Is Honey Good For Your Brain?

Honey has been used for thousands of years for its medicinal properties. It has been used to treat wounds, relieve coughs, ease sore throats and even cure stomach ulcers.

But did you know that honey also has excellent brain health benefits?

In this article, we will discuss if honey is good for your brain? What benefits does it offer for the brain? Also, what is the relationship between honey and serotonin? And more.

Is Honey Good For Your Brain?

Honey belongs among the best brain foods. As it’s often called, this liquid gold contains natural antioxidants that bees collect from various plants.

Antioxidants are compounds found in fruits, vegetables, herbs, spices, nuts, seeds, beans, legumes, tea, wine, coffee, chocolate, dark beer, red meat, fish, poultry, eggs, olive oil, green leafy veggies like spinach, broccoli, kale, collard greens, etc., and other healthy food items. They help prevent oxidative damage caused by free radicals within our bodies. Oxidation can cause cell death or result in chronic diseases such as cancer. Antioxidant-rich foods have a protective effect on cells against oxidative stress.

The potent mix of antioxidants in honey protects your brain cells from inflammation, supports your mood, and improves blood flow to the hippocampus. This is the brain area responsible for memory formation, learning new things, and improving sleep quality. Our brain needs a constant supply of oxygenated blood to function correctly. When there isn’t enough circulation, our brains can become sluggish or foggy.

What does honey do for your brain?

Boosts Blood Flow To The Hippocampus Area Of The Brain

When you eat honey, it enters your bloodstream through your digestive system. Once inside your body, it travels throughout your circulatory system as a whole before reaching your brain. As soon as it reaches your brain, it gets absorbed directly into the capillaries surrounding each neuron. This helps increase the amount of oxygen delivered to these areas of the brain.

Helps You Sleep Better

Sleep deprivation affects every aspect of our lives, including how we think, feel, act, and even age faster. It causes us to make mistakes, lose focus, forget things, get angry quickly, and become depressed. Sleep loss increases risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease by up to 50%. Studies show that when people consume honey regularly, they tend to experience fewer nighttime awakenings and less frequent snoring than those who don’t use honey at all. What makes honey so effective in reducing nighttime disturbances is its ability to reduce cortisol. Cortisol tends to be elevated during times of poor sleep quality. By lowering cortisol levels, honey promotes restful sleep.

Protects Neurons From Inflammation

Neuroinflammation refers to the process where immune cells infiltrate the central nervous system. These cells release inflammatory chemicals that trigger pain signals and impair communication between nerve fibers. It also causes neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, stroke, traumatic head injury, epilepsy, etc.

Enhances Mood And Memory

A double blind placebo controlled trial conducted at University College London, UK, showed that consuming 1 teaspoon of local raw honey daily improved cognitive performance compared to those taking sugar pills. Participants were given either one tablespoon of honey or two teaspoons of sugar three times a day over four weeks. At the end of the fourth week, researchers gave participants an intelligence test known as Raven’s Progressive Matrices Test. Results revealed that the group receiving honey performed better than the control group.

Improves Serotonin Levels

 Serotonin is a neurotransmitter produced naturally in the human body. It plays a role in regulating emotions, appetite, sleep patterns, and more. Low serotonin levels are linked to depression, anxiety disorders, insomnia, fatigue, and many others. According to research published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, eating 2 tablespoons of honey daily increased serotonin levels in patients suffering from a major depressive disorder.

Reduces Stress Levels

If you’re stressed out about something at work, take some time off to relax with a cup of tea and a slice of toast topped with honey. It may not sound like much, but studies show that eating just one teaspoon of honey before bedtime reduces cortisol levels by up to 50%. This means less stress and more restful sleep.

Stress has been linked to many different conditions ranging from heart attacks to diabetes. According to research, honey reduces cortisol, making it easier to deal with stressful situations.

Boosts Dopamine Function

Dopamine plays an essential role in regulating attention, motivation, pleasure seeking behavior, motor control, and movement. When this chemical doesn’t work correctly, symptoms such as apathy, lack of interest, poor concentration, and fatigue often occur.

What Is The Relationship Between Honey And Serotonin?

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter in our brains that helps us think clearly and make decisions. When too many thoughts are going through our minds at once, or when we’re stressed out, our bodies release less serotonin than usual. As a result, we can become confused, anxious, depressed, forgetful, etc.

So how does honey help with these issues? As mentioned above, honey contains antioxidant compounds called flavonoids that have anti-inflammatory effects on the body. These flavonoid compounds work by protecting cells from damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are molecules that cause inflammation in the body. They are produced naturally during normal metabolism, but they can be increased due to stress, poor diet, smoking cigarettes, pollution, sun exposure, alcohol consumption, lack of sleep, etc.

So consuming foods rich in antioxidants like honey may reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases.

Honey Brain Benefits FAQ

Does Eating Honey Make You Smarter?

Yes, according to some studies, drinking one tablespoon of honey daily can enhance cognitive function. However, not all research agrees with this claim. Some say that honey isn’t effective in improving cognition.

The reason why different researchers come to such conflicting conclusions about whether honey enhances cognitive performance might be related to the type of study being conducted. Most of the studies done were small scale trials and used particular types of tests.

For example, one trial found that honey improved working memory while another showed no effect. Another tested verbal fluency instead of general intelligence. Still, others looked at attention span rather than overall mental ability.

However, several large scale studies show that honey does indeed improve cognitive abilities. One recent review published in Frontiers in Nutrition concluded: “Overall, evidence suggests that intake may positively affect cognitive functions.”

How Does Honey Help With Memory Loss?

When you consume honey regularly, it improves memory retention because it increases the level of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine plays an important role in learning new things and remembering them later.

Dopamine acts as a “teacher” in the brain; it tells the parts responsible for movement where to go next. If you don’t eat enough sugar, your brain doesn’t get enough dopamine to tell those areas to move around properly. So you end up forgetting stuff!

This makes sense since most people who have dementia have low levels of dopamine in their brains. But eating honey every day could increase the amount of dopamine available to your brain, so you remember everything much easier.

Conclusion on Honey Brain Benefits

Honey serves as a very real brain food. It helps improve sleep, mood, and memory. And if you’re looking for ways to keep yourself healthy, there’s nothing quite like adding more honey into your life.

Don’t be afraid to eat it in moderation. It won’t make you gain weight. Honey has a relatively low glycaemic index, so it won’t spike your blood sugar as refined carbs do. Instead, it will give you stable energy and antioxidants for optimal brain function.

If you want to try out honey for yourself, here are two recipes I’ve created using local honey. Enjoy!

1) Healthy Breakfast Smoothie Recipe

2) Simple Homemade Granola Bars

What Do You Think About Honey? Share Your Thoughts Below!