This All-Natural Sweetener Can Regulate Blood Sugar

Honey has long enjoyed a place in Western household pantries on account of its delicious taste. Honey is often used as an alternative to conventional sweeteners in baked goods and hot drinks. While these benefits cannot be denied, that’s about as far as pasteurized honey goes in terms of usefulness.

Raw honey, on the other hand, is a whole different kettle of fish. The process of pasteurization exposes honey to high temperatures in order to ensure greater standardization and longer shelf life. The vast majority of honey available on supermarket shelves is pasteurized. While it may make the honey look better as a product (and by better I actually mean boring!), it denatures and removes many of the beneficial antioxidants, enzymes, and nutrients that make raw honey just so darn good for you.

As such, raw honey is the only way to go if you value your health. It has been minimally processed to ensure it retains all those excellent enzymes and nutrients, and also contains bee pollen, which is one of the most nutritionally dense foods available. Paradoxically, bee pollen can also help to alleviate seasonal allergies such as hay fever.

Here are five excellent uses for raw honey:

1. Regulate blood sugar

Research shows that consuming raw honey can help to regulate blood sugar and improve insulin sensitivity, which is good news for diabetics or those on the road to becoming diabetic (probably from eating too many conventional, processed sweeteners). So, next time you feel the call of your sweet tooth, dab a small dollop of raw honey on your tongue to cure your cravings AND help your blood sugar at the same time.

2. Emergency food supply

Raw honey is the perfect emergency food. It’s nutrient dense, can be used to disinfect wounds and help them heal faster, is an excellent natural sweetener, and it never really expires — edible raw honey has been discovered by archaeologists in ancient Egyptian tombs! Keep a jar of raw honey with your emergency supplies, and rest easy.

3. Cough syrup

Why waste your money on conventional store-bought cough syrup, which contains all sorts of ingredients you really don’t want to put in your body, and costs a small fortune to buy? Well, you really have no reason to if you have raw honey at home — just mix together some warm (not hot, as it kills the enzymes) water, a tablespoon of raw honey, and half a freshly squeezed lemon. The honey helps to soothe the throat and helps fight off the bacteria causing the cough, while the lemon boosts your immune system and thereby helps your body get rid of the cough or cold faster.

What’s more, it tastes a whole lot better than that toxic cough syrup. You’re welcome!

4. Electrolyte drink

If you’re planning on doing some intense energy-draining exercise, such as running a marathon or biking long distances, rather than buy a bottle of Gatorade, mix up your own homemade electrolyte drink instead.

Just mix a teaspoon of raw honey and half a teaspoon of Himalayan pink salt or unrefined sea salt into your bottle of water, and shake to combine. The honey provides energy while you’re on the go, as well as a whole range of nutrients to supply your depleted cells. The salt helps to alleviate the harmful effects of elevated cortisol during endurance exercise.

5. Sleep aid

Have issues with waking up in the early hours of the morning and not being able to get back to sleep? I know I do. After doing some research, I determined that this was due to hormonal imbalances causing my adrenaline and cortisol levels to spike in the middle of the night.

If you’re like me, one of the best ways to get back to sleep quickly and avoid that frustrating late-night battle with wakefulness is to sprinkle a small amount of Himalayan pink salt or unrefined sea salt into your mouth, along with half a teaspoon of raw honey. This combination of salt and sugar regulates these hormonal spikes and helps you get back to sleep faster.

Bear in mind that because it hasn’t been pasteurized, your raw honey will tend to crystallize much faster than conventional “dead” honey. Don’t worry, when raw honey crystallizes, it’s still good to eat — and there are so many uses for raw honey that you’ll probably find it’s all gone before this happens!

—Liivi Hess

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