According to Dr. Ron Fessenden, M.D., M.P.H. the average American consumes more than 150 pounds of refined sugar, plus an additional 62 pounds of high fructose corn syrup every year. (1) In comparison, we consume only around 1.3 pounds of honey per year on average in the U.S. (2) According to new research, if you can switch out your intake of refined sugar and use pure raw honey instead, the health benefits can be enormous.
What 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. 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. Switching to raw honey may even help weight-loss efforts when compared to diets containing sugar or high fructose corn syrup. I’m excited to tell you more about one of my all-time favorite natural sweeteners today.
1. Healthy Weight Management
Research studies have linked honey consumption with weight loss. In a year-long animal study comparing the effects of sucrose, honey and a low glycemic index (GI) sugar-free diet, rats on the honey-based diet showed: reduced weight gain and percentage of body fat, decreased anxiety, better spatial recognition memory, improved HDL cholesterol (15-20% higher than rats fed sugar or sucrose diets), improved blood sugar levels (HA1c), and reduced oxidative damage.
2. Counters Pollen Allergies
Some people say that a daily tablespoon of honey can actually help alleviate allergies. For possible seasonal allergy relief, you need to consume raw honey with pollen in it.
It has been said that a daily tablespoon of honey can actually act like an allergy shot. If allergies have you staying inside during summer, try eating a spoonful of local honey every day. The small amount of local pollen within the honey should act much like a kind of inoculation to ward off the symptoms.
3. Natural Energy Source
When it comes to raw honey’s use in athletic endeavors, it is highly recommend for both fueling and recovery. That’s why raw honey is included in some of the best pre-workout snacks and post-workout meals.
4. Immunity Powerhouse
One study fed 25 subjects about four tablespoons of honey per day for 29 days in addition to their regular diets. When blood samples were taken at the start and end of the study, researchers found a clear, direct link between honey consumption and an increased level of disease-fighting polyphenols in the blood.
The healing power of honey has been known for centuries, but you might be surprised by how many health benefits you can get from this kitchen staple. This golden liquid has been shown to help cure ailments ranging from a pesky cough to a painful wound. Raw honey is the unpasteurized version of more commonly used honey but with added filtration, which mainly helps extend shelf life. Research suggests that raw honey's active phytonutrients — as well as its antibacterial and antifungal properties — contribute to its vast array of health benefits.
This website does not advocate or guaranty any possible health claims made herein.