Winnie the Pooh loved honey and for good reason. Honey is full of health benefits and has many great uses beyond drizzling over your cheerios. No wonder Pooh always has his head stuck in a honey pot.
Choosing honey as a natural sweetener for your tea or favorite recipe may be a better option than artificial sweeteners. Honey is full of natural energy and vitamins. It’s no wonder why everyone’s favorite childhood bear loved honey so much.
Honey has a healthy Glycemic Index (GI) which means that it is absorbed more gradually reducing the spike in insulin levels. When your insulin levels are more constant you are less likely to crash. The GI for honey is 55 (on a 100 point scale) while the GI for sugar is 68. The carbohydrates give your body what it needs during exercise to help ward off fatigue. The fructose and glucose are easily absorbed by your body. So the next time you’re headed for the gym or out on a run, consider a tablespoon of honey or a honey energy product to help get you going.
Nutritious and Delicious
Honey isn’t just empty carbs. It’s filled with vitamins and nutrients your body needs like B6, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid and certain amino acids and minerals including calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium and zinc.
The antioxidants in honey are great for neutralizing free-radicals that cause cell damage in our bodies. It also has anti-microbial properties. While no peer reviewed studies have been done, if you suffer from seasonal allergies it’s thought that consuming local honey can help your body build immunity. By consuming small amounts of common, local pollen that naturally occurs in the creation of honey, it is thought to work like a vaccine. The little bit helps your body build a resistance to it helping to ease the symptoms of your allergies.
Honey has been used as a home remedy for many ailments. Many people use it to soothe a sore throat, in body scrubs and face mask, and bad breath. Though unproven, some believe that honey holds the power to help prevent cancer, treat arthritis, asthma, high cholesterol and other serious ailments.
How Much Honey?
So how much honey should you consume to help improve your health? Like any good thing, too much of it can turn into a bad thing. Start by replacing sugar already present in your diet with honey – here’s a great recipe for Honey Bee Cookies which uses honey instead of white and brown sugar! Honey tastes sweeter than sugar, so you might find yourself using less.
If you want to learn more about honey, there are some great books out there about all the possible benefits. We suggest The Honey Revolution Abridged Version by Ron Fessenden, MD, MPH and Mike McInnes, MRPS.