Discover the health benefits of one of the oldest sweeteners on earth, plus some interesting trivia, some great recipes and a few cautions.
Bees swallow, digest and regurgitate nectar to make honey; this nectar contains almost 600 compounds. We need our bees, so let’s do everything we can to save them and keep them here on this earth.
Honey is so good we have included it in our list of powerfoods that should be in your kitchen right now.
1. Prevent cancer and heart disease:
Honey contains flavonoids, antioxidants which help reduce the risk of some cancers and heart disease.
2. Reduce ulcers and other gastrointestinal disorders.
Recent research shows that honey treatment may help disorders such as ulcers and bacterial gastroenteritis. This may be related to the 3rd benefit…
3. Anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-fungal:
“All honey is antibacterial, because the bees add an enzyme that makes hydrogen peroxide,” said Peter Molan, director of the Honey Research Unit at the University of Waikato in New Zealand.
4. Increase athletic performance.
Ancient Olympic athletes would eat honey and dried figs to enhance their performance. This has now been verified with modern studies, showing that it is superior in maintaining glycogen levels and improving recovery time than other sweeteners.
5. Reduce cough and throat irritation:
Honey helps with coughs, particularly buckwheat honey. In a study of 110 children, a single dose of buckwheat honey was just as effective as a single dose of dextromethorphan in relieving nocturnal cough and allowing proper sleep.
6. Balance the 5 elements:
Honey has been used in ayurvedic medicine in India for at least 4000 years and is considered to affect all three of the body’s primitive material imbalances positively. It is also said to be useful useful in improving eyesight, weight loss, curing impotence and premature ejaculation, urinary tract disorders, bronchial asthma, diarrhea, and nausea.
Honey is referred as “Yogavahi” since it has a quality of penetrating the deepest tissues of the body. When honey is used with other herbal preparations, it enhances the medicinal qualities of those preparations and also helps them to reach the deeper tissues.
7. Blood sugar regulation:
Even though honey contains simple sugars, it is NOT the same as white sugar or artificial sweeteners. Its exact combination of fructose and glucose actually helps the body regulate blood sugar levels. Some honeys have a low hypoglycemic index, so they don’t jolt your blood sugar. Watch this video Sweetener Comparison where I compare stevia, brown rice syrup, honey, molasses and agave, and discuss the strengths and weaknesses of each.)
8. Heal wounds and burns:
External application of honey has been shown to be as effective as conventional treatment with silver sulfadiazine. It is speculated that the drying effect of the simple sugars and honey’s antibacterial nature combine to create this effect.
Some varieties of honey possess large amounts of friendly bacteria. This includes up to 6 species of lactobacilli and 4 species of bifidobacteria. This may explain many of the “mysterious therapeutic properties of honey.”
10. Beautiful skin:
Its anti-bacterial qualities are particularly useful for the skin, and, when used with the other ingredients, can also be moisturizing and nourishing! For a powerful home beauty treatment for which you probably have all the ingredients in your kitchen already, read Carrot Face Mask
Fun Honey Recipes:
Honey Syrup: the goodness and taste of both honey and molasses.
Orange Honey Syrup: healthier than sugar-based syrups with an orange zing!
Dandelion Flower Syrup: combining the goodness of honey with another powerfood: dandelions.
Peanut Butter Bliss Balls: Recipe created in my hippy days in the 70s—they are yummy!
Mango Squares: mmmmangos yum!
Oatmeal Cinnamon Porridge & Sultanas: with a little honey for breakfast.
Dandelion Tea: for any time with a dash of honey.
Sugarless Date Squares: Not so sweet as the usual ones.