with gastrointestinal issues improve the ratio of good bacteria in their gut. Flavonoids are a type of antioxidant found in many fruits and vegetables. Darker honey has a higher concentration of these flavonoids, which may help reduce cholesterol and the risk of ailments like heart attacks. Nutraceuticals help remove free radicals that can cause serious issues like heart attacks and cancer from the body, further protecting seniors from possible health concerns.
Due to its high natural sugar content, honey is also great for short-term energy boosts. Seniors may consider consuming a spoonful of honey before going on a walk or doing other physical activities to boost their performance levels.
Mental Benefits of Honey for Seniors
Along with a plethora of physical health benefits, honey also provides seniors with mental health benefits, including improved memory function and reduced anxiety levels. Researchers from the University of Waikato in New Zealand found that honey significantly boosted the memory function of rats when compared to those who were not fed honey as part of a regular diet. This could aid aging populations fight memory loss, a major concern for many older individuals. The same study showed that the chemical makeup of honey also improved the anxiety and stress levels of the rats tested.
A History of Honey
Humans have used honey for well over 8,000 years. Researcher and author Mélanie Roffet-Salque found the oldest known record of humans using honey in 2016, when she and a team of scientists found chemical evidence of beeswax residue on Neolithic pottery dating back to 7,000 B.C. Massive ancient civilizations carved and painted images showing humans extracting honey from hives. According to the Smithsonian, there was such a large beekeeping community in Lower Egypt that citizens often referred to the pharaoh as the “Bee King” between 700 and 600 B.C.
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