Food that calms you down: Honey

Runny hunny

By Scott Bauer, USDA ARS [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

In this post I am going to be talking about what most people consider the healthy alternative to sugar, what Winnie the Pooh loves the most and what bees work on making all day, every day. That’s right, in this post I talk about honey.

I’m sure a lot of you like honey, I certainly do; honey with milk is one my favourite things. Bees definitely love it; they protect the stuff with their lives. But we’re moving away from the point. How does honey help with stress and anxiety?

Let’s kick things off with this article posted on beepollenbuzz.com titled, “Raw Honey Relieves Anxiety and Stress,” written by Angela, CNP. In this article, the author talks about a study conducted by scientists to see if raw honey helped animals with stress and anxiety and motor movement.

In the study the scientists fed some rats various doses of honey, 0.5, 1.0, and 2.0 grams per 1 kg of body weight. The scientists then put the rats through two tests that would measure their anxiety and their level of activity (the Hole Board test and the Open Field test). The scientists saw significant changes in the behaviour of the rats that took the high dosages of honey. According to the article, the rats which took the highest dosage of honey (2 grams per kg) did the best in the tests, meaning that they were relaxed and showed better motor skills than the rats that took the lower doses of honey. They also found that the honey was fast acting, working on the same day it was consumed.

Now unfortunately, the dose needed to see significate change is pretty high. If you weighed say 50 kg, you would have to take 100 grams of honey. That’s a lot of honey to take in one sitting; but never fear, according to the article even taking a teaspoon of honey before bed is enough to make you feel good.

Next we will talk about an article on livestrong.com titled, “Anxiety and Honey,” written by Ashley Miller. This article goes into a little more detail about anxiety and how it affects us. It also talks about the therapeutic benefits of using honey, how Chinese healers and Ayurvedic practitioners in India use honey to heal the body of various ailments. Finally the article talks about how honey can benefit anxiety; it makes mention of the University of Cambridge Counselling Service and how they say eating bread with honey or drinking tea with honey before going to bed can help anxiety. It also mentions how researchers at Waikato University in New Zealand conducted a study on how honey, sucrose or sugar-free diets affected anxiety and memory in laboratory rats (it might be the same study they talked about in the other article I mentioned but I’m not sure).  That study found that honey might indeed be good for anxiety and memory although they do say that more research is needed for conclusive results (because that’s how science works).

All in all it seems like taking some honey for stress and anxiety is a good idea. So next time you’ve had a long tiring day why not make yourself some honey tea or honey on toast? If nothing else you’ll have something nice and sweet to eat/drink; oh and it would be healthy too. Neat!

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