Honey is not just a tasty and nutritious product. With it, you can strengthen the immune system and increase the body’s resistance to seasonal colds.

However, for this you need to use honey correctly. What portion of honey is safe for the body, how can and how not to use honey, and can it be added to food for children? told about this allergist-immunologist Irina Estrina.

Honey is rightly considered one of the most beneficial foods for immunity. Just 2 tablespoons of honey provides the body with all the important vitamins and minerals needed to strengthen the immune system. In addition, honey contains fructose, glucose, maltose, sucrose, vitamins B, K, C, as well as polyphenols and trace elements, so it has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial effects.

In order to get sick less in late autumn and winter, add a teaspoon of honey to tea or milk. Better yet, drink tea with lemon and ginger. It is useful to use honey as an independent product – 1 hour before or after a meal. Best of all – 1-2 teaspoon in the morning, on an empty stomach. Honey is also useful in combination with lemon, nuts, ginger, dried fruits.

Is it true that when heated, honey becomes a poison?

Honey should not be added to a liquid whose temperature is above 40 degrees – in boiling water it loses its healing properties. If honey is heated to 42 degrees, substances harmful to the body will be released from it. Therefore, honey should be added after the tea has been brewed and the water has cooled down a bit.

At the same time, even with prolonged heat treatment, honey will not turn into poison, since it initially does not contain any toxic components that are dangerous to humans. Hydroxymethylfurfural (OMF), which is considered by many to be a carcinogen (although it is not) is formed when carbohydrate compounds are heated in an acidic environment. In honey, the source of hydroxymethylfurfural is fructose. Since there is an acidic environment in honey, partial decomposition of fructose occurs with the formation of hydroxymethylfurfural, which accelerates when heated. Confectionery and jams contain hydroxymethylfurfural in quantities ten times higher than the allowable standard for honey. So far, no harm has been found from this to the body.

Does honey often cause allergies?

Allergy to honey does not occur very often, and its symptoms may vary from person to person. Allergies can manifest as hives, rhinitis, angioedema, anaphylactic shock, breathing problems (coughing, sneezing, runny nose, breathing disorders and difficulty.) Someone has painful bloating, cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea . In more complex cases, headaches, dizziness, up to fainting are noted.

At the same time, an allergic person can react differently to varieties of honey: some are well tolerated, others cause an allergic reaction. Among the most allergenic varieties of honey are flower and linden, as they contain meadow grass pollen. The abuse of honey can also lead to an allergic attack.

Allergy sufferers should also be wary of any bee products.

At what age can honey be given to children?

Acquaintance of children with honey can begin no earlier than a year, in an amount of no more than 1-2 teaspoons per day. Children up to the second year of life can be given 1/2 teaspoon of honey, and older than 2 years no more than 1 teaspoon per day. This product is excluded from the diet of allergic children up to 3 years, and if the child has an allergy to honey, then this product will have to be completely excluded from the diet.