Eating Raw Honey Can Reverse Trend In National Weight Gain
Did you know that the average adult in Malaysia consumes seven teaspoons of added sugar a day, mostly in beverages? Heavy intake of added sugar has contributed to a rise in obesity nationally; the most recent National Health and Morbidity Survey Malaysia (NHMS) found the prevalence of overweight adults in Malaysia continues to rise year after year, standing at 17.7%. This has led to an increase in chronic illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension and heart disease.
This trend is alarming, but the solution is sweeter than you may think. If we can switch our diet of refined sugar to pure, raw honey instead, not only would it help reverse the national trend in weight gain but the other health benefits are remarkable and include everything from fighting cold and allergy symptoms to improving memory and learning.
An Ecosystem Approach
Before we talk about the specific benefits for our personal health, it’s worth remembering how crucial it is for us to be good stewards of the bees. With commercial agriculture and climate change threatening bee health, choosing to consume raw honey actually helps create more of a market for responsible honey harvesting and more environments that are bee-friendly. It’s a beneficial cycle that protects bees, benefits agriculture, and provides us with a delicious, healthy product, too.
Why Raw Honey is Better Than Refined Sugar
Made from fructose, honey is a natural alternative to other sweeteners like sucrose and dextrose. But unlike those substances, the natural sugars in honey are gradually absorbed into the bloodstream allowing your body to digest them more slowly which, in turn, delays feelings of hunger and can help curb overeating.
Raw honey also beats typical honey you’d find in grocery stores which is pasteurized to extend its shelf life and create a more uniform appearance. Unfortunately, the process of pasteurization destroys many of the beneficial nutrients found naturally in raw honey. Nutrients like riboflavin, folate, betaine, manganese, potassium, copper, zinc, calcium, magnesium, selenium, fluoride and phosphorus that benefit our bodily health in a multitude of ways
What Else Can Raw Honey Do?
Besides being delicious and nutritious with a low glycemic index that stabilizes blood pressure and balances sugar levels, raw honey has been shown to have medicinal qualities. Raw honey has long been used to heal wounds and skin problems because of its antibiotic properties. Studies have shown honey to be more effective at suppressing nighttime coughs than many over the counter drugs. Eating local, raw honey has been associated with promoting immunity to seasonal allergies by exposing the body to local pollens. It’s also an effective antioxidant which is good for heart health and may help lower your risk of infections and some forms of cancer.
Raw, unfiltered honey also contains small amounts of propolis, a substance from the sap of trees which is used to build honeycomb, which may prevent tumor buildup and cancer. And a 2011 study, published in Menopause, found that a daily spoonful of Malaysian honey could boost the memory of post-menopausal women.
The benefits of raw honey are many, and go far beyond just enjoying a sweet treat! Next time you need to sweeten a drink, sooth a cold, or just want to boost your sense of well being, reach for a spoonful of nutrient and antioxidant rich raw honey.