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Health and Fitness News

Thank You, Bees

Are you taking advantage of honey’s powerful healing properties?

Honeybees are the only insects that make food for humans, and it’s a mighty fine food! That said, it’s a little known fact, but honey is the only food that contains all the nutrients and substances essential for life.

Vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and water are all found in abundance in honey. It’s also one of the few foods that never go bad. Even if it thickens and forms crystals, all you have to do is heat it up in the microwave for a few seconds and it’s good to go. Use honey to sweeten your tea, yogurt, or oatmeal or spread a little on a piece of toast.

A natural sweetener that’s been around since the beginning of time, honey is known for its delicious taste and healing potential. So…should you be eating more honey? Keep in mind that while honey may offer health benefits and be better for you than added sweeteners, it’s still high in calories and natural sugars (one tablespoon of honey contains 17 grams of sugar and 64 calories) and should be eaten in moderation.

Antibacterial Agent

Honey has the capability to kill bacteria, including harmful bacteria such as E. coli, staph, and salmonella. What gives it this powerful ability? It’s because it is naturally acidic and contains hydrogen peroxide from the pollen that bees collect. The darker and thicker the honey, the stronger its antimicrobial effect, so go for the darkest, thickest honey you can find.

As an antibiotic, honey may even help treat ulcers and gastrointestinal problems caused by bacterial growth. Applied to the skin, pure honey is known to speed the healing of wounds, sores, burns, psoriasis, and inflammation.

Soothes Sore Throats

On the nights when your child is keeping you awake with a cough or sore throat, instead of giving them medication, first try a spoonful of honey. Studies show that honey is more effective at soothing coughs and sore throats than many popular over-the-counter medications. Buckwheat, wildflower, or labiatae honeys prove to work best for treating coughs and sore throats.

Despite how bad a cough may be, never feed honey to a child under the age of 1 year of age. Immature digestive systems can’t digest the spores in honey that may cause botulism.

Improves Performance

Looking for something to give you the boost you need to go an extra mile? Ancient Olympians had the right idea when they ate honey and figs before competing in their sport. Studies prove honey is better than other sweeteners at maintaining your glycogen levels for long-lasting energy during endurance activities.

Fights Disease

Rich in valuable antioxidants, honey may strengthen your immune system to fight off disease. Honey’s combination of flavonoids, phenols, and organic acids may lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglycerides, thereby reducing your risk of certain cancers, diabetes, heart attack, and stroke.
The type of antioxidants found in honey depends on the kind of flower bees got their nectar. Manuka and buckwheat honey seem to be the healthiest types of honey.

Provides Probiotics

Science has determined that a healthy gut flora is important for maintaining digestive health and supporting a healthy immune system. Honey provides a good amount of probiotics (friendly bacteria), including six types of lactobacilli and four kinds of bifidobacterium.