A tablespoon of honey a day for gut health
Honey is a mix of complex and simple sugars, the simple sugars are rapidly absorbed by the body when honey’s eaten, but the complex sugars aren’t and they make it down to the gut where they help the ‘good bacteria’ to flourish and the bad not to. It means honey’s a prebiotic i.e a carbohydrate that’s not digested and absorbed so it reaches the large intestine where it’s used by beneficial bacteria.
Prebiotics have been shown to both promote the growth of healthy bacteria in the large bowel and to prevent the symptoms associated with bowel disorders, including irritable bowel disease and irregular bowel function. More recently prebiotics, in particular fructooligosaccharides (FOS) and galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS), have been reported to have significant health benefits in relation to anti-cancer properties, and influence on mineral absorption, lipid metabolism, and anti-inflammatory effects (Macfarlane et al., 2007). This is one reason why honey is good for hayfever and IBS as it reduces the symptoms of inflammation etc..
On top of this, honey also has varying concentrations in polyphenols (polyphenols are thought to help reduce heart disease and cancer) boosting the body’s natural defences and a recent study shows that eating honey daily raises levels of disease-fighting antioxidants in the blood.
A tablespoon of raw honey a day really is good for gut bacteria - what a fabulous medicine!