The adage is true: summer bodies are made in the winter. If you are like many Americans after the new year, you might be trying to eat healthily and watch your weight this season. One way to achieve this goal is to eat natural foods over man-made or artificial products.
Sugarcane comes from nature, but it takes a lot of processing for it actually to become sugar. Honey, on the other hand, is made purely from bees – a natural product. So, honey makes a great natural substitute for white sugar and other sweeteners. Honey is sweeter than sugar and has more calories. A single tablespoon of honey contains 64 calories, with white sugar only having 49.
But because honey is a sweeter substance, you can use less of it to make something sweet. Sugar is higher on the Glycemic Index, this means it can spike your blood sugars more quickly than honey. Sugar is comprised of 50 percent glucose and 50 percent fructose. Honey, on the other hand, contains 40 percent fructose and 30 percent glucose, with the remaining elements being water, pollen, magnesium and potassium. The later ingredients being part of the reason why honey is also better for you.
It is easy to use honey to replace sugar in most recipes. Simply use ¾ cup of honey to replace 1 cup of sugar. Honey has more liquid than regular sugar so you may need to use less liquid in the recipe. The National Honey Board has great recipes using honey as the primary sweetener. These honey thyme cakes look amazing.
Honey can be used to make more than just desserts, though. It can also be used in savory dishes like these honey lime chicken skewers. In general, it makes a healthier replacement for sugar.
Honey has been used by many cultures for millennia to treat a variety of ailments. This knowledge has been passed down generation to generation and now science is catching up to explain why honey is so amazing. Most likely, you’ve tried honey in a sore throat remedy. Perhaps mixed with lemon and hot tea? It works. It has antimicrobial features, so it is killing bacteria that might be causing a sore throat.
Another key to honey’s medicinal properties is that it actually reduces the swelling. Bringing down the swelling makes your throat hurt less. Honey acts as a hypertonic osmotic, meaning it pulls water out. It helps calm inflamed tissue reducing the swelling, making it easier to swallow. Honey works wonders for a sore throat, it’s is not just an old wives’ tale.
Honey is quickly becoming a staple in healthcare regimens thanks to its antimicrobial properties. Manuka honey, or honey from a tea tree bush, is very effective in this. This kind of honey is being used in a medical setting as a treatment against MRSA and staph. Some of the worst infections to get in a hospital setting. The healthcare industry is using honey to help clean wounds, reduce inflammation and promote new tissue growth. At home, simply put honey on the bandage and cover the wound. See for yourself if you heal faster.
Honey has also been proven to help burn pain and heal burns faster. From sunburns to kitchen burns, honey can help reduce pain and also make the burn go away quickly.
We hope you enjoy using honey in the winter as much as we do at Little Giant Beekeepers. If you have a hive you didn’t ask for please contact Little Giant Beekeepers and we can help you with a hive removal. Call 972-316-9135.