In my last article: Ultimate Guide to Nutrients: Sugar, I promised to discuss the benefits of raw honey, so here we are!
Just what is RAW honey? "Honey is a pure, unfiltered and unpasteurized sweetener made by bees from the nectar of flowers." (1) Now, when I say RAW honey, I'm not talking about the stuff in the little bear. Most raw honey, which is considered one of nature's purest foods, is semi-solid and contains bits of the honey comb, pollen and propolis.
Some nutritionists consider it a “functional food”, which means a natural food with health benefits and raw honey is impressive:
“Raw honey contains 22 amino acids, 27 minerals and 5,000 enzymes. Minerals include iron, zinc, potassium, calcium, phosphorous, magnesium and selenium. Vitamins found in honey include vitamin B6, thiamin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid and niacin.” (1)
Since raw honey is a sugar, you may be wondering about calories and impact on insulin release. According to Dr. Axe, one tablespoon of honey contains 64 calories, but has a glycemic load of 10, which is less than a banana. (Anything 10 or under is considered good). It doesn’t cause sugar spikes or insulin release. (1)
8 BENEFITS OF RAW HONEY (1)
- Weight Management – Studies indicate that replacing sugar with honey helps prevent weight gain, lowers blood sugar, and also may lower triglycerides.
- Counters Pollen Allergies- Raw honey contains pollen, which has been shown to prevent infections and provides allergy relief.
- Natural Energy Source- “Raw honey contains natural sugars (80 percent), water (18 percent), and minerals, vitamins, pollen and protein (2 percent)” Honey provides an easy to absorb energy source in the form of glycogen, which is a form of sugar stored by the liver. This makes it the perfect pre/post workout food.
- Antioxidant Powerhouse- Due to the powerful load of vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants, raw honey has been shown to increase anti-oxidant levels in the body.
- Sleep Promoter- Having trouble sleeping? Honey can help. First, it restocks the liver’s supply of glycogen, preventing you from waking due to hunger. Second, it promotes the production of melatonin, a hormone that helps keep our body’s sleep cycle working properly.
- Wound and Ulcer Healer- When applied directly to a wound or burn, it has been shown to improve healing, due to anti-bacterial properties.
- Diabetes Aid- Raw honey can help reduce the risk for developing diabetes, as well as aid the effectiveness of medication, especially when mixed with cinnamon. (1)
- Natural Cough Syrup- Studies show raw honey is just as effective at treating coughs as over-the-counter cough syrup. (And much healthier!)
A Bit of History and Interesting Facts
About Raw Honey
From: Dr. Axe
Want to replace sugar with honey?
From: Really Raw honey
NEED SOME IDEAS
FOR USING HONEY?
HERE WE GO!
Honey Mustard Salad Dressing with Probiotics
From: Learning and Yearning
Honey Grapefruit Salad
From: Bee Raw
Honey Miso Glazed Salmon
From: Bee Raw
Basil Lemon Walnut Cookies
From: Almost Bananas
Lacto-Fermented Rhubarb & Honey Soda
From: And Here We Are
- Rhubarb– 6 stalks
- Raw, local honey
- Some kind of culture– you can use sauerkraut juice or whey from strained yogurt– you only need a tablespoon or two
- a demijohn, an airlock, a funnel and swing-top bottles.