Scientists have found that a diet sweetened with honey could decrease anxiety, improve memory and help prevent aging. Honey is a sweet yellow liquid produced by honeybees. Scientists believe that honey has some antioxidant properties. Since ancient times people across the globe have been using honey as a natural food, sweetener, beauty treatment and also for medical use.
It has been used as an antiseptic therapeutic agent for the treatment of ulcers, burns and wounds. It also contains various micronutrients said to help prevent some cancers and combat hay fever.
Researchers at the University of Waikato in New Zealand conducted tests on rats and found that honey could also improve memory and reduce anxiety and help counter the effects of aging, reported the online edition of Daily Mail.
The researchers raised the rats on diets of 10 percent honey, eight percent sucrose or no sugar at all for a year. The rats were two months old at the start of the trial, and were assessed every three months using tests designed to measure anxiety and spatial memory.
The honey-fed rats spent almost twice as much time in the open sections of an assessment maze then sucrose-fed rats, suggesting they were less anxious. They were also more likely to enter novel sections of a Y-shaped maze, suggesting they knew where they had been previously and had better spatial memory.
Researcher Nicola Starkey said: "Diets sweetened with honey may be beneficial in decreasing anxiety and improving memory during ageing." She believes this could be due to the antioxidant properties of honey, which have previously been demonstrated in humans.