Water, glucose, fructose, sucrose and a few other sugars combine to make the marvel that is honey. And marvel is no exaggeration, for preserved honey has been unearthed in tombs from ancient Egypt. Honey has the ability to remain fairly liquid while staying unspoiled, as most bacteria and microorganisms are unable to grow in honey.
There is a lot more to honey than being sweet, though. The health benefits of honey include wound treatment and cough soothing, plus honey is excellent to use in place of refined sugars. Many of the benefits derive from the fact that honey has a high-level chemical composition and relatively low water content.
Facts About Honey
- The darker the honey, the higher its antioxidant content.
- Honey helps with bone health, stamina, skin care and anti-aging.
- Pesticides and antibiotics can contaminate honey. To avoid these chemicals, choose certified organic honey when you shop, or ask a trusted organic food grocer about the best places to find organic honey.
- Honey comes in many variations, such as wildflower and blueberry, and the variations are not created equal. For example, locust honey, which comes from only one plant species, has a glycemic index (GI) of 32, meaning that it has less effect on blood sugar than honey types with higher GIs.
Different Ways to Use Honey
It is always best to opt for raw honey instead of the processed stuff. In addition, choose local organic honey, as it contains pollen spores from local plants that can help you build your immunity against local plant allergies. Here are 7 different ways you can reap the health benefits of honey and improve your overall health.
- Sweeten salad dressing: Change up your salad dressing a few times a week by simply adding some honey! Try our zesty tahini or spicy miso salad dressings to add a yummy flavour kick to your greens.
- Natural cold remedy: Honey is a natural cough suppressant thanks to its ability to soothe a sore throat. Its antibacterial properties helps it fight infection as well. Try this comforting mixture of honey, lemon and ginger for those cold and flu days where you need an extra immunity boost.
- Pre- or post-workout energy boost: If you are a high-level athlete or fitness enthusiast who uses carbs for energy and muscle recovery, using honey instead of sports drinks will help boost your overall nutrition while giving you energy in a natural way. You can mix honey into water before, during or after strenuous exercise.
- Mix it into milk: Combine milk with honey to maximize benefits, such as improved bone health and better sleep.
- Wound healing: Topical use of honey has been used throughought history, and several small studies have shown its healing abilities. For a natural remedy, apply honey to wounds, burns or dressings to improve healing.
- DIY face masks: Due to its healing abilities in ancient civilziation through to today, mixing honey with other organic food ingredients is a great way to make a natural, budget-friendly skincare remedy. Leave your skin feeling refreshed and moisturized with one of these four homemade mask recipes.
- Sweeten plain foods: When shopping for yogurt, dessert tofu or dairy-free milk, choose the plain versions. This way, you can control the sweetness and sweetner by adding your own honey.
Although honey is a better alternative to refined sugar, keep in mind that it’s still sugar. Be mindful of how much honey you use in food.