The benefits of eating honey are sweet and many. From the claims of honey and weight loss to relieving joint pain and many other benefits, raw honey is truly a very special food.
“My son, eat thou honey, because it is good; and the honeycomb, which is sweet to thy taste.”(From the Holy Bible, Proverbs 24:13 KJV)
Using honey in your raw food lifestyle or even if you are not into raw foods is a wonderful health treat. Honey is truly a unique and wonderful food.
There are many health-related benefits of eating honey. Here are a few of them:
Antioxidant: Honey is a natural antioxidant and as such can boost your immune system. Generally, it is believed that dark honey varieties contain more antioxidant power than lighter honeys. Manuka UMF Honey (also called medihoney), produced from flowers native to Australia and New Zealand, has the highest amount of antioxidants.
Better Digestion: Honey is a natural and gentle laxative. Eating raw honey helps improve the digestive system.
Cholesterol Lowering: Many reports indicate that honey lowers cholesterol. The high levels of antioxidants and vitamins contained in honey make this very likely.
Energy Boost: The natural fruit sugar of glucose in honey is perfect for an immediate and natural energy boost. Try eating a spoonful of honey before your next workout.
Natural Sugar Replacement: One of the benefits of eating honey is that it is so tasty. When you are craving sugar, eat a teaspoon of honey.
Sleep Aid: Warm milk with honey taken at night will promote a peaceful night's sleep.
Honey and Weight Loss: The Hibernation Diet claims that eating honey before going to bed cleanses the liver and activate the needed hormones to burn fat.
Multi-Vitamin and Mineral Supplement: Honey contains B vitamins including B1, B2, B5 and B6. Minerals in honey include calcium, iron, magnesium, copper, manganese, potassium, phosphorus, sodium and zinc.
Honey and Diabetes: In controlled amounts, honey actually helps to reduce blood glucose levels according to research published by the Journal of Medicinal Food. Pure raw honey is a far healthier choice for a diabetic person than table sugar or non-nutritive sugar substitutes. Honey requires lower levels of insulin and has a lower glycemic index than sugar. It does not raise blood sugar levels as rapidly as table sugar.
Miracle Food: Honey is a food that never spoils. It has antibacterial properties that keep it fresh even after hundreds of years. Perhaps one of the benefits of eating honey is longevity!
Joint Pain Relief: No matter what the cause for your chronic joint pain here is a natural honey remedy.
Mix two teaspoons of raw honey with two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar in a glass of lukewarm water and drink three time a day. It may take several weeks to see results, but this folk remedy will detox your body. Use Manuka honey for the highest concentration of antioxidants.
Stomach Ulcers: Taking 1 tablespoon of honey (especially effective is Manuka honey) with a ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon daily in warm water may effectively clear up stomach ulcers.
Cough Reliever: Honey has proved to be a better cough reliever in children than the leading cough syrup according to a 2007 Penn State College of Medicine Study. Honey provided better relief from nighttime cough and sleeplessness than cough syrup with the cough suppressant dextromethorphan (DM).
Although there are many benefits of eating honey, please don't give it to children under 2 years of age. Pure honey sometimes contains spores that young children do have have the immune ability to deal with it effectively.
If you want to experience some of the benefits of eating honey please do so, but buy your honey carefully. As with all other foods in your raw diet you want to eat only raw honey.
True raw honey looks cloudy, rather than clear and clean. It also contains particles and dark flecks of bee pollen, bee propolis, honeycomb wax, and yes, sometimes even bee parts! Please don't be grossed out, this is natural, untouched honey— the very best honey to eat.
When searching for raw honey, try to buy it from a local beekeeper if at all possible. To find raw honey locally, first check and ask at your local farmer's market. Also, inquire at your local natural health food store for raw honey. Raw honey is also available online as is the very expensive, but highly medicinal, Manuka honey.
Avoid commercial, grocery store honey! Most grocery story honey is of a commercial variety. This commercial type of honey has been heated to extract the natural honeycomb from the honey itself.
Many times, honey is also pasteurized to kill of any microorganisms that may reside in it. Whether the honey is heated to extract the wax from the liquid or if it is pasteurized, the heating process effectively kills the living enzymes that we raw foodists are so fond of. The result is a clean looking, clear, amber-colored product with misleading labels of “organic,” “natural” and even “pure.”
There is no uniform regulation controlling the labeling of honey. There is “adulterated honey.” Just because a label says “pure honey” does not mean that the only thing in the bottle is 100% pure honey! There is no law that requires strict and honest labeling of honey.
"Pure honey" can very easily contain water, sweetened corn syrup or various other cheap sweeteners added to the pure honey— all without the label reflecting this. The legal requirements for honey quality are varied and what is labeled as “100% pure and natural honey” is certainly no guarantee that what is in the bottle is truly pure and natural honey.
I know this from firsthand experience. My father was a beekeeper and we sold honey. Some of our customers who bought from us would share their experiences with commercial varieties of honey. They told us that they could taste the high fructose corn syrup in what was labeled with words such as “100% pure and natural honey.”
Pricing is not necessarily an accurate way to tell pure honey from adulterated honey. Unscrupulous honey companies will mix different types of honey varieties and sell them as the expensive Manuka honey.
Chocolate Almond Halvah
Halvah is a type of sweet, dense confection popular in Middle Eastern cultures.
1 cup of raw tahini
2 tablespoons of raw honey
1 tablespoon of raw carob powder
1 teaspoon of vanilla
¼ cup of whole or chopped raw almonds
Mix the tahini, honey, carob and vanilla together until well blended. You can do this by hand or mix everything together using a food processor. Add the almonds. Shape into a loaf and chill in the refrigerator until firm. When it is firm, cut the loaf into cubes.
I developed this creamy shake in my early days of raw eating. It filled me up and tasted good.
Peel the banana and slice into the blender. Place the honey on top of the sliced banana. Add the milk and cinnamon. Blend at high speed until frothy. Enjoy!
For expansive information on the sweet world of honey, including more on the benefits of eating honey, I highly recommend the website Benefits of Honey.
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