Honey promotes good health and is an incredible natural remedy for a variety of issues. Unfortunately, as I’m sure you’ve heard in recent years, the bees are disappearing, and it’s not a good situation. The USDA just announced that beekeepers lost 44% of their honey colonies last year.
Bees are literally one of the most important species for life on our planet. Did you know that 75% of the foods we eat require pollinators to reproduce? Not to mention all the plants that bees are supporting which other wildlife (or livestock if you eat meat) goes on to consume. Here are six benefits of honey plus four simple ways you can help the bees thrive. We need them!
6 Benefits of Honey
1. Treats Hay Fever Allergies – When bees carry pollen, it becomes part of the honey. Then we consume the pollen in the honey, and it acts as a tiny vaccine allowing your body to grow accustomed to the pollen and immunize against it. Use local honey, so you get your local pollen.
2. Prevents Heart Disease – Honey has polyphenols. An increased consumption of polyphenols is linked with a decreased risk for cardiovascular disease.
3. Fuels the Brain – Honey contains fructose, glucose, and the minerals and vitamins that the liver needs to produce glycogen which the brain uses as a source of energy.
4. Cleans and Heals Wounds – Honey is somewhat acidic and naturally contains hydrogen peroxide giving it an antibiotic effect. It was just a few generations ago that honey was used as a salve for wounds and burns.
5. Reduces Cancer Risk – Those polyphenols from above also reduce the risk for some cancers and prevent certain types of cancer cells from multiplying.
6. Improves Blood Sugar Levels – It may seem odd since honey is so sweet, but research has shown that it actually might improve insulin sensitivity and blood-sugar control.
With all these benefits of honey, you can see it is an extremely healthful food to incorporate into your diet. We won’t have honey or very many other food sources without the hard work of bees. For this reason, we need to be intentionally protecting and supporting them with our choices and actions.
4 Simple Ways to Help the Bees
1. Purchase organic or spray-free produce ideally from local fruit stands or farmer’s markets.
2. Don’t use pesticides in your own yard or garden. Look for natural or homemade alternatives.
3. Buy honey from local beekeepers. Search on Local Harvest to find a farm near you.
4. Plant bee-friendly plants and flowers native to your area. Check out Bee Friendly for some ideas.
What’s your favourite way to eat honey? How do you help the bees?