The average American consumes almost 152 pounds of refined sugar in one year. This is equal to 3 pounds of sugar consumed in one week! Or 13 tablespoons in a day which is nearly twice the recommended limit! This is in addition to the 42 pounds of high fructose corn syrup consumed on an annual basis. When people eat up to 10-20% of calories as sugar (or more), this can become a major problem and contribute to nutrient deficiencies. Some of the unhealthy side effects of too much sugar consumption can include fatty liver disease, Metabolic syndrome and diabetes just to name a few. Sugar is also very bad for the teeth, because it provides easily digestible energy for the bad bacteria in the mouth
By itself, it contains:
So why is it that by comparison the average American only consumes around 1.3 pounds of honey per year? Especially when according to research, if you switch out your intake of refined sugar and use pure raw honey instead, the health benefits can be astronomical!
So what exactly is raw honey?
It’s a pure, unfiltered and unpasteurized sweetener made by bees from the nectar of flowers. Most of the honey consumed today is processed honey that’s been heated and filtered since it was gathered from the hive, which removes and destroys the pollen, enzymes, vitamins, and minerals naturally occurring in raw honey. Unlike processed honey, raw honey does not get robbed of its incredible nutritional value and health powers. It can help with everything from low energy to sleep problems to seasonal allergies.
Let’s talk about some of the Health Benefits of Raw Honey!
Number one on our list is that by replacing sugar with honey can help weight loss, prevent packing on extra pounds, and can also help to lower blood sugar, as presented by a study done by San Diego State University.
Raw honey has been found to activate hormones that help to suppress appetite, according to another study done by University of Wyoming.
As stated above the average grocery store honey is usually high processed and loses a lot of its natural quality’s. Raw Honey, however, contains bee pollen, which is known to ward off infection, provide natural allergy relief, and boost your immune system. The process of using honey to prevent allergies in what we would refer to as immunotherapy.
How does it work?!
You see bees all the time going from flower to flower collecting pollen that cause you to suffer, so when you consume local raw honey, you are also consuming the same local pollen causing you allergies. Through this process of consuming the pollen you will begin to build up an immunity to the allergen, which over time will make you less sensitive to the pollen that caused you allergy symptoms.
A study in 2013 showed that eating local raw honey can improver you allergy symptoms in about 8 weeks and that it improved overall symptoms such as itchy, watery eyes, sneezing, and other similar symptoms.
You know what they say, a spoon full of honey will keep the allergens away!
Raw Honey contains natural sugars, water, minerals, vitamins, pollen, and protein. It provides an easily absorbed supply of energy, making it perfect for morning starts or as a pre/post exercise energy source.
Studies have shown honey to be one of the best choices of carbohydrates to consume right before exercising. As well as revealed that honey performs on par with glucose used in commercial energy drinks. When it comes to exercise, raw honey is highly recommended for both fueling and recovery.
Studies have shown that a daily dose of raw honey raises the levels of health-promoting antioxidants in the body. Antioxidants protect the body from damage caused by harmful molecules called free radicals, as well as boosting the immune system, and acting as a preventer of any number of debilitating diseases.
Honey contains polyphenols, a powerful antioxidant, that are known to reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer. Studies have also shown that honey contains the disease-fighting antioxidant flavonoids pinocembrin, pinostrobin and chrysin. Pinocembrin supports enzyme activity, and many studies have shown that pinocembrin induces apoptosis (programmed cell death) of many types of cancer cells.
There are two ways in which raw honey promotes restorative sleep. The first is by consuming honey before bedtime, your body will use it to restock the liver’s glycogen supply and prevent your brain from triggering a crisis search for fuel, which can wake you up. So, no more midnight snacking needed!
The second way is that consuming honey fosters the release of melatonin in the brain by creating a small spike in insulin levels which stimulates the release of tryptophan in the brain which then converts to serotonin, which then converts to melatonin.
Melatonin also boosts immunity and helps rebuild tissue during periods of rest, which has been shown to decrease risk factors for hypertension, obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke and arthritis. In addition, serotonin is a naturally occurring chemical in your brain which when increased can help with depression.
At the University of Waikato in New Zealand, Peter Charles Molan has found in multiple studies that honey is a natural antibacterial with wound-healing effects. He also found that honey reacts with the body’s fluids to make hydrogen peroxide, creating an inhospitable environment for bacteria.
For the treatment of burns and wounds, honey is typically applied directly to the problem area or in a dressing that’s changed every 24 to 48 hours.
Consumption of raw honey can help to reduce the risk of developing diabetes and can also be known to help treat diabetes. Raw honey increases insulin and decreases hyperglycemia, and has been observed to cause a lower elevation of plasma glucose levels in diabetics.
Raw honey can be especially beneficial to healthy blood sugar management when combined with cinnamon. Some suggest that the insulin-boosting power of cinnamon can counteract this glucose levels naturally occurring in honey, which would make your honey and cinnamon mixture a low glycemic index food combination as well.
Raw honey has been shown to be as effective in treating coughs as over-the-counter commercial cough syrups. In one study, honey was just as effective as diphenhydramine and dextromethorphan, common ingredients found in over-the counter cough medicines. Increasing scientific evidence shows that a single dose of honey can reduce mucus secretion and coughs.
For a cough, a half teaspoon to two teaspoons of honey at bedtime is a studied and recommended dosage for anyone over the age of one.
Orange blossom honey falls on the sweeter end of the honey spectrum. This variety has a somewhat subtle, citrussy smell and an overall fresh aroma. It tastes surprisingly sweet and has a delicate, slightly acidic flavor, with a taste reminiscent of citrus fruit.
If you enjoy eating orange blossom honey for its unique and delicate flavors, you will be pleased to know that it's more than just a sweet treat. Orange blossom honey, like many other honey varieties, has medicinal properties that support human health and well-being and can be used both internally and externally.