Is Honey Good for Your Liver?
Did you know that the excessive consumption of refined sugar or high-fructose corn syrup can give way to liver diseases? However, for most of us, cutting down our sugar consumption isn’t as easy as it sounds.
Due to its addictive nature, quitting sugar becomes a tough mountain to climb. If its consumption is left unchecked, it could pave the way for fatty liver or other liver diseases. But what if there is a way through which you can satiate your sugar cravings without damaging your liver?
With vitamins, minerals, and a lot of antioxidants, honey serves a dual purpose- fulfilling the urge for sugar consumption without causing harm to the body. However, owing to its sweetness, most people are unaware of its liver-protective properties.
If you have doubts in your mind, such as is honey good for fatty liver or not, you have come to the right place as we’ll give you a complete overview. First, we would cover how this golden liquid is made, followed by its nutritional profile, and how would it benefit your liver. So, without any further ado, let us begin with how honey is made:
How honey is made?
The entire process of the creation of honey is nothing short of a miracle. Here is a sequence-wise process of how honey gets created:
For just a pound of honey, nearly 60,000 bees may have to travel 55,000 miles collectively and visit around two million flowers! Since you now know how this magical elixir gets created, let’s move on to the nutritional profile of honey.
The nutritional profile of honey
When we look into the nutritional profile of honey, we find that it is a miraculous fusion of trace enzymes, natural sugars, minerals, vitamins, amino acids, and antioxidants.
With every individual component dispensing benefit in their unique ways, they all come together to give a synergizing effect to the body. The composition of honey is approximately 82.4 % total carbohydrates, 17.1 % water, and .5 % proteins, amino acids, vitamins and minerals.
When we break down honey’s carbohydrate content, it is 31 % glucose, 12.9 % maltose, sucrose and other sugars, and 38.5 % fructose.
As the color and flavor of honey varies from one floral source to another, its antioxidant, vitamin, mineral, and amino acid content also differs from the floral source. Where vitamins might include pantothenic acid, niacin, and riboflavin, minerals might include magnesium, zinc, and potassium, amongst others.
All of these facts point in the same direction- the consumption of all-natural honey gives your body a healthy boost! Since we’re now aware of the nutritional profile of honey and how it is made, let’s find the answer to the question- is honey good for fatty liver?
Is honey good for liver?
Throughout world history, honey has always been valued for its nutritional and healing properties. When we take a look at honey’s applications in medieval times, we find that it has long been used for the improvement of liver health and lowering the risk of liver diseases. So, while the answer to this question is definitive, let’s take a deeper look into it:
- Honey helps in protecting the liver from bile obstruction damage
Made by the liver to help in the digestion of food, bile goes through specific bile ducts and accumulates in the gallbladder. If inflammation, gallstones, or tumors block these ducts, they can cause severe damage to the liver.
According to a study published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology, honey can help in protecting the liver from bile obstruction damage due to its therapeutic properties.
- Honey helps in controlling the blood sugar level
A study published in the International Journal of Biological Sciences in July 2012 proved that there lies a link between the consumption of honey and improved blood sugar level.
The liver and the pancreas play a significant role in controlling the blood sugar levels of your body. As diabetes is generally linked to liver dysfunction, honey, through several metabolic processes, might help in enhancing the liver’s potential to control the blood sugar level.
- Honey provides protection against toxin exposure
According to the authors of the Evidence Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine journal, honey seems to provide protection to the liver from toxic chemicals.
Under this study, researchers gave a potent liver toxin to two separate groups of rats, where one group would get administered with honey and the other would not. Over a period of time, the rat group without honey developed severe liver conditions while the other rat group with honey had fought against the toxins. Hence, it can be said honey shields the liver from toxin exposure.
- Honey has good bacteria
The digestive system is inhabited by good bacteria which plays a vital role for healthy digestion to take place. Being a powerhouse of such good bacteria, pure raw honey has four species of bifidobacteria and six species of lactobacilli.
Several of the top researchers have remarked that the liver is impervious to damage if the level of good bacteria is high in the body. In other words, one can say that honey makes the liver damage-resistant!
This is why honey is considered to be good for fatty liver. However, when we say honey, we refer to pure and organic honey and not the one’s mass-manufactured in factories. The reason behind it is most of the honey brands have high-fructose corn syrup present in their honey that can support the build-up of fat around the liver. On the other hand, raw honey is free from adulteration and full of nutrition!
What is a honey diet?
Since it is now proved that honey improves the health of your liver, the next thing to focus on is how to consume honey as a part of our daily diet.
You could do so by following a honey diet. Now, what is a honey diet, and what does it imply?
A honey diet means substituting your table sugar with honey. It refers to replacing sugar in your meals and beverages with honey. Adopting a honey diet doesn’t only help in the detoxification of the liver, but it also helps in providing several benefits to the human body, some of which are:
- Protects the body from free radicals
Free radicals try to damage our cells through a process called oxidative stress, which is generally linked with inflammatory disorders, ageing, and cancer.
Honey, with a wide range of powerful antioxidants, helps in combating the cell damage from these free radicals, keeping our body healthy and sound.
- Honey soothes a sore throat
If you think that the idea of honey soothing a sore throat is an old wives’ tale, you might want to reconsider as scholars have proved that a 2.5-ml dose of honey is equally or more effective than a cough suppressant.
Due to its anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties, honey can lower the level of inflammation in the throat. Moreover, due to its soothing consistency, it induces a calming effect on the throat, hence, acting as a complete remedy for a sore throat.
- Honey can give a boost to your immunity
Till now, you must have got an idea that honey is a powerhouse of antioxidants with antifungal and anti-bacterial properties present in them.
All of these characteristics enable honey to protect the structural integrity of tissues and cells. Moreover, since they also neutralize the free radicals present in the body, they protect the immunity cells from damage. Thus, honey can act as an immunity booster for your body.
- Honey can help in weight management
Several studies over the past few years have shown that consistent consumption of small amounts of honey could help you in managing your weight.
While losing weight with honey could be achieved through several methods, it is primarily associated with the number of calories that honey has in comparison to sugar.
Hence, adopting a honey diet won’t only help in the treatment of fatty liver, but it would also help in nourishing the entire body. Apart from the above-mentioned benefits, honey also helps in lowering sinus issues and improving memory.
With an enriched nutritional profile, a distinctive fructose and glucose composition, and immense health benefits (including protecting the liver from diseases and damage) honey is amongst the top choices for those individuals with liver concerns who want to satiate their sweet tooth. However, before indulging in the sweetness of honey, consult with your doctor, especially if you are diabetic or allergic to bee stings.