This month is National Honey Month and it just so happens that this week, we’re all about honey. Between the Jewish New Year, which includes a tradition of dipping apples in honey for a “sweet” New Year to First Lady Michelle Obama’s honey beehive at the white house, we just can’t get enough. Plus, there is just no denying that the sweet sugar alternative has some astounding health benefits.
According to the National Honey Board, Americans consume nearly 1.5 pounds of honey per year annually. While honey is certainly not new, it has recently gained popularity as a healthy alternative to sugar. At 60 calories per tablespoon, honey offers a number of advantages.
Honey helps the immune system: Honey contains antioxidants that have been said to improve digestive health and help fight certain types of disease. According to Reuters, honey contains low-to-moderate levels of disease-fighting antioxidants. While a person would be unlikely to eat the amount that would be needed to help prevent disease in one sitting, experts are still pleased. Atlanta nutritionist Dr. Chris Rosenbloom, a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association, told Reuters that she is glad to include honey as “…one more food in the arsenal of foods that contain antioxidants and other chemicals that are good for us.”
Honey helps boost energy: Have you ever heard the term “sugar high?” There is some truth to that. Natural sugars in honey prevent fatigue and provide an immediate energy boost. Stir a tablespoon full of honey into Greek yogurt or even drizzled over your favorite fresh fruit, like mangoes. Not only does it boost energy, but honey might even help hangovers the day after you’ve had a few too many adult beverages. Natural sugars in honey speed up the oxidation of alcohol in the liver.
Honey helps heal: Honey has antibacterial properties that help prevent infection, reduce swelling and heal scarring. While you might not think to pour honey directly onto your next paper cut, honey has similar properties for sore throats. Not only does honey soothe dry, aching throats, but it can kill bacteria that causes certain types of infections.
Honey is versatile in the kitchen: A great substitute for sugar, honey is less processed and can add a rich, sweet depth to your favorite sweet recipes. Honey is also a popular sweetener to add unexpected elements to savory recipes. Try: