If you were to poke around in most of our pantries you would undoubtedly find one of those sticky plastic bears full of honey. We pull it out from time to time to enjoy with tea, or maybe if a recipe calls for it, but most of you probably don’t know that little bear might be holding a powerful health boosting superfood?
Honey Boosts Your Immune System
Honey has anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties, which help your body fight bacteria and keep you free from colds and flu. During cold and flu season I coat sliced lemons with organic raw honey and keep them in my refrigerator so I can quickly throw them in my green tea. This adds a soothing sweet flavor and keeps my immune system strong!
Honey Is Nature’s Sports Gel
Ancient Olympians didn’t have GU packs or electrolyte drinks to refuel after their workouts so they relied on honey to be their source of sports nutrition. Since then scientific evidence has shown that honey helps maintain glycogen levels, which is important for sustain energy during workouts. Honey also aids in recovery, making you stronger the next day. Try a banana with 1 tbsp. of almond butter and 1tsp. of raw organic honey as your next pre-workout meal.
Honey Improves Your Skin
Honey’s most common use throughout history has been repairing cuts and wounds, since its anti-bacterial properties keep the wound sterile as it heals. Next time you scrape your knee apply a thin layer of raw organic honey over the cut and cover with your normal dressing. As with any wound, you should change the dressing every 24-48 hours, but you may find that honey helps it heal more quickly than your normal over-the-counter remedy!
How Do I Buy and Store Honey?
Most of the health benefits of honey are associated with Raw Un-Pasteurized Organic Honey, which may unfortunately not come in a plastic bear! Raw honey is amber in color, which indicates it has high levels of anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, so make sure you look for this the next time you’re shopping for honey. I would also recommend buying local when possible. When you consume honey that has been made in your area you get a therapeutic dose of local pollen, which may help relieve seasonal allergies.
Article originally appeared on totalgymdirect.com