Sugar is everywhere in our diet. Even the simplest items, like ketchup or low-fat yogurt contain high amounts of sugar. This leads to a slew of health problems like weight gain, metabolic issues, and more bad news for your heart.
Fortunately, there is a great sugar substitute that tastes just as good and can be combined with many other foods.
I’m talking about honey. This food is nearly unique due to its incredible shelf life. Very few microorganisms are able to grow in honey, so it can stay good for many years. In fact, honey dating back approximately 3,000 years, is the world’s oldest sample – and still perfectly edible!
Honey is produced by bees and a few other insects. It is stored naturally in wax structures known as honeycombs. Honey’s chemical properties make it ideal for baking and give it a distinctive flavor when it’s used as a sweetener.
Like many things, however, you need to use the right kind of honey in order to fully benefit from it.
Most of the commercial honey we see in stores has been heated at high temperatures and pasteurized. This means most of the beneficial antioxidants, enzymes and other nutrients have been compromised.
Due to its high amino acid and antioxidant content, bee pollen is one of the most nutritionally complete foods available to us. But with commercial honey, most of the bee pollen has been removed.
The key is to acquire unheated, unprocessed and unpasteurized raw honey. You’ll usually see a honeycomb in the jar if it’s raw honey. And you can be confident it contains plenty of bee pollen, as well as the natural antimicrobial agents and antioxidants. Don’t be thrown off by its “cloudy” appearance. That’s the way it’s supposed to look.
Honey not only has plenty of nutritional benefits for us. It also has a variety of purposes that make it a great survival stash item. Here are some of those uses:
- Wound Treatment. Because honey is a natural antiseptic, it can be effective in wound treatment the same way any topical antibiotic is. Just apply honey directly on the wound.
- Splinter Remover. Applying honey to a splinter will help draw it out.
- Sore Throat Relief. Adding a spoonful of honey to a glass of water will help soothe your sore throat. Even better, add juice from a lemon to the mix.
- Cough Suppressant. Some tests have shown that honey is a more effective cough suppressant than drugs, with none of the side effects.
- Nausea Relief. One way to counteract an upset stomach is by drinking a mixture of honey, ginger and lemon juice.
- Moisturizing Agent. If you have damaged or dry skin, apply honey to the area and leave it on for about 20 minutes before washing it off.
- Inflammation Reducer. Respiratory conditions such as asthma can be treated with honey, due to its anti-inflammatory agents.
- Energy Booster. Instead of a candy bar, which could give you a sugar rush but will also give you a sugar crash, swallow a spoonful of honey. Its natural sugars and fructose will provide you with the energy you need for your next task.
- Digestion Aid. Because honey does not ferment in one’s stomach, you can eat a tablespoon or two of it to help counter indigestion.
- Acne Treatment. Some people rub a small amount of honey directly onto a blemish, then cover it with a Band-Aid. Thirty minutes later, they wash it off.
- Sugar Replacement. You can use honey as a replacement for sugar in many baking recipes. For every cup of sugar called for, use three-fourths of a cup of honey instead.