Have you ever wondered why you see people putting honey in their coffee instead of sugar or other alternatives? I was thinking about this very subject so I did some research to find out how adding it to coffee is good for you and why you should at least consider using it to your daily coffee routine.
Many things such as being sweeter, were pretty obvious! But some of the health benefits of putting honey in coffee I found in my research are quite surprising! I urge you to read on and possibly make the switch from sugar or other alternatives to honey!
What are the Health Benefits of Adding Honey to Coffee?
Many cultures have used honey for thousands of years, and not just to make their food and drinks sweeter. Honey has been known as an effective disinfectant, and anti-inflammatory and has also been used as a beauty aid. Here are just some of the benefits of honey when added to your daily cup of coffee.
Depending on the source of the nectar used to produce it, honey can have a much heftier nutritional weight than regular sugar does. Using sugar only gives you calories, but honey has the added benefit of vitamins such as vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6, riboflavin and many others.
Honey also contains some trace minerals such as calcium, iron, phosphorous and zinc, all of which are necessary to maintain a healthy body.
Of course, honey itself is not a substitute for a well-rounded, healthy diet. Still, trace vitamins are still better than no vitamins at all. Especially if you’re talking about sweeteners.
Sweeter than Sugar
Although people would tell you that honey actually has more calories than sugar pound for pound, they wouldn’t actually tell you that you don’t need to use as much honey when sweetening up your cup of coffee. This is because honey is usually sweeter than sugar.
So, although a teaspoon of honey contains 22 calories, you wouldn’t need to use more than that teaspoon. You will have the luxury of using less honey without sacrificing the sweetness.
Did you know that honey was once used as a medicinal component for thousands of years? Well, that’s because honey is an effective antimicrobial compound. In fact, many ancient cultures have applied honey to various wounds, burns or ulcers and it has been found to help them heal much quicker than normal.
By adding honey to your coffee, you get to enjoy these benefits as well. For example, honey can act as a natural cough suppressant. So, if you have a cough and would rather not take an over the counter treatment for it, honey can be a good alternative. It’s also a good and natural way to soothe a sore throat.
Rich in Antioxidants
Honey is also known for being rich in antioxidants. By adding honey to your daily cup of coffee, you are ensuring that your body is protected from the effects of free radicals. This means lower risks of developing certain cancers, less chance of developing Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease, and even slowing down the ageing process.
Honey’s healing properties don’t stop at it being antimicrobial. It’s also been known to be an effective anti-inflammatory as well. This makes honey a useful substance at not only managing chronic inflammation, such as atherosclerosis, diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular diseases, but also helps prevent them in people who are prone to develop them. This is in stark contrast to regular sugar, which is known to actually make inflammatory reactions much worse.
If the honey you’ve been using is locally sourced, then it’s also very likely that it can help with your allergies, too. Allergies caused by pollen in particular get reduced symptoms, with some people even saying that they don’t suffer them as often altogether.
One of the main theories behind this is that local honey contains traces of pollen. This trace amount of pollen helps people with allergies desensitize themselves to allergic reactions by repeatedly exposing their bodies to them.
On top of this, thanks to honey’s anti-inflammatory properties, people who do get allergies all the same suffer less severe symptoms, which means they don’t have to take as much medication as they used to.
Easier to Digest
Making the switch to honey can also do wonders for you if you have a sensitive stomach. Unlike refined sugars, honey itself doesn’t need to be broken down as much during digestion.
This is because honey itself has already been broken down by the bees while it’s being processed from nectar. Honey also contains special enzymes that have already partially broken down the sugar long before it’s been ingested. This makes honey easier to process and isn’t as tough on your digestive system.
What are the different types of Honey?
How many types of honey are there? Probably a lot more then you imagined. I know it was for me. Here is list of the major ones available today.
Now, a lot of the flavors of these will be hidden when added to your coffee but not all! Adding any of these to your coffee will sweeten up your cup plus give you some additional health beneifts
- Clover Honey – Clover honey has a clean, mild taste without any bitterness.
- Buckwheat Honey – It has a sharp spicy aroma and taste with bitter tones
- Acacia Honey – The flavor is very sweet, slightly acidic with hints of vanilla and no aftertaste.
- Manuka Honey – It is aromatic with damp earth and heather notes and a cool menthol (or eucalyptus) taste
- Wildflower Honey – It tastes changes from year to year but is usually mild tasting
- Tupelo Honey – It has a mild floral and fruity taste The aroma is cinnamon and floral.
- Orange Blossom – Honey has a sweet and mild flavor and a light citrus fruity taste
- Sourwood Honey – It tastes like buttery caramel. The aftertaste has a slight hint as what can best be described as gingerbread
- Linden Honey – It is medium sweet, with a woodsy flavor. Strong flavors of mint and lime aftertaste
- Sage Honey – It is sweet and balanced, similar to tupelo honey
- Eucalyptus Honey – A medium-strong caramel up front taste, with a woody, warm aftertaste.
- Avocado Honey – Has a robust and buttery flavor and texture, somewhat similar to molasses or cane syrup
- Blueberry Honey – This has a light tang and a fruity flavor
- Dandelion Honey – This honey has a sharp taste and an aroma reminiscent of the flower itself but often stronger
- Fireweed Honey – It has a complex flavor and a slightly buttery texture.
- Heather Honey – This can taste slightly bitter, tangy, pungent and smoky with a mildly sweet taste that persists for a long time.
- Macadamia Nut Honey – A floral and nutty honey with a dark amber color and smooth liquid texture
- Palmetto Honey – It has a sweet, fruity caramel taste with a rich and robust flavor
A Recipe on adding Honey to Coffee
There are alot of ways of adding honey to coffee, from adding it to cold brew coffee to a single or double shot of espresso. But, for the purposes of this article and to just give you an idea of how versatile honey is, let’s take a look at just one of the ways on how you can actually add this natural sweetener to your daily cup.
Ingredients (4 servings)
- Freshly Brewed Coffee
- 1/2 cup of Milk (Skim or Whole)
- 1/4 cup Honey
- 1/4 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 1/8 teaspoon Cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
- Start by mixing the coffee, milk, honey and cinnamon into a saucepan. You can add a dash of nutmeg to taste.
- Heat the mix and stir regularly. Don’t let it boil.
- Once it’s warm enough, remove it from the heat, then add the vanilla.
- Serve immediately while warm.
If you gotten to this point I hope that I have been able to convince you to at least give honey a try the time you have a cup of coffee. Its a healthier alternative to sugar and you may just enjoy your cup of coffee more!