Honey is often touted as a miracle food and has been used for hundreds of years in both food and medicine.
More recently, honey has come under fire from nutritionists because people think it’s healthy food and don’t realize the high-calorie price tag that comes with it.
What are the benefits of honey and why do you need to be careful not to eat too much?
Honey is naturally acidic and has a low enough pH that many strains of bacteria are unable to survive and grow. Additionally, bees frequently deposit hydrogen peroxide when they are developing pollen into honey. Both of these characteristics are naturally antibacterial.
Relief from Cough and Sore Throat
Many people find honey is an excellent home remedy for colds, particularly in children. A study of children showed that honey was more effective in reducing the frequency and severity of coughs than over-the-counter cough medications.
It is important to note that honey should never be given to infants under the age of one, as their immune systems may not be mature enough to fight the potential botulism spores that may be found in honey.
Burn and Wound Healing
Studies have demonstrated that honey’s antimicrobial properties may help clear up infection and reduce spreading of bacteria that prohibit the healing of burns and wounds. This study also suggests that honey acts as an anti-inflammatory and minimizes scarring.
While many people believe it’s important to use locally sourced honey due to its ability to help fight allergies, studies have shown that this is not the case. The pollen collected from flowers by bees is generally different than the pollen found in the air, which is most frequently the culprit of seasonal allergies.
Save it for a special treat
In an effort to steer away from refined sugar, people are loading up on honey as what they feel is a “healthier” alternative to sugar. Truthfully, honey has a surprisingly similar makeup to table sugar and high-fructose corn syrup. The American Heart Association has recommended daily consumption of no more than 6 teaspoons for women and 9 teaspoons for men of all forms of sugar, including honey and sugar found in packaged foods. Too much of any of these foods can raise the risk of obesity and heart disease.
Overconsumption of honey may also cause abdominal discomfort and heartburn, thanks to the high fructose content. Most experts feel that honey in small doses for generally healthy adults is harmless and has a higher nutritional profile than white sugar, but it is important to consume in moderation.
For a special treat with an extra dose of antioxidants, try out our Saffron-Infused Honey! After our panel tested out 10 different types of honey, we've chosen to start with delicious star thistle honey and black sage honey. We then add our premium saffron and prepare the product by hand in the Lehigh Valley. Available now is our Saffron Honey made with American Star Thistle Honey. This tasty honey is sourced from bee farms in Northern Michigan, where the bees are raised by loving, experienced beekeepers. Look for black sage honey available soon!