Honey is centuries old, potentially dating back to 2100BC when the first honey bees are thought to have originated from South Asia. Honey could be described as the ‘Nectar of the Gods’ for its historic uses for health, vitality, medicine, and beauty. In its most simple form, it is a healthy and characteristic natural sweetener; it is a widely used alternative to cane sugar. We should really appreciate the level of work put in by the amazing bees that produce our honey worldwide- it is thought that it may take around 160,000 bees to produce just one pound of honey! It is also almost guaranteed that as a child if you had a cold or a sore throat you were mixed up a concoction of honey and lemon to treat your symptoms! Honey is one of those foods that you either love or hate- its flavor is distinct. Here we take a little closer look at honey and its benefits.
- Honey is the only food source produced by an insect that humans eat!
- Honey contains many beneficial enzymes, amino acids, and pollens- The rawer the better!
- Honey does not freeze, it holds it moisture
- The darker the honey, the more flavorful it will be. Honey retains a distinctive flavor of the flowers from which it is made.
- There are potentially 25,000 species of bees across the globe, and ‘worker bee’s’ lifespan is only about 4-6 weeks over summer time
- 99% of the ‘worker bees’ are female
- Bees pollinate many types of plants that produce our food while they gather nectar.
- Honey Bees dance when they return to the hive to signal the other bees where the flowers are.
Some benefits of honey:
There are many reasons to use honey for its nutritional value and how it may contribute to better overall health. Here is just a short glimpse of how it may help you!
- For colds and flu:
Honey is a great antibacterial and anti-fungal agent, many conventional cold and medicines/remedies contain a honey ingredient. It naturally contains hydrogen peroxide which is antiseptic and manuka honey has sometimes been used to fend off particular strains of bugs and viruses. Raw honey can kill unwanted bacteria and fungus- it is a powerful little weapon we have for its immune building and anti-bacterial properties.
- For overall health:
Honey, particularly raw honey is a potent antioxidant; it contains phenolic compounds which rank highly for fighting against free radicals and cell damage caused by toxins and pollutants. Some studies have found that honey can potentially help to prevent heart disease and cancer. It may also beneficial for maintaining blood glucose levels for diabetics. Honey is predominantly carbohydrate but also contains amounts of protein, enzymes, vitamins, and minerals. Honey is known to be plentiful in both enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidants.
How to have honey:
Honey can be introduced into your diet in many ways! It’s always good to get creative and thinks of new ways to stay healthy and well. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Try adding a spoonful to your tea with some lemon or include a spoonful in your protein shakes.
- Add a little honey onto toast instead of chocolate spread or jam
- Do you love your smoothies? Add a little honey to your favorite smoothie recipe!
- A breakfast of probiotic yogurt with fruit and a little of honey is a good way to start your day too!