It's Valentines Day...don't forget your honey!
The “Buzz” about Honey - 5 Health Benefits
Ever watch “Bee Movie”? Barry, the star of the movie, a Bee, graduates from college, and is disappointed at his lone career choice: making honey.
Barry takes a trip outside the hive after graduating. He nearly gets killed and is saved by Vanessa, a human and a florist in New York City. Through his friendship with Vanessa, he learns that humans actually eat honey, and subsequently decides to sue all humans on behalf of bees. He wins the lawsuit after which all honey is kept to the bees and no human consumption is allowed. The bees have more honey than they need and the production of honey comes to a grinding halt. The result: plants and trees die without the pollination from bees occurring and the world becomes a much less colorful and less healthy place.
While the fictional story is not likely to happen by lawsuit, there is something of a bee decline happening according to researchers. Now, before I go into the “why” of the decline, here’s the “why should I care” about the decline.
What’s the Buzz all about?
There are lots of articles out there about the health benefits of honey. Personally, I have included honey in my morning cup of green tea and my bedtime tea. I also find honey in many of the more healthful recipes. Besides being simply delicious, there are valuable reasons to include it in your menu.
Now, before you read on, know that the Mayo clinic recommends waiting until after 12 months of age to give infants honey. A mature digestive system is needed to handle the spores.
5 Benefits of Honey:
1. Reduces allergy symptoms - according to Dr. Mercola, locally produced honey, which will contain pollen spores picked up by the bees from local plants, introduce a small amount of allergen into your system. Theoretically, this can activate your immune system and over time, can build up your natural immunity against it. This approach works with local honey only, with pollen from local plants. I’ve included Brons Bee’s Raw Honey as a staple in our household for several years now, it’s a local source of honey for us.
2. Cough Relief - “The Guardian” reports that honey even “beats cough medicine” at alleviating and reducing the frequency of cough. A clinical trial found that honey is more effective at soothing a sore throat than a common active ingredient in children's cough medicines. Honey has been used for centuries to relieve a tickly throat and scientists now believe it may be effective because it has constituents that kill microbes and acts as an antioxidant. That means it might prevent damage inside cells from chemical byproducts of their activity. Sounds good to me! And, alot better tasting than cough medicines.
3. Antioxidant, Heart Health & Anticancer - Chemicals in honey called polyphenols are powerful antioxidants that are thought to reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer. Polyphenols help keep several types of cancer cells from proliferating. These statements are coming from such places as the journal of Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine and The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
4. Sleep aid - It’s about the brain…our brains run on glycogen, which our liver produces. In order to produce glycogen, the liver needs fructose and glucose, and some minerals and vitamins. By taking 1 to 2 teaspoons of honey before going to bed, your brain can be provided enough steady brain fuel for up to 8 hours of restful sleep. Ahhh!!!
5. Athletes Source of Energy - Due to its high carbohydrate content and functional properties honey is an excellent source of energy for athletes.
Important, please read, don't pass this up: Processed honey vs. raw organic honey: Processed honey removes or destroys much of what makes honey good for you so unprocessed or raw honey provides the most health benefits as mentioned.
So, Why is there a Bee decline? Research links the decline to the intense use of pesticides and insecticides known as neonicotinoids, which have been banned in Europe. These neonicotinoids show up in food-crop farming, plants sold at nurseries and home gardens, according to Rodales “Organic Life”. So, one more reason to buy from local, small organic beekeepers.
Want more information? Thanks to the following sources I’ve learned so much and able to condense and share with you.
Sources: Mayo Clinic, Dr. Mercola, The Guardian, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, American Journal of the College of Nutrition, the journal of Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Rodales Organic Life.