Discover the health benefits of honey, one of the oldest sweeteners on earth. It is a delicious part of any dessert made with it; see some of my favourite raw honey recipes here too. Honey is so good for you that we have included it in our list of superfoods that should be in your kitchen right now.
Bees swallow, digest, and regurgitate nectar to make honey; this nectar contains almost 600 compounds. We need our bees, so let’s do everything we can to save them and keep them here on this earth.
Honey helps prevent cancer and heart disease reduces ulcers and other gastrointestinal disorders as well as reduces cough and throat irritation. It is anti-bacterial and anti-fungal and increases athletic performance. Honey is a probiotic and helps to heal wounds and burns while strengthening the immune system. It really is amazing!
“Once you taste the sweet honey, you want more of that. ” ~ Garbine Muguruza
10 Health Benefits of Honey
1. Strengthens the Immune System
Manuka Honey has been found to stimulate the production of immune cells according to a study at the School of Medicine, Cardiff University, UK. Manuka is a favourite of mine.
Manuka honey strengthens the immune system. The Kiva Certified UMF 15+ – Raw Manuka Honey 15+ is lab-certified to UMF 15+ standard and is raw. This is a genuine Manuka Honey harvested from the remote hills, forests, and coastal areas of New Zealand.
Dr. Oz talked about flu prevention and what supplements can help boost immunity to prevent the flu. On his show, he had Dr. Tasneem Bhatia from the Atlanta Center for Holistic and Integrative Medicine. She recommended taking 1 to 2 teaspoons of buckwheat honey daily.
“Buckwheat honey should be a part of every winter medicine cabinet and here is why—it’s high in antioxidants and it really has a lot of immune boosting properties. Ideally, the buckwheat honey has a darker, richer flavor, it’s a little bit like molasses…this particular honey can keep you healthy throughout the winter.” ~ Dr. Tas Bhatia.
Different kinds of honey have different flavonoid profiles, depending on the floral source of the nectar. The most beneficial kinds of honey for the body are Manuka and buckwheat.
2. Reduces cough and throat irritation
It helps with coughs, particularly buckwheat honey. In a study of 105 children, a single dose of buckwheat honey was just as effective as a single dose of dextromethorphan in relieving nocturnal cough and allowing proper sleep.
Buckwheat honey is a healthier alternative to cough syrup and is good for the immune system.
3. Anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-fungal
“All honey is antibacterial because the bees add an enzyme that makes hydrogen peroxide,” said Peter Molan, director of the Honey Research Unit at the University of Waikato in New Zealand.
“The healing property of honey is due to the fact that it offers antibacterial activity, maintains a moist wound condition, and its high viscosity helps to provide a protective barrier to prevent infection.
The antimicrobial activity in most honeys is due to the enzymatic production of hydrogen peroxide.” ~ National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health
4. Increase Athletic Performance
Ancient Olympic athletes would eat honey and dried figs to enhance their performance. This has now been verified with modern studies, showing that it is superior in maintaining glycogen levels and improving recovery time than other sweeteners.
“Honey is a naturally occurring foodstuff composed from several mono- and di-saccharides, but predominantly, fructose (~35-40 %) and glucose (~30-35 %) together with other constituents such as water, polyphenols, vitamins and minerals. Research has identified ergogenic effects on exercise performance when such constituents have been consumed independently. Therefore, the rationale exists for a functional food containing a myriad of potentially ergogenic components to improve exercise performance.” ~ The Physiological and Performance Effects of Honey Consumption in Sport and Exercise: A Systematic Review by Peter Mitchell
5. Honey Prevents Cancer
Honey contains flavonoids, antioxidants that help reduce the risk of some cancers.
Honey has been extensively researched for preventing cancer. Read the review in this research article from The US National Library of Medicine: Honey as a Potential Natural Anticancer Agent
6. Balance the 5 Elements
It has been used in Ayurvedic medicine in India for at least 4000 years and is considered to affect all three of the body’s primitive material imbalances positively. A few of the health benefits of honey are that it is useful in improving eyesight, weight loss, curing impotence and premature ejaculation, urinary tract disorders, bronchial asthma, diarrhea, and nausea.
Honey is referred to as “Yogavahi” since it has the quality of penetrating the deepest tissues of the body. When honey is used with other herbal preparations, it enhances the medicinal qualities of those preparations and also helps them to reach deeper tissues.
7. Blood Sugar Regulation
Even though it contains simple sugars, it is NOT the same as white sugar or artificial sweeteners. Its exact combination of fructose and glucose actually helps the body regulate blood sugar levels. Some kinds of honey do have a low hypoglycemic index, so they don’t jolt your blood sugar.
Watch this video Sweetener Comparison where I compare stevia, brown rice syrup, honey, molasses, and agave, and discuss the strengths and weaknesses of each.
8. Heal Wounds and Burns
The Health benefits of honey extend even to external applications. Applied to the skin, honey has been shown to be as effective as conventional treatment with silver sulfadiazine. It is speculated that the drying effect of the simple sugars and honey’s antibacterial nature combine to create this effect. Studies have shown it to be very successful in healing wounds.
Some varieties possess large amounts of friendly bacteria. This includes up to 6 species of lactobacilli and 4 species of bifidobacteria. This may explain many of the “mysterious therapeutic properties of honey.”
10. Reduce ulcers and other gastrointestinal disorders
Recent research shows that honey treatment may help disorders such as ulcers and bacterial gastroenteritis. This may be related to the 3rd benefit.
Types of Honey To Get the Health Benefits
- Manuka honey strengthens the immune system. The Kiva Certified UMF 15+ – Raw Manuka Honey 15+ is lab-certified to UMF 15+ standard and is raw. This is a genuine Manuka Honey harvested from the remote hills, forests, and coastal areas of New Zealand.
- Buckwheat is a healthier alternative to cough syrup and is good for the immune system.
- Wildflower – Topanga Quality Wildflower Honey is raw, unfiltered and unpasteurized. Kosher too.
- Alfalfa – Stockin’s Unheated and Unfiltered Raw Alfalfa Honey is made in Saskatchewan, Canada from Alfalfa Blossoms.
- Black Locust has the lowest glycemic index (32) of all kinds of honey.
Raw Locust Honey by the Beekeeper’s Daughter is light, clean, and very aromatic and floral.
- Blueberry Raw Honey – The blueberry blossom produces a drop of nectar at the base of the flower that is visible to the naked eye and very delicious to our bees.
- Orange Blossom Raw Honey is made from orange blossoms. A lovely golden colour, with a light citrus orange flavour and floral scent.
- Clover: Uncle Henry’s Honey was voted best tasting by honey lovers and is from the purest wildflower fields of Canada.
There are at least 40 types – each one has a distinctive taste and unique properties. Darker types tend to have higher antioxidant levels, while Monofloral honey (from a single plant species) usually has the lowest glycemic index (GI).
For example, locust honey from the Black Locust tree has a GI of 32. Clover honey, which is used commercially, has the highest glycemic index at 69.
How To Get the Health Benefits of Raw Honey
If you want to get the goodness from your honey, make sure it is pure, raw, and organic.
The benefits of raw honey outweigh conventional forms. Raw honey contains vitamins, minerals, and enzymes not present in refined honey.
- It is best not to feed it to infants. Spores of Clostridium botulinum have been found in a small percentage of honey in North America. This is not dangerous to adults and older children, but infants can have a serious reaction to it and illness in the first year. Do not add honey to baby food or use it as a soother to quiet a fussy or colicky baby. Most Canadian honey is not contaminated with the bacteria causing infant botulism, but it’s still best not to take the chance. “Do not let babies eat honey,” states foodsafety.gov, a website of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
- It is sugar, so do not eat jars full of it if you value your good health and want to maintain a healthy weight. It has a high caloric value and will put you on a sugar high and low.
Cook with it or use only raw honey?
There is some controversy about cooking with it and I have stopped cooking wit
“Excessive heat can have detrimental effects on the nutritional value of honey. Heating up to 37°C (98.6 F) causes loss of nearly 200 components, part of which are antibacterial. Heating up to 40°C (104 F) destroys invertase, an important enzyme. Heating up to 50°C (122 F) for more than 48 hrs. turns the honey into caramel (the most valuable honey sugars become analogous to sugar). Heating honey higher than 140 degrees F for more than 2 hours will cause rapid degradation. Heating honey higher than 160 for any time period will cause rapid degradation and caramelization. Generally any larger temperature fluctuation (10°C is ideal for preservation of ripe honey) causes decay.” – John Skinner, University of Tennessee
If it comes to it, maybe consider stevia, rice syrup or blackstrap molasses which are nutritious and can be a substitute where applicable.
Bees Are Important And Play A Big Role in Our Food Supply Chain, So Its Important to Learn How We Can Help Save the Bees
Bees Are Essential for Our Life Here on This Earth– By now I am sure you have learned that bees are essential for our life on this earth. Help these tiny workers help bring food to our table. If the bee population keeps declining 1/3 of our food crops will be in danger of disappearing, including foods many of us love, like apples, blueberries, broccoli, and almonds. Each day, a honeybee colony can pollinate 300 million flowers. This is why our food crops, are so dependent on them.
10 Ways to Save the Bees Without bees there will be a serious food shortage. Around the world, the bees are dying. If this trend continues 1/3 of our food crops will be in danger of disappearing, including foods many of us love…Discover why, how you can help, and a bit of bee trivia.
For Beautiful Skin
Its anti-bacterial qualities are particularly useful for the skin, and, when used with the other ingredients, can also be moisturizing and nourishing! For a powerful home beauty treatment for which you probably have all the ingredients in your kitchen already, try this Carrot Face Mask. Also called Honey Carrot Face Mask. Give it a try! Easy, inexpensive, and healthy! The ingredients contain natural antiseptics and antioxidants which kill germs and protect the skin from damaging free radicals.
I love my homemade dandelion flower pancakes topped with these healthy syrups (below).
Delicious Honey Recipes for You
Orange Syrup: This syrup is a much healthier syrup then the usual syrups on your pancakes or waffles. It has less honey in it because of the orange juice which makes it delicious. The zing of the orange make is very tasty.
Dandelion Flower Syrup: This syrup is a great treat from your weeds and it is so easy to make. See why I am mad about dandelions – and their amazing health benefits.
Honey Syrup: the goodness and taste of both honey and molasses.
Delicious Sweet Recipes with Honey
Peanut Butter Bliss Balls: This is one of those recipes that originated in my hippy days in the Kootenays of British Columbia, Canada. We had a variety of flavours of ‘Bliss Balls’; this was a favorite. It did have lots of honey in it though which I reduced the quantity. Also, it had wheat germ in it which I replaced to make it gluten-free.
Oatmeal Cinnamon Porridge & Sultanas: This porridge makes a great start to your day. I like the old-fashioned oats as they have a fuller flavour and are healthier. You can eat this as a raw meal or make it into regular porridge. As they take longer to cook; I often soak them overnight but you do not have to.
Dandelion Tea: for any time with a dash of honey. You can easily make a dandelion with dried leaves from the plants which are full of nutrition. Find out some of the great reasons to love dandelions.
7 Tips to Avoid Sugar Cravings
Eating honey is a more healthy choice than eating white sugar but that doesn’t mean you can eat all you want. Learn how to reduce your sugar cravings at 7 Tips to Avoid Sugar Craving
Learn more about some of the healthiest vegetables and fruits for vegans and vegetarians that you will always want to have in your fridge or pantry
READ: Superfoods – Over 100 of the Healthiest Foods You Should Have in Your Diet and learn more about the variety of Superfoods like honey we think you should use in your recipes.