Is Honey good for you and your yoga practice?

The dangers of sugar have been so widely publicized that many people think anything sweet is not good for the body. Though refined sugar is actually harmful to your health, nature provides a delicious natural alternative such as honey, that nourishes the body and promotes good health.

Honey is one of the oldest sweeteners on the earth, and is an important medical remedy since ancient times. In India, it is a significant part of Siddha and Ayurveda.

If taken in the right way, it is immensely beneficial for overall health. So, how exactly is honey good for you?

Boosts your immune system

The immune system helps protect our bodies against illness and diseases. The antioxidant and antibacterial properties of honey help you stay healthy and fight disease. Moreover, Honey is rich in vitamins, minerals, and enzymes that protect the body from bacteria and boost the immune system. Cold and flu symptoms such as a cough and sore throat are also cured when treated with honey. It’s recommended to drink warm water daily with 1 to 2 tablespoons of honey added to warm water, to improve the immune system.

Helps with digestion

Honey helps cleanse and improve your digestive system. It is the ultimate stomach soother, which helps relieve acidity and neutralize gas, caused by overeating. Being a mild laxative, Honey helps reduce constipation, bloating, and gas. It’s also rich in probiotic bacteria which aid in digestion, promote the health of the immune system, and reduce allergies. It’s recommended to consume 1 to 2 tablespoons of honey before heavy meals to prevent indigestion.

Improves sleep and relaxation

Honey can promote relaxation and help ease you to sleep at night. The natural sugar present in Honey causes your insulin levels to rise, that in turn releases the neurotransmitter serotonin. The body converts serotonin to melatonin, a chemical that aids your body to sleep. Consuming a spoonful of honey before bed can help you get restful sleep.

Energy booster

Honey is an instant energy booster. It contains natural sugars such as glucose and fructose that are a healthy source of calories and energy for the body. Unlike white sugar, both glucose and fructose are present separately in honey, and act as instant energy sources, giving you the boost you need to get moving. These natural sugars play a major role in preventing fatigue. Try consuming a tablespoon of honey instead of coffee or chocolate to get an energy boost.

Honey is safer than sugar

There are lots of adverse effects of sugar on the health (read more).  Honey is an excellent substitute that is sweet but safe to consume. Honey is sweeter than sugar; therefore, you need to consume less honey than sugar to get the desired sweetness. Along with two simple sugars, glucose and fructose, it also includes dextrin, a starchy fiber. This combination helps the body regulate blood sugar levels, compared to other types of sugars.

How is it good for the yoga practitioner?

Honey is an excellent food for yogis practicing sadhana. Keeping the stomach light and cool, it is absorbed directly into the bloodstream without the need for digestion. For a yoga practitioner, who is pushing the body in certain ways, keeping the circulatory system and the blood chemistry in balance is very important. Regular consumption of Honey brings that balance, and the energy giving properties in Honey provide strength and stimulation to the whole system. It is recommended to consume honey with warm water before beginning the yoga practice, to open the system up.

When diet is wrong, medicine is of no use. When diet is correct, medicine is of no need! – Ayurvedic Proverb