Health Benefits of Honey

To some, honey may seem like a “naughty” sugary treat, grouped in with white sugar or sweeteners.  Really though, honey is a fantastic superfood to incorporate into your diet, as long as you know the right honey to buy.

honeyDue to diet, our environment, and stressful, crazy lives, lots of us rely on coffee or caffeine to get through the day. Sometimes, often around 3PM, I know I find myself nibbling on chocolate for the energy boost, but some hot tea with honey or toast with honey are much better ways to get that energy I’m hoping for.  In the mornings I like to add honey to my breakfast smoothies before or after a workout, because honey boosts performance and endurance and reduces muscle fatigue.

Honey is a powerful immune system booster.  It’s antioxidant properties help the digestive system and aid in cancer prevention. I like to put some honey in my tea or hot water with lemon, especially if I’m sick or have a sore throat. So soothing.  For centuries people have used honey to repair cuts and burns also.  Other health issues honey can help with are allergies, arthritis, yeast infections, athlete foot, and trouble sleeping.  Honey reportedly helps hangovers too!

unnamed

My morning smoothie. Organic strawberries, banana, a couple handfuls of spinach, 2% Greek yogurt, almond milk, chia seeds, hemp seeds, flax seeds, and organic, locally-harvested bee pollen.

In India, Ayurvedic medicine has used honey for thousands of years for healing and balancing the body.  Ayurvedic medicine reports that honey improves eyesight, weight loss, cures impotence and premature ejaculation, urinary tract disorders, bronchial asthma, diarrhea, and nausea (Source: care2.com).

unnamed-2There’s some debate about the practices used to harvest bee pollen.  Bee pollen is loved by health enthusiasts for its superfood qualities and high levels of protein.  My photo above is actually of my bee pollen, but I bought it straight from the bee keeper at my local farmers market and was aware of his practices.  I have read that collecting the pollen can involve the death of large numbers of bees, but that’s something I need to research more.

So now that I have you convinced as to why you should eat honey, it’s important to know what honey to buy.  Go organic or locally-made and treat it as a medicine.  Stay clear of commercially-made honey.

Don’t:

-Don’t buy honey made outside of the U.S. Honey made in places like China is often mixed with other syrups.

-Don’t buy the commercialized, pasteurized honey.

-Don’t use honey as a sugar substitute.

Do:

-Buy locally grown honey.

-Buy organic or wild, non-pasteurized honey.

-Use honey in small amounts as a superfood.

-Use as a medicine topically for cuts and burns.

(Source: Renegade)

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