Honey – The Sweet Sweet Truth!
Did you know that honey has been coveted as a natural sweetener long before processed sugar became widely available? It is a remarkable substance that has many health benefits besides a tasty sweetener for your tea and baking. No two honey jars contain the same sweet honey! There are over 300 kinds of honey, each with a unique color and flavor that is dependent on the nectar source. Your average “Grade A” honey from the grocery store is very likely highly processed and will lack the many beneficial properties that the local raw honey in your area has. If you do a little taste test you will find a BIG difference in taste as well! Try to choose local, raw, unfiltered honey from a trusted source for its health building properties over the store bought highly processed honey. It should be noted right up front that honey is high in fructose (a type of sugar) so should be used in moderation even if you are healthy. If you are insulin resistant, are taking medications for blood sugar issues, or if you have liver issues you should avoid sweeteners including honey.
So, what exactly is honey anyway?
Honey is actually a blend of different substances. There is sugar, trace enzymes, minerals, vitamins and amino-acids that have antibacterial, anti-fungal and antioxidant properties. Who knew this sticky sweetener packed such a nutritional punch? Honey has anti-inflammatory and properties that help build your immune system due to its phenolic and flavonoid compounds. This means is that honey can help with chronic inflammation, which is the root of many chronic diseases. Some more nutritional value that honey adds is a range of micro-nutrients including sodium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, selenium, copper, iron, chromium, vitamin C and the list goes on!!
Here are some of the unique health benefits of honey:
Helps to lower the risk of cancer of the cervix, skin, colon, prostate and breasts.
Helps to reduce the risk of neurologic diseases because honey has anxiolytic, antidepressant and antinociceptive properties.
Helps to lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases due to honey improving coronary vasodilation, reducing blood clots and inhibiting the bad cholesterol (LDL) from oxidizing.
Honey has anti-diabetic effects!?! This may sound surprising, but studies have shown that honey can have a hypo-glycemic effect on the body and plays a role in both preventing and treating diabetes. (Consult a nutrition expert before experimenting with this on your own!)
Works well to help soothe sore throats and cough as well as sleeping related symptoms acting like cough syrup.
Helps to treat skin infections, wound healing and improves dandruff/itchy scalp.
Helps to boost energy by providing a time-released fuel before or after exercise.
Reduces allergy symptoms if used a few months prior to allergy season, helping the body activate its immune system and building natural immunity over time. (Refer to last weeks blog for more on alleviating allergy symptoms.)
Interesting fact about honey: Manuka honey is made with pollen gathered from the flowers of the medicinal Manuka bush. Study’s show that Manuka honey can effectively kill more than 250 different harmful strains of bacteria including some resistant varieties. Manuka honey has antiseptic properties that make it far superior to other types of honey when it comes to keeping you healthy.
Honey is a better choice for sweetening our foods and drinks that we consume. It needs to be used in moderation like any sugary substance. It should be purchased locally and be raw and unfiltered. We hear a lot about saving the bees and the important role they play in our ecosystem. Bees make this amazing substance that has all these valuable benefits to our health. Hopefully this might motivate you to plant some bee friendly flowers this spring to help support our local bee population! Many of my friends have bee hives in their backyards and benefit from raising bees that give them lots of nourishing honey.
Are you looking to get even healthier? Are you interested in lowering inflammation and feeling your best by adding some sweet honey to your day? Could you use some support figuring out what you need to eat to feel your best? Curious about how nutritional health coaching can help you make healthy changes? Let’s talk! Schedule an initial complimentary consultation with us today—or pass this offer on to someone you care about! Visit www.noshoesnutrition.com and sign up for a FREE consultation. We work with people from all over the world individually or in groups so don’t let anything hold you back!