Take a moment to consider which cupboard your honey’s hiding in and the last time you actually ate some. In the West, honey ranks right up there with cornstarch as one of those things you store away and use a couple times a month at most, unless you’re an avid tea drinker. Most people view honey as a sweetener with little value in and of itself— it’s always used to enhance something else (like a cup of green tea or batch of cookies). So why did King Solomon tell his son to “eat thou honey, for it is good” (Proverbs: 24:13)?
On this trip to China, I’ve learned more about traditional health tips than I care to remember, but the importance of starting each morning with a cup of warm honey-water is just too sweet to forget. “Why honey?” you ask. “Isn’t it, like, sugary?”
True, but if you can get your hands on raw honey (i.e. unpasturized honey made from bees who are not fed white sugar) you can enjoy a food that contains natural vitamins, enzymes, powerful antioxidants and other important natural nutrients. There are over 40 different types of honey, but it’s best to buy darker varieties, which tend to have higher antioxidant levels.
Most Chinese drink one large 10-12 oz cup of warm honey water (3/4 room-temp water, 1/4 boiling water, 1 tbs honey) before eating breakfast. The honey will coat your stomach while the water flushes out toxins and rehydrates you, making it easier for your body to absorb nutrients. Follow the drink with a piece of fresh fruit and then enjoy your usual breakfast… 🙂 I guarantee you’ll feel like a new person.
“10 Health Benefits of Honey” from http://www.care2.com/greenliving:
1) Prevent cancer and heart disease: Honey contains flavonoids, antioxidants which help reduce the risk of some cancers and heart disease.
2) Reduce ulcers and other gastrointestinal disorders
3) Anti-bacterial, anti-fungal: “All honey is antibacterial, because the bees add an enzyme that makes hydrogen peroxide,” said Peter Molan, director of the Honey Research Unit at the University of Waikato in New Zealand.
4) Increase athletic performance: Honey helps maintain stable glycogen levels and is helps athletes shorten recovery time after workouts
5) Reduce cough and throat irritation
6) Balance the “5 elements”: Honey has been used in ayurvedic medicine in India for at least 4000 years and is considered to affect all three of the body’s primitive material imbalances positively. It is also said to be useful useful in improving eyesight, weight loss, curing impotence and premature ejaculation, urinary tract disorders, bronchial asthma, diarrhea, and nausea.
7) Blood sugar regulation: Even though honey contains simple sugars, it is NOT the same as white sugar or artificial sweeteners. Its exact combination of fructose and glucose actually helps the body regulate blood sugar levels.
8) Heal wounds and burns
9) Probiotic: Some types of honey include up to 6 species of lactobacilli and 4 species of bifidobacteria
10) Beautiful skin: Its anti-bacterial qualities are particularly useful for the skin, and, when used with the other ingredients, can also be moisturizing and nourishing