If everything is honey, and I am what I eat, I must be made of honey…and life is very sweet! –Winnie the Pooh
It’s no secret that I love honey. I have always had a sweet tooth, and honey helped me tremendously when transitioning to clean eating, and away from refined sugar. Research now indicates that switching out your sugar for honey can actually result in numerous health benefits. Maybe that silly old bear was on to something.
Not Just Any Honey…
So, like with anything that we buy in our modern society, we have to be mindful about the type of honey that we buy, It’s not enough to buy the cheapest or the first honey you see in a store and congratulate yourself for making a healthy choice. Unfortunately even honey is not safe from big industry and the dilution of good quality to make more quantity. So what do you need to look for when buying honey?
- Raw. Raw honey is pure, unpasteurized and unfiltered, and contains full nutrient benefit, unlike it’s processed competitors.
- Local. Raw local honey can boost immunity and relieve allergies by allowing you to consume the very pollen that often triggers allergies, thus gradually desensitizing you to the allergy-inducing offenders. How cool is that?
- Pure. Of course you want to make sure that the honey you buy is just that – honey. Check the label to make sure it doesn’t contain any added flavors, chemicals, sugar…you get the gist. It should be honey. Pure, local, raw honey.
- Farmers. While you may be able to find some good quality raw local honey in the grocery stores, it’s always a good idea to buy from your local farmers markets, and ask the farmers questions about their bees and their honey. This not only ensures that you get the purest and freshest honey, but at the same time you’re supporting the farmers in their mission to provide good quality, nutrient-rich foods for the consumers.
Benefits of Honey
So we all know honey is delicious. It’s sweet, it’s smooth, it’s beautiful, and it usually comes in a variety of flavors depending on the bees’ nectar source. And when you taste raw, local honey…it’s indescribable. So if that’s not reason enough to ditch the sugar, here are some of the many benefits of this heavenly sweetener:
- Can improve allergy symptoms and boost immunity.
- Contains powerful antioxidants polyphenols.
- Weight loss management. Studies actually show that, not only can switching from refined sugar to honey promote weight loss, but honey may actually contain an appetite suppressing quality which can lead to weight loss and obesity prevention.
- Improves scalp and hair. Honey can improve dermatitis when used on the scalp, and can be used as a conditioner for the hair.
- Moisturizes and smoothes skin, making for an excellent natural ingredient in skin care.
- Can boost energy.
- Helps relieve cold/flu symptoms. Honey contains properties that help soothe and relieve mouth and throat irritation. It’s one of the simplest and most effective remedies for sore throats and coughs.
- Antibacterial and antifungal. Honey contains antiseptic properties which make it ideal for treating wounds, and historically it has been used in fighting infections.
So honey is awesome. But before you go out and buy a vat of it like some people might do (not naming any names here), please note that as with any sweetener honey should be consumed in moderation. It is actually 53 percent fructose, which means that despite it’s many health benefits, consuming too much can be detrimental to your body. Best to use it medicinally, as a treat, and a sweetener for your tea; but when needed carbs or an energy boost opt for fresh fruits and veggies instead!