As a kid I used to love walking down the the farm store and buying those little honey sticks in all different flavors. It was such a tasty treat. Growing up I remember always having tea and honey when I was sick, so I knew it must be good for you. Little did I know how healthy the sweet stuff could be. Honey is an amazing and delicious by product of a naturally sweet substance created by honey bee’s and plant nectar. It is not only tasty and natural, but has numerous health benefits and uses.
- Honey is a natural source of almost pure carbohydrate (glucose and fructose) and is full of antioxidants.
- Honey has been found to have antimicrobial properties.
- Honey can be used as a cough suppressant. It soothes and coats the throat. (source)
- Honey can be used as an athletic aid because it acts as a natural energy enhancer. It can be eaten straight before exercise to provide a quick dose of carbohydrate that is released at a steady rate. During exercise honey and water can be consumed as a natural alternative to sports drinks. After your workout a peanut butter and honey sandwich provides optimal carbohydrate:protein balance for recovery. (source)
- Research suggests that honey may help improve blood sugar control and insulin sensitivity. Honey produces a much lower rise in blood sugar than refined sugars. (source)
- Honey has been shown to increase immunity.
- Honey may help alleviate seasonal allergies. Eating a spoonful of local honey a day can build up immunity by gradual exposure to local allergens. It must be locally produced honey because it contains pollens from the plants that are causing your allergies. This hasn’t been scientifically proven, but reports claim that it helps. (source)
- Honey is a humectant meaning it attracts and retains moisture. It is used in natural beauty products, many of which you can make yourself. Check out these recipes for natural beauty.
My favorite things to do with honey include drizzling it over toast with butter or peanut butter and mixing it into plain yogurt. There are so many things you can do with honey, check out recipes here. Honey can be used in most baked goods as a replacement for sugar. Things to know when baking with honey:
- Honey is almost twice as sweet as sugar to replace one cup of sugar for half a cup of honey, and reduce the amount of liquid in the recipe by 1/4 cup for each cup of honey added.
- Add 1/2 teaspoon baking soda for each cup of honey used. This will neutralize honey’s acidity and help the food rise.
- Reduce the oven temperature by 25 degrees Fahrenheit. Honey batter becomes crisp and browns faster than sugar batter.
Like everything, honey is good when enjoyed in moderation, so have some sweet stuff, but not too much. Leave that up to Mr. Winnie the Pooh 🙂