Bee Smart

bees-honeycomb

Bee smart in which honey you choose to consume…and how much!

Whether or not honey is in your list of approved sweeteners, I always recommend to make sure your honey is local and unrefined. This will help insure the honey you consume is full of beneficial properties- just as nature intended.

Just because honey is an all natural sweetener, does not mean that it’s a healthy choice for everyone. Honey will still spike your blood sugar levels just like white granulated sugar.  It can still contribute to health problems, especially for diabetics, those with Candida albicans, and those who have general sugar handling issues.

However, unlike sugar, honey can be a healthier alternative, and comes equipped with some beneficial properties. There’s a special alchemy that goes into honey: it’s a blend of sweetness mixed with trace enzymes, minerals, vitamins, and amino acids.

And, you ever wonder why honey lasts forever? Honey is naturally extremely acidic. It has a pH approximately between 3 and 4.5; that acid will kill off almost anything that wants to grow there, which is why honey has been proven to be beneficial for sore throats, coughs, burns, and wounds. Honey, in its purest form is antibacterial, antifungal, and is filled with many antioxidants.

So let’s talk about PURE honey. Because not all honey we find on the shelves or in the ingredient list of other products is beneficial…and that is because not all honey is pure. Many brands you find are blended with other ingredients like lactose and high fructose corn syrup. AND!! it is not always labeled. So much for honesty. One warning flag for unpure honey, is if it is super inexpensive.

And did you know that there is a difference between organic bee farmers and conventional ones? The biggest differences between the two are that conventional bee keepers usually remove all the honey from the hive and feed white refined sugar syrups or corn syrup to the bees as food (yes, this has long term effects on bees and their life spans). The second practice is removing the queen bee from the hive and artificially inseminating her, and prematurely killing her. Organic practices, of course, allow nature to do what she does best.

So, for example, your honey sweetened cereals may not be made from honey, but realistically from small amounts of honey that is riddled with pesticides, and larger amounts of corn syrup that was also sprayed with pesticides.

My point being, be mindful of which honey you buy:

Buy local honey!  For the best taste and health benefits, buy your honey from a local bee keeper or a farmer’s market. And as a bonus, ask if they practice organic methods of beekeeping.

Choose raw and unfiltered. “The antibacterial activity in some honeys is 100 times more potent than in others, while processed refined honey will lack many of these beneficial properties altogether.”

 

 

Resources:

“Vanishing of the Bees” documentary. http://www.vanishingbees.com/

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/the-science-behind-honeys-eternal-shelf-life-1218690/#hmdE95jpjp26pfLb.99

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/10/20/health-benefits-honey.aspx

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