I’ve always liked honey with my Greek yogurt, but that was really the extent that I had tried it. For years, I had no idea that honey had so many health benefits! Do you really even know how honey is made? I’ll be honest, I didn’t until writing this and doing some research on it! Keep reading to learn some very interesting things that honey can do!
Ok, I will start with this: how the heck is honey made?! All I knew was that it comes from bees. It all starts with nectar. Bees collect nectar from flowers here in North America. I learned that bees actually have two stomachs: one is solely used for nectar storage! According to fordshoneyfarm.com, bees can hold almost 70mg of honey when full… which is about the weight of the bee itself. To collect this much nectar, a bee would have to visit between 100-1500 flowers. When the bee is full, it heads back to the hive and passes the honey to the worker bees. The worker bees suck the nectar from the honeybees stomach through their mouths (what?!). The worker bees chew the nectar for about half an hour and then spread it throughout the honeycombs. Water evaporates from it and forms a thick syrup we call honey! That is the end of that science lesson. Test will come afterwards! (LOL) Now on to the benefits…
1. Reduce coughing and throat irritation: This is personally what I use honey for most often! I have a persistent cough due to allergies and honey helps coat my throat and give me some relief. Honey can help a nagging nighttime cough, leading to a better night’s rest. According to a study done by the Mayo Clinic, honey appeared to be as effective as a common cough suppressant ingredient – dextromethorphan.
2. Anti-bacterial, anti-fungal: Now this one surprised me. I had no idea! According to thedirtdoctor.com, honey can be used to help heal skin rashes, burns, and abrasions, moisturize skin and even help heal mouth sores. Honey never spoils.
3. Anti-cancer properties: According to benefits-of-honey.com, honey possessed carcinogen-preventing properties. Honey has very strong antioxidant properties, and antioxidants help protect the cells from free radicals and oxidative stress.
4. Blood sugar regulation: Honey is a much healthier alternative to table sugar and non-nutritive “fake” sweeteners like Splenda. Honey requires lower levels of insulin to process and does not raise blood sugar levels rapidly like regular sugar. Honey has the perfect balance of fructose and glucose, which is what makes honey able to help regulate blood sugar. Eating honey can help prevent diseases associated with consistently elevated blood sugar levels. As someone who has battled borderline hypoglycemia, I’ll take it!
5. Allergy relief: This claim is still widely argued on whether or not it is actually true. I personally was just given a jar of honey that came from my sister’s neighbor, and they live within ten miles from me. The claim is that if you have seasonal allergies, adding a little local honey to your diet can help prevent your outbreaks. How? The theory is that, like with allergy shots, daily exposure to a small amount of what you are allergic to (hello bee pollen!) can help desensitize the body. Doesn’t hurt to try it!
While there are many more amazing health benefits of honey, there are too many to write in one post. We’d be here all day! I recommend you do some more reading on honey and grab a bottle or two! Make sure to always get natural or raw honey. Try and find someone local to your home that makes their own bee honey, that way you know it is not processed!