healthy eating Nov 06, 2020

Honey is as interesting as the insect that makes it.  The process of raising bees and harvesting honey from the comb would fascinate any self sustaining enthusiast.  While honey may become forgotten in your pantry, here are some honey facts which will have you reconsidering this caramel colored gem. 

1.  Versatility 

Honey has a variety of uses. 

Cooking and baking

It provides balance to dishes – complementing and enhancing a variety of recipes. Honey pairs nicely with citrus, berries and yogurt, as well as with fermented or pickled products, because it decreases sourness in certain foods. Honey also balances bitter flavors, making it a clear favorite for coffee and tea. Additionally, honey modifies salty perception and works well with cured products, like ham and bacon.

Honey can be used as skin care. 

Using raw honey on your face can work as a treatment for acne, scarring, and dull or dry skin.  A moisturizing face mask, gentle exfoliant, scar fader, wound healer and cuticle moisturizer are all good uses for honey.   

Honey is good for your hair

Honey contains emollients which smooth hair follicles, adding shine to dull hair.  By moisturizing and locking in shine, honey can help restore the natural luster of your hair.

2. Raw honey vs. refined honey

Raw honey is only strained before it's bottled, which means it retains most of the beneficial nutrients and antioxidants that it naturally contains. Regular honey may have many levels  of processing, which removes beneficial nutrients like pollen and reduce its level of antioxidants. 

Honey can be used to sweeten many recipes, but raw honey will lose its benefits when heated above 95 degrees. So, for flavor in baking, you can use regular honey because the healthy benefits bake out.  

3.  Health benefits

Honey has long been used for medicinal purposes. High-quality honey contains many important antioxidants. Antioxidants have been linked to reduced risk of heart attacks, strokes and some types of cancer. They may also promote eye health.  Honey has many uses  including cuts, burns, infections, stomach ulcers, and more. Pinocembrin, an antioxidant is also found in honey and is effective at improving the functioning of the human brain. Honey's antioxidant levels are similar to that of apples, spinach, strawberries, and oranges. 

In addition to the many medicinal purposes honey can serve, it is also a very popular ingredient in natural home remedies.  Used for soothing sore throats and quieting coughs, some loyalists believing honey works better than any over the counter medication.

Another great benefit of honey is it's contribution to reducing bad cholesterol and raising good cholesterol.   

Honey is a "better" sugar for those with diabetes.  Substitute honey for recipes calling for granulated sugar.   

4.  Ways to eat honey

  1. Use honey to sweeten your dressings or marinades.
  2. Stir honey into coffee or tea.
  3. Drizzle honey on top of toast or pancakes.
  4. Mix honey into yogurt, cereal, or oatmeal for a more natural sweetener.
  5. Spread raw honey over whole grain toast and top with peanut butter.
  6. Pair honey with goat cheese on your favorite cracker or over your favorite roasted vegetable. Green beans with goat cheese crumbles and honey is a must try! 

5. Local honey for allergy help

Honey has been shown to help treat seasonal allergies. Sufferers can use locally produced honey to build up immunity to local plants which trigger allergies. One teaspoon of honey each day will allow your system to build up immunity to pollen before the season begins. Local honey is required because it contains the allergens of the local plants.  

Fun Fact: 

The smell, color and taste of honey depends on the types of flowers visited by the bees.

Hopefully you are intrigued enough by this golden liquid to give it a main place in your diet.  Try new recipes like the one here for Honey Roasted Carrots and take a 7 day break on the sugar in your coffee or tea.  Use honey instead!   

Until next time

Be fit, be strong, eat honey


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