Why You Should Eat More Honey?
Are you interested in eating more honey to improve your health or at least improve your dietary choices? Have you started researching honey because of health claims made about it? Honey is an incredible food that could be a valuable addition to your diet.
Honey is a nutrient dense golden liquid made by bees and may have been as important as meat in the diets of ancient people. The article, “Humans, the Honey Hunters,” discusses this and even mentions a tribe of pygmies in the Congo that derive 80 percent of their daily calories from honey today. Though it is not advisable for you to get that much of your daily caloric intake from honey, it can still be a very healthy part of your diet.
Reasons to Eat More Honey
Honey is considered by many to be a superfood. The term is used for things that people eat that are rich in nutrients and generally considered to be conducive to promoting and maintaining good health. The only people that should avoid honey are people who are known to be highly allergic to it and who are under the age of one year.
The reason children less than a year old should not eat honey is due to the risk of it containing botulism spores that could grow inside their intestines. There are also other foods that present this risk to babies, but the natural development of gut flora protects them after the first year, making honey a valuable food they can enjoy and get the benefits from.
The Health Benefits of Raw Honey
There are many varieties of honey available. Most of the stuff you find in the grocery store is highly filtered, pasteurized and blended from different sources to make a product that is uniform in appearance. Honey, being a natural food, should vary in color and taste from season to season and from producer to producer.
Pasteurization is designed to remove or reduce the amount of potential pathogens in foods. However, this can also destroy the good stuff that can make foods more valuable than just being a calorie source. You can eat plain sugar for calories, but raw honey has antioxidants and vitamins.
Raw honey is unfiltered and not pasteurized. Its trace amounts of pollen have also not been filtered out. This may be beneficial to those with pollen allergies. Many believe that raw, locally-produced honey can help build immunity against pollen allergies.
Honey also has an antibacterial benefit. It has been used to prevent wound infection for centuries, and there are even medical grade sources of honey used in wound treatment today.
When honey is placed on broken skin, such as on a cut, a small amount of hydrogen peroxide is produced at the wound site. It is not enough to damage healthy tissue as peroxide from a bottle can but just enough to kill pathogens. Also, the viscous honey works to reduce moisture from water at the wound site to further inhibit the growth of microorganisms.
A common thread from literature about sustaining a healthy diet is to avoid processed and refined foods. Raw honey is as natural as it gets when it comes to a food source. Honey is a stable food product that does not require refrigeration, and it does not have an expiration date.
In fact, honey discovered in the pyramids of Egypt is reported to still be edible. Raw honey, like raw, uncooked vegetables and fruits, can be a healthy addition to your diet. There is even a published study of how one type of honey helps to improve the lipid profile (cholesterol and triglycerides) of test animals.
You can use raw honey as a flavor enhancer, sweetener, in baking and cooking, as a glaze, or drizzled on toast or pancakes. Whipped honey is just honey that has crystallized and maybe stirred before packaging, but it makes a great spread for toast, muffins and biscuits.
Crystallized honey that you may have at home is not honey that has spoiled or gone bad. It can be reconstituted back to liquid honey by placing the jar container in warm water.
Different Types of Honey
What makes each jar of honey unique is the bees that made it and the source of nectar they had available to them. The most common variety of store-bought honey is made by bees who visited clover flowers for the sweet nectar. It takes nectar from about 2 million flowers to make one pound of honey.
There are many other varieties of honey flavor. If you do not like one type, you may find another type of honey made from the nectar of a different flower irresistibly delicious. Clover honey is a very mild-tasting honey.
Honey made from buckwheat flowers is darker and much stronger with a taste similar to molasses. Honey made from eucalyptus nectar retains a little menthol that imparts a cooling sensation in the mouth. Regional raw wildflower honey will contain trace amounts of pollen from various local wildflower species.
Use Honey on Your Skin
If you have acne, honey reacts with the exudate to form a small amount of hydrogen peroxide, which is the main ingredient in many over-the-counter acne medications. However, the amount of hydrogen peroxide produced in the glucose oxidase reaction is not enough to harm healthy tissues. This prevents experiencing the harsh drying effects common to commercial acne medications and cleansers.
For a soothing mask, you can slather pure, raw honey on your face and rinse it off with warm water after a few minutes. You can make a gentle exfoliating scrub from honey mixed with baking soda. Honey is a natural product that can improve the look and feel of your skin without using any ingredients you cannot pronounce the names of.
You should give raw honey a try. Sample a couple of varieties sourced from different flower nectars. Try whipped (crystallized) and liquid honey. Use it as a beverage sweetener and in baking and cooking.
If you have a cut, put a little honey and a bandage on it. For your next spa facial, try a little raw honey instead of a commercial product. You can get back to a more natural unprocessed diet and avoid exposure to chemicals in skin products by giving honey a try.
Keep in mind that your standard grocery store honey is a processed product that can contain any number of additives as well as being stripped of all the good things that make honey the superfood it is. If you like a lot of flavor, give raw buckwheat honey a try.
If you have any questions or have a unique use for honey that you have discovered, please be sure to leave a comment.