Honey: Nature’s Sweet Superfood
Honey is considered one of nature’s best and most powerful products and a superfood.
What is it?
Since the dawn of time, honey has always been a well thought of, glorified superfood – “a gift from Heaven”. Ancients used synonyms nectar and the food of the gods to describe honey and its healing properties. This was not without the reason.
They had found many uses for honey – ones that continue to this day. They used it to flavor drinks. They used it as a popular medicine, and the principal component of curative ointments and healing plasters that aided in lung problems. Even the very oldest mythologies praised the invigorating, and health-giving qualities of honey.
Honey is also mentioned in ancient texts such as the Indian Vedas, the Jewish Torah, Bible, Koran. It is also known that the ancient Egyptians used honey in their diet, but also as an ingredient in the embalming fluid.
For a long time between, honey was the only sweetener that has been widely available to people before the mass production of sugar.
Today honey is still very popular and is considered one of the nature’s best and most powerful natural products. It has properties that make it an indispensable part of a healthy diet but also a very important ally in fighting those winter colds.
Can you imagine winter without honey? We can’t!
According to the National Nutrient Database from the United States Department of Agriculture, the nutrition found in honey is beneficial in the following ways:
Honey, specifically raw, is considered a superfood. Below are just a few of its numerous benefits:
- Boosts immunity: Raw honey has antibacterial and antiviral properties that can help boost your immune system and fight sickness. Honey also contains flavonoids, which are antioxidants that can help reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease.
- Heals wounds: Applying honey topically is known to be as effective as ingesting it. Certain types of honey are used to treat wounds, skin ulcers and sores.
- Increases athletic performance: While many athletes rely on sports drinks and gels to refuel themselves, honey (which has 17 grams of carbohydrates per tablespoon) is an even better all-natural energy fuel.
- Helps mitigate cold and flu symptoms: Cough and throat irritation that comes along with a cold or flu can be lessened with the help of honey. In a study of 110 children, a single dose of buckwheat honey was just as effective as a single dose of the medicine dextromethorphan in relieving nocturnal cough and allowing proper sleep. Another study involving 105 children found that buckwheat honey also beat dextromethorphan in suppressing night time coughs. These studies have proven that honey is a great holistic and natural way to treat symptoms, without having to buy pricey medications.
- Regulates blood sugar: The sugar in honey is not the same as in white sugar or artificial sweeteners. This type of sugar actually helps the body regulate blood sugar levels. Still be cautious with honey if you have diabetes.
Honey Precautions for Children
Pediatricians strongly caution against giving raw honey to children under age one. Honey could contain the spores of the botulism bacteria and immune systems of infants aren’t developed enough to defend them against an infection.
Pure and raw honey is the best for you and your family and contains vitamins, minerals and enzymes you won’t find in refined honey. Here are some tips on how to consume honey in the yummiest ways:
- Use when baking – For every cup of sugar a recipe calls for, replace it with 3/4 cup of honey (for best results, add 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda, reduce another liquid in your recipe by 1/4 cup and reduce your oven temperature by 25 degrees).
- Start your day sweetly – Drinking a glass of warm water with honey and lemon in the morning and could help you see benefits such as improved digestion, decreased constipation and a boost of energy. Also add to your hot tea instead of sugar.
- Include at dinnertime – Top your salad at dinner with a mix of honey, lemon and olive oil for an especially-healthy, natural salad dressing.
There are many great recipes with honey. Visit www.honey.com for more ideas.
How do you cook? Do you use sugar or honey instead? Can you share some of the recipes you use with us?
If Yes, what were the health benefits you had because of your use of honey. Please share your comments in the section below.