Honey, Honey, Honey…Why use Honey…
Did you know you
can substitute honey in most recipes and the end results provide you not only
less granulated raw sugar, which we all know isn’t good for your body, but
items you make come out more moist and taste so yummy. You’ll find it hard to
believe you didn’t cook with honey before. And the added benefits of the
vitamins and nutrients in honey are a real bonus to your body.
Honey is more than just a natural sweetener. It is a “purposeful food”, which
means it’s a natural food with health benefits. It contains natural antioxidants,
enzymes and minerals including iron, zinc, potassium, calcium, phosphorous, magnesium and selenium. Vitamins found in honey include vitamin B6, thiamin,
riboflavin, pantothenic acid and niacin. In addition, the nutraceuticals
contained in honey help neutralize damaging free radical activity.
In fact, did you know
that one tablespoon of honey contains only 64 calories, yet it has a healthy
glycemic load of around 10 for 1 tablespoon, which is a little less than a
banana, and does not cause a sugar spike and elevated insulin release like
white sugar. Although honey is an
affordable food, bees spend thousands of hours collecting pollen from around
two million flowers to make one pound of pure honey.
If you're stuck with a cough that won't go away, studies
show that honey works as well or better than many over-the-counter cough syrups
in soothing it. Honey's thick consistency coats your throat and the sweet taste
is thought to trigger certain nerves that make your throat less sensitive to
the cough impulse. Try ingesting a teaspoon of honey before bed. You will find
you fall asleep faster and have less coughing. It can be given to children over
1 year of age.
Applying a thin layer of honey to a minor burn can help
quell the stinging sensation and have an anti-inflammatory effect. The
antibacterial qualities of honey may also prevent the burn from becoming
infected, which could result in a quicker healing time.
One of the many soothing properties of raw honey is its
ability to help provide sleep relief. Honey may help facilitate the action of
tryptophan, which helps make people sleepy. Plus, if you are suffering from a
cough that keeps you up at night, a teaspoon of honey could help soothe your
throat while you sleep.
Helps Heal Wounds
Applying a thin layer of raw honey to a minor wound may
actually help sterilize the cut and help it heal more smoothly, with less
scabbing. The application of honey to the site of the wound will help keep it
moist, and exposure to oxygen helps to activate an enzyme in honey that forms
hydrogen peroxide, which has anti-bacterial capabilities. Gently apply with a cotton
swab, and cover loosely. However, honey is only appropriate for minor cuts that
you would otherwise simply apply antibiotic ointment to – any deep cuts or cuts
that appear infected should be evaluated by a medical professional.
The phytonutrients in raw honey have antibacterial and
antiviral properties that may help boost your immune system and fight sickness.
If you're feeling a little under the weather, try making a “Hot Honeybee Toddy"
by combining 1 tablespoon of honey and 2 teaspoons of lemon juice, preferably
the juice from a fresh lemon, in a 1/2 cup of hot, but not boiling, water.
Best of all, honey does not need special storage or
refrigeration – use it by the spoonful straight from the jar. All natural raw
honey will crystalize over time, no worries, just place it in a hot, not
boiling, pan of water and it quickly comes back to its liquid gold state. Never
heat honey in the microwave, it breaks down the vitamins and nutrients making
it as effective as white sugar.